Most people hated their English classes in high school because if you've ever read anything written by Hemingway, you know that a writing style devoid of descriptive language can send a tired brain careening over the edge of abysmal boredom. This still holds true and especially so in the aftermath of October midterms when all you long for is a text that doesn't preach at you, but whisks you away someplace far from lecture slides and flashcards.
At times we young readers just need a little flourish and pizazz to retain our attention. This pizazz that your brain wants is different for every reader - we all have our preferences. For some it's a young-adult romance novel (we've all been there), for others it's crime and gore paperbacks (also guilty), and sometimes all you need is a healthy dose of adjectives.
Allow me to introduce you to my personal post-Hemingway recovery author: John Steinbeck.
Oh don't look so horrified - his reputation as a snoozer is totally groundless. Steinbeck provides the remedy to adjective withdrawal in these increasingly cold, stressful months better than most other authors. Granted, it sometimes seems like he gets a little lost in his own flourishing language that you forget what he was talking about in the first place. But that's not necessarily a bad thing (unless you're a bored high school student who's just trying to figure out which literary devices are being used). My suggestion - try re-reading something you hated in high school for fun. You might just be pleasantly surprised at what a difference working through something on your own time can make. I've now made it through four chapters of The Grapes of Wrath and I still feel completely sane.
"In the middle of the night, the wind passed on and left the land quiet. The dust-filled air muffled sound more completely than fog does. The people, lying in their beds, heard the wind stop. They awakened when the rushing wind was gone. They lay quietly and listened deep into the stillness." (3)
Another remedy for an awful week of exam bombardment is good music.
Lately, it's been Grimes, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, and the Smiths keeping me company in the library (although not together - they don't really mesh well).
Grimes is a young Canadian musician/producer/artist that's gaining significant momentum since her debut album three years ago. Her self-titled "grave-wave" music is an eery blend of her unusual vocals (you'll see what I mean) and electronic beats. So give her a listen and check out her album Visions; you've probably never heard anything like it (unless of course you're a big Die Antwoord fan, as her vocals sound similar to Yolandi's).
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a long time favorite of mine, and always a good punk listen. Show Your Bones and It's Blitz! are albums that can be left on repeat for days, and Karen O is just so damn cool. If this band suits your fancy, make sure to check out the Pixies, Wolfmother and the White Stripes.
The Smiths are the best thing to come out of the 80s, next only to scrunchies (that's why they get to be the feature image). With hits like The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, How Soon Is Now, Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, and There Is a Light That Never Goes Out, tortured love songs with long-worded titles are their forte. We're sorry they got their heart stomped on so many times, but endlessly thankful they turned their despair into music.