5 Books to Read in Public

I admit that I never pay attention to what I read when in a public space. And I find amusement in the reaction of others when the books I choose to read in public lack subtlety. Several years ago, an internet genius created fake book covers and filmed the reaction of others as he read them in public spaces. Hilarity ensued.

Here is a list of 5 books to Read in Public that really do exist in real life:

 Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz

I will admit that I am on a total Eve Babitz obsession right now. A forgotten writer and artist from the 1960s, Babitz was the stereotypical “California” girl. As a writer, she is the optimistic counterweight to the writings of Joan Didion. Her novel of sexual promiscuity and coming of age is called Sex and Rage and the cover is bright and yellow. I had the chance to read this in a coffee shop a couple weeks ago, and the stares I got were pretty epic. Memorable Quote: “Jacaranda believed that in the world of airplanes there were only two kinds of luggage—carry-on or lost.”

Lords of Chaos

I already mentioned this book in a previous blog post. I don’t have much more to add,  this book does a great job keeping people from starting a conversation with you when you are on a flight…or a long bus trip ( I speak from experience). There is something about the subject matter that keeps people at a distance. In case this book doesn’t work as stranger-repellant based on the cover alone, don’t hesitate to allow some of the grotesque crime scene photographs inside to make a public appearance. Bonus: blast death metal through your headphones as you read for the full effect. Memorable Quote: “In spiritual terms music is a magical operation, a vehicle for man to communicate with the gods. Depending on whom the celebrants invoke, this can mean soaring to heaven on the voices of angels or raising beasts from the pits of hell.”

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Bitch by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Every time that I have read this book in a public space, I am usually interrupted with some ridiculous comment from men. For example, the last time I read this book several years ago, I had a man interrupt me to ask if I was reading the book “to learn how to piss off my husband more effectively.” Wurtzel’s book about women with less-than-steller media reputations is still relevant today, and is a nice companion for Allison Yarrow’s book 90’s Bitch. I’d brush up on witty comebacks to stupid comments before reading either title in a public space. Memorable Quote: “All this I’m really a lady, I’m really a nice girl crap- who needs it? It really is nothing more than surrender.”

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Ass Goblins of Auschwitz by Cameron Pierce

The title says it all. Pierce’s book is a bizzaro-punk nightmare that includes toilet toads, Apple spaceships, and cockrats. It’s not a good book, but it does make a great statement as a public read. I guarantee people will leave you alone and let you enjoy your coffee or sandwich in blissful peace. Extra bonus for taking it as a read-along on family vacations. Memorable Quotes: “Suppose childhood was never anything more than a dream piss that dampened the sheets and dried, but it lingers on as an ammoniac disgust, tainting everything.”

Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation

This book is funny and insightful. And the cover shows a great image of bugs getting it on. One of the cool features of this book is that if someone does make an attempt at conversation while you are reading in public, you will have a plethora of fascinating information to share. For example, how to get your mate to finally make his head pop off after sex, instead of coming back for more and boring you to tears with constant love-making. Memorable Quote:I’m an Australian redback spider, and I’m a failure. I said to my darling, “Take, eat, this is my body,” and I vaulted into her jaws. But she spat me out and told me to get lost. Why did she spurn the ultimate sacrifice?”