Bedtime stories for adults?
December 8, 2010 12:01 PM Subscribe
I'm in search of some good fiction or nonfiction books that would work well being read aloud right before bed. Nothing too grim, intricately-plotted, or with too many big words (both he and I are literate people but it's embarrassing to keep tripping over big words that are rarely used in day-to-day speech!) would be ideal. Something along the lines of A Walk in the Woods
is what I'm aiming for.
posted by iminurmefi to writing & language (35 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I have discovered that reading to each other is pretty much the best way ever to end the evening. We've absolutely loved Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz and A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. I think what made these books work so well was:
*Really interesting subjects! We love hiking, backpacking, history, and food, so anything that speaks to those things would work. Then again, we weren't that interested in the Civil War or neoconfederates before we read Horwitz's book, so we're really open to anything if the author writes engagingly about the subject.
*They weren't so complicated in terms of plot or argument that you did a lot of damage to your enjoyment of the book by reading 10 pages a night and sometimes only making it through 30 or 40 pages per week--each is structured like a series of vignettes or witty observations.
*They write about their subjects with a lot of humor and humanity--they're not sad or GRAR books that would make me so upset that I'd get too worked up to fall asleep. This pretty much rules out anything by Jon Krakauer (spoiler: SOMEONE ALWAYS DIES AT THE END), whose books I'm otherwise interested in reading.
*They, uh, don't use too many big words or such complicated sentence structure that it's difficult to read aloud. I hate struggling with the tempo and pacing when I keep tripping up on words I don't know how to pronounce, or because the sentence is hard to track. (I'm a pretty educated person so it doesn't have to be dead-simple, but please no recommendations of something that is going to be like reading Foucault out loud.) This is my major reservation about picking one of DFW's book of essays as our next selection, so if you're going to recommend Consider the Lobster please reassure me that it's a good book for specifically reading aloud.
So, what books should be I be searching for?