In our undying efforts to bring you engaging columns you won’t find anywhere else, we’ve reached out to the metal world, seeking submissions for a new subject: Three amazing books you have to pick up.
Seeing as you read this blog everyday, we went out on a limb and assumed you’d maybe want to get some book suggestions from your favorite bands, too. So today, we continue this series on rad, must-reads with an entry by Mike Keller, an awesome dude who also happens to be a member of the very awesome band Meek is Murder, who have a new album in stores this week. Go like Meek is Murder on Facebook.
These aren’t necessarily my favorite books, but if the theme is must-reads, I can’t think of a set of books more quintessential to any literate human’s repertoire.
“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut
The first Vonnegut novel I read was “Breakfast of Champions” and when I came to the page with a self-sketched rendering of his butthole I thought to myself, “Wow, this guy gets it.”
I went on to digest almost all of his other work, including “Slaughterhouse-Five.” If you’ve read any Vonnegut, then you know his brand of smart, devilish humor, but this one has the distinction of being semi-autobiographical. That personalness coupled with the dry brilliance of Vonnegut’s voice makes this book a must-read for anyone with a dark sense of humor. And a butthole.
“Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville
I read Moby-Dick after I heard Mastodon’s Leviathan was loosely based on the Melville epic. I loved Leviathan but after having read “Moby-Dick,” that record doesn’t (read: can’t) come close to this classic tail (sic) of perseverance that is massive in size and dripping with anthropomorphic metaphor.
That sentence had so many puns. Fuck you.
“East of Eden” by John Steinbeck
All of Steinbeck’s work hits a personal note, having been backdropped by central California where I lived for a time. But even if you’ve never been to the Salinas Valley, Steinbeck’s vivid prose is like viewing a beautiful landscape painting, but in words.
I’ve read most of Steinbeck’s major works and a good amount of his minors and novellas, but “East of Eden” has the most emotional depth by far. Spanning several decades and the lives of multiple generations, the book touches on themes of sexual sadism, murder plots, and suicide. There’s a reason this thing won the Nobel Prize, dude.