Monday’s rolling around again, and it’s back to work—and back to the subway. Whether your commute is long or short, it need never be boring. Check out our suggestions for what to read on the subway this week!
On your kindle
There is something about a cookbook—with its promises of succulence and its quintessentially self-indulgent instruction—that adds zest to any run-of-the-mill meal planning. When classic dishes have become stale and boring and Monday morning’s grocery list-making arrives, a cookbook is the answer for the pasta-weary.
A cookbook that incorporates a classic love story and memoirs from war-torn Baghdad along with its recipes? Almost too good to be true.
In Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch In Paris, subtitled “A Love Story, With Recipes,” the author weaves together stories of falling in love, moving to Paris, honeymooning in Baghdad, and cooking—the whole time—to create a delicious tapestry of words, memories, and tastes.
On your smartphone
The Shunting Trains Trace Iron Labyrinths by Ana Menendez
As you board your train on Monday morning, squeezing between passengers both weary and eager, log on to bostonreview.net to read The Shunting Trains Trace Iron Labyrinths, a short story by Ana Menendez from the magazine’s May/June issue.
The author, like the reader, boards the train and takes the last empty window seat. From there, she tumbles through the story, so brief you could finish it between stops, and crafts a vague mystery about her own identity, the other passengers on the train, and their ultimate destination. Read as you bump along to your own final stop, and you’ll be left reflecting on the story’s meaning throughout the day.
On a podcast
If you’ve spent the weekend curled up with a book and can’t wrest its lingering thrills from your thoughts, download this month’s Audio Book Club podcast from Slate magazine. Each month, critics weigh in on a selected novel, memoir, or nonfiction tome. Whether you want to hear about Geraldine Brooks’ new Caleb’s Crossing or indulge yourself with reflections on Harry Potter, download the podcast from iTunes and sit back to listen and learn as your commute breezes by.
In the mood for some mental gymnastics and some punny play? Open the quick-turning pages of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin, one of his lesser-known tales. Chock full of wordplay and weirdness, Pnin relays the story of its title character, an assistant professor of Russian, who grapples with his own mediocrity. Pnin’s mishaps with language and his struggles to understand and connect with others results in a funny and touching—and vaguely haunting—story that will leave you twisting words and thoughts long after you reach its final page.