Summer Reading Recommendations by the Staff at The Library Of Babel

The Librarian - Giuseppe Arcimboldo, circa 1570
The Librarian – Giuseppe Arcimboldo, circa 1570

Summer’s so close we can already feel and smell and taste the mixture of sweat and sunscreen dribbling down our foreheads and stinging our eyes. Which means that any day now, we’ll begin unleashing excerpts from our Summer Issue (which drops June 20). But for the time being, we’ve been thinking about other non-FLAPPERHOUSE writings we should read this season, so we consulted the good folks at The Library of Babel to offer their expert advice.

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IN THIS VAST, INDEFINITE UNIVERSE OF OURS, we often feel stymied by a certitude that the seemingly infinite bulk of prose crowding the shelves of our Library is, essentially, meaningless. Yet we should never lose our grasp on the elegant hope that, amid so much nonsense, we can always discover books which possess the power to transport us, to edify us, and perhaps even vindicate for all time the acts of human existence. With that in mind, some of our staff members would like to tell you which books they think you’d enjoy this summer as you relax on a hot beach with an ice cold lemonade! (Jorge B, Chief Archivist)
Pdger Mickkel Swigflapp (recommended by Melissa E, Circulation)

“A symphonic cascade of mysterious imagery and arcane lyricism. So thought-provoking, you’ll spend days reconsidering your preconceived notions about the true meaning of flybb jnki hozzmulph.”

Aggagagga Vru (recommended by Horace P, Marketing)
“Everyone likes to talk up Axaxaxas Mlo, but for my money, Aggagagga Vru is the far superior work. It explores themes like identity, loyalty, and kubbjarm with uncanny broofglang and a warmth that never feels saccharine.”

The Great Gatsbino (recommended by Fatima D, Administration)
“Pretty much The Great Gatsby, but instead of Jay Gatsby hosting lavish parties for high society in 1920’s Long Island, it features J.P. Gatsbino throwing bad-ass tailgate parties at high school football games in 1980’s West Orange. It’s no masterpiece or anything, and of course it’s highly derivative of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s American classic. Nevertheless, Gatsbino makes for a breezy, entertaining beach read. More importantly, it’s the closest thing to The Great Gatsby that I’ve seen in a long time– at least since some jerk-wad stole our only copy of that book several years ago. Seriously, whoever stole our Gatsby deserves to be tossed over the railing and into the abyss with a rabid mongoose strapped to their face.”

The Curdled Thumbscrew (recommended by Gary S, Cataloging)
“Most folks here will tell you it’s a fool’s errand to search for a book containing the Word Of God and all the secrets of the universe; they’ll tell you such books exist only in the fevered imaginations of highly suggestible Babel Librarians, and that even if such books did exist, any effort to procure one would prove an endless date with madness. Of course, those naysayers have probably never read The Curdled Thumbscrew. Now, this book itself is not the Word Of God, nor does it contain many secrets of the universe. It will, however, lead you to read The Crumbled Throw Pillow, which cannot be understood without having already read The Curdled Thumbscrew. The Crumbled Throw Pillow is also not the Word of God, but you must read that before it guides you to The Crooked Thimble, which will lead you to The Crusted Thingamajig, which… well, I’ll let you see the rest for yourself. Let’s just say that fifty-seven books later, I’m merely one or two steps away from Ultimate Enlightenment! The Almighty Knowledge that has been beckoning me for years is now so close I can sense it in my marrow. And to think, so many of my so-called ‘fellow’ librarians have been laughing at me this whole time, like that smart-mouthed know-it-all Katy G in Youth Services! Yes, we shall see who’s still laughing when I unlock the ancient truth of all past, present, and future life! WE SHALL SEE, KATY G…

Hearts Of Palm: The Jassy Madigan Chronicles, Part I (recommended by Katy G, Youth Services)

“I beg you, for the love of everything holy, don’t listen to a word Gary S tells you. Not only is he certifiably insane, but his taste in books is dreadful, and he always smells like cabbage. Instead, check out the latest novel by Young Adult master Katrin Vanderslyke! Readers young and old alike will love this coming-of-age story about Jassy Madigan, a kind but awkwardly shy teenage girl who moves to a new town and befriends the mummies in the local history museum. Will Jassy finally find acceptance among the 3,000-year old corpses of Egyptian pharaohs? Maybe even true love? I won’t spoil the answers to those questions, but I will tell you that you’ll enjoy every moment of this wonderful book, except perhaps for that section in the middle that just says ‘BWORP BWORP BWORP’ for 28 pages.

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