Genuine Book Recommendations from the Thrill: The Writers’ Picks


Spring break is just around the corner which means a break from hundreds of pages of reading a week and crying in New Side. Looking for something to read in the airport or on the beach? So here we are, being genuine for once in our lives, here are some of the Thrill writers’ favorite reads.

Micah Smith ‘22

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2006), Ned Vizzini

This book has had a strong impact on my life throughout high school. I read it when I joined the Book Club at school, the first book I read with other people during freshman year. If you haven’t read it, it’s about a kid named Craig, who is ordinary in almost all ways, but he is trying to get into this really high stakes high school. He gets in, but realizes the stress of going to school is worse than simply trying to get in. Eventually, he becomes so overwhelmed and upset with his life that he contemplates suicide, but he checks himself into a psych ward and….well, the rest would be giving away the story. But it finds a way to mix nihilism with the struggles of a teenager and various adults that he meets in the psych ward, and it even works in some comedic elements.

Jane Lindstrom, ‘21

The Antipodes, Annie Baker (2018)

A really good play about telling stories and the entertainment industry. It’s honestly hypnotizing and beautifully wack. You’ll finish it and think “ah yes, I totally understood that, but also not at all.” Definitely worth your time.

Athena, Gracie Gardner (2018)

Gracie Gardner went to Kenyon! Hurray! This play is about high school girls fencing. I could say more, but I won’t. Just read it.

Bellwether, Steve Yockey (2017)

THIS PLAY IS CRAZY (crazy plays = my type). It’s about child abduction, kind of. It’s also basically the Trolley Problem. I really can’t say much more without ruining it. But I love plays that are crazy and worth being crazy. This is one of those.

Ellie Melick, ‘21

The complete works of William Shakespeare (c. 1590-1613)

This is not a joke recommendation. I truly believe everyone should read more Shakespeare. Obviously, I haven’t read every single one of Shakespeare’s plays but I WILL eventually (that was a pun. Shakespeare’s plays are full of puns. Don’t believe me? Fine, go read his plays).

Here are my top Comedies:

Twelfth Night: One of his most popular plays for a reason. Chock-full of shenanigans.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Sadly underrated. It has a dog!

The Comedy of Errors: A straight-up comic Banger.

Much Ado About Nothing: It is 95% sex jokes, including one right in the title.

Top Tragedies:

Macbeth: One of the single greatest achievements in the history of Western literature. Full stop.

Antony and Cleopatra: Honestly, pretty hot.

Titus Andronicus: One word: Cannibalism.

I’m not going to recommend any Histories because I haven’t read many of them and I’m not a poser. I will recommend The Folger Shakespeare Library’s editions of his plays, but you can find a lot them online for free. Same with his sonnets which, side note, are almost–– almost–– as homoerotic as As You Like It.

Dylan Manning, ‘21

My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh

This book is about a woman who attempts to sleep for a year and yet it is one of the most fast-paced, exciting books I’ve ever read. It is hilarious and subversive and you kind of are disgusted by the main character but you also can’t get enough of her. Moshfegh is a genius. She is unpretentious, witty, and unafraid to make her female characters raw and real.

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