This week, dig into these lesser-known gems sure to improve your commute. You’ll discover witchy stories, Bertie Wooster, and the spine-tingling roots of the Haunted Mansion.
Have another book you’re longing to read, but fear it’s too out-of-character? Let David Greenwald inspire you with his recent Slate column.
On Your Kindle
My Man Jeeves , by P.G. Wodehouse
Wodehouses’ Jeeves and Wooster novels are a delightfully old-fashioned treat. Beginning in the 1920s, Wodehouse wrote a series of comic novels and stories about Bertie Wooster, the dimwitted, accident-prone scion of an upper-class English family, and his extraordinarily canny valet, Jeeves. Less known today, they were enormously popular when first published and inspired a British television series starring Stephen Frye and Hugh Laurie, as well as the name of AskJeeves.com. Imagine Bridget Jones has taken up residence in Downton Abbey, and you’ll have a good idea of the tone of these wacky, lovable stories.
On Your Smartphone
“ Don’t be Afraid to be Uncool ,” by David Greenwald, Slate
In this “defense of escaping the herd,” columnist Greenwald describes the benefits of having complicated and even contradictory interests. Rather than dismissing our potential hobbies as too weird or off-kilter, he says, we should embrace them. Given what I’ve read in positive psychology literature (like Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The Myths of Happiness ), Greenwald is on to something.
On a Podcast
“ Building the Haunted Mansion ,” Stuff You Missed in History Class
Love Disney? Check out this two-part podcast on the origins of the Haunted Mansion, the famed Disney World attraction. While it may conjure spooky nightmares, learning about the fascinating technology behind the house is well worth it.
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane , by Katherine Howe
Katherine Howe’s debut novel about a graduate student who discovers her personal connection to the Salem Witch Trials is high on my to-read list. Academics and former grad students will relate to her protagonist, while fans of historical fiction will be intrigued by the central mystery.