Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
By Chuck Klosterman
Apparently, only pretentious English majors and high school students read classics during the summer months. Well, since the average Maui Time reader is already educated and worldly, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto should help take care of that. The book is a collection of essays by Gen X jokester Chuck Klosterman, who expresses his observations on pop culture with sarcastic wit. Want to know how Saved by the Bell relates to your daily life or how the failings of the American Dream are illustrated by the Pam/Tommy sex tape? Read this book. Sex, Drugs, etc. would be among one of my favorites if only it weren’t for that irritating, Oxford, comma, in, the, title.
Running with Scissors
By Augusten Burroughs
You think you have a dysfunctional family? Try being given away by your mother to her crazy psychiatrist and his equally bizarre family. At the Finch house, the Christmas tree is up year ‘round, divine messages are sent via toilet bowl readings (these lucky omens are then scooped out of the toilet and left in the sun to dry) and it’s OK for a 13-year-old boy to have a boyfriend more than twice his age. Maslow must be doing cartwheels in his grave. This is one of those books you read during those boring summer days while waiting for something to happen. Sure, maybe Augusten’s formative years were more exciting than yours, but in this instance, that’s a good thing. I mean, college is hard enough to pay for—but to have therapy alongside it?
By Joseph Heller
All right, maybe you’ve seen this book floating around on the assigned summer reading for the high schools. In fact, I was assigned this book in high school. But, if you haven’t read Catch-22, you should. I’m not going to bore you by talking about themes, allusion and analogies, though. Catch-22 is awesome because it is a shining beacon of satire that questions bureaucracy and integrity in such an absurd and playful manner. Furthermore, while it was written a while ago, it’s still as pertinent as ever. That, and well, any book with murderous hookers is a worthwhile read. Don’t let Catch-22’s thickness scare you away; if anything, think of it as a potential pillow as you’re kicking back and soaking up the sun.