Best picks to read/listen to during your coffee break

Why not try something new and useful during your next coffee break? Turn off your social media, step away from Twitter or Instagram accounts and I promise you there is something better to do than constantly staring at your phone.

Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Expressive, meaningful and energetic. The book is a collection of eleven stories, some of them are more well-known than others, as for example “The curious case of Benjamin Button”. Easy to read for a short time and come back to it later. All written with more or less reflection of 1920’s style even though the tone varies: sometimes it’s ironic and sarcastic, sometimes becomes more straightforward, but the narrator’s voice seems to be kept similar throughout the book. Many would most likely agree that it definitely does not measure up to “The Great Gatsby”, however, it is a good choice to read when you are looking for something concise.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This coming of age story is not just for children or students, but for anyone who is looking for a heart touching story about friendships and betrayal, justice and redemption. Written in a soft and colourful style with lots of visual words to help you push your imagination to its limit and feel a closer connection to the characters. The little amount of purity left in the dangerous world described in the book is the moving point of the story which lets you feel a small sense of hope and fate between those pages. It teaches you that the forgiveness sometimes is more powerful than any act of dishonesty and treason.

Catch – 22 by Joseph Heller
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A book for fans of something different. Biting, harsh, sarcastic. It is a satirical post-war novel mainly following the life of Captain John Yossarian, a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Forces during the WWII. It consists of different views of different characters presented from a third-point view in a non-chronological order. The story is set on an island off the coast of Italy and examines the life of the Captain and other airmen in the army camp, while trying to complete their service time and keep their sanity in order to survive. It is definitely not one of the easy-to-read books, but despite this, it is full of paradoxes, irony and it is certainly worth your time. 

What if you don’t feel like reading a book and prefer to close your eyes to let the story flow into creating imageries in your head? That is exactly what I am talking about here as well: podcasts. They are great in all the ways: you can multitask while listening or you can just sit down with your coffee mug in your hands and relax.

Serial by Sarah Koenig
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This one is surely a must! Rated one of the best podcasts globally, it is a fascinating and intriguing story. The podcast introduces you to the life of Adnan Syed, charged with the murder of his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to a life in prison. At the start, we find out that he has always confessed himself not guilty and the journalist Sarah Koenig tells us the story in a way that lets us feel like we are working together with her in order to find out the truth. The Guardian reviewed it as a “remarkable piece of long-form journalism” and when you start listening to it, you understand why – it just simply drags you in.

Beautiful stories from Anonymous People by Chris Gethard

A distinctive podcast with no storyline, no main characters and no expectations. The host just opens a line for 1 hour to an anonymous person and we get to know stories that might have been shocking, heart-breaking, personal secrets for years. The comedian cannot hang-up first no matter where the situation is going to and this keeps us on top of our toes waiting to see where the story will go.

 

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