The best books for minimum wage daydreamers, undercover, and undiscovered LGBTQ superheroes

The Books I Picked & Why

Looking for Alaska

By John Green

Looking for Alaska

Why this book?

I kept a copy in the equipment room, reading it while on the clock. That seemed like something the lead characters would do. The basic plot is a YA teen drama about kids at an exclusive boarding school in the deep south. Protagonist Miles is a daydreamer with a fixation on death; last words. Alaska was a goddess in the form of an alcoholic teen who blamed herself for her mother's death. 

The story is a tale of teens who fought hard to reach their goal of independence, looking towards the future with virtual reality glasses. No matter how we age, we are all still daydreamers walking towards a fog. 


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Haunted

By Chuck Palahniuk

Haunted

Why this book?

A group of writers held in paradise, forced to write stories that would define a generation. And then the insanity drips in, turning the story into something reminiscent of a reality show/horror movie; how far would you go for the chance to create literary perfection? 

The book itself is a series of increasingly dark short stories, connected to the overarching ‘house’ narrative. As a writer I find the character studies to be truly inspiring. And as a writer of internet horror (known as creepypasta) the idea of an invisible antagonist bleeding out creativity/ideas the same way one would drain out blood from a corpse is a unique, twisted view of what it is to be a content creator.



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Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

By Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Why this book?

I read this during my first retail job, post military. My job was nothing compared to the protagonist’s role at the New York Times, but I could relate to her sense of urgency. She needed to push herself; to always exceed expectations even if it was causing her physical/emotional pain.

People called her a drama queen or even a self-centered bitch. That was why the diagnosis of a brain illness was, in a way, a happy ending. She wasn’t a bad person; she was just sick and needed help (or at least an ounce of compassion from her superiors.)

This is a great book for anyone who feels like the world has gone to crap; maybe it has, or maybe it’s all in your head. Either way, you’re not alone.


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#Girlboss

By Sophia Amoruso

#Girlboss

Why this book?

When life brings lemons make lemonade, when life dumps a load of garbage sell it on eBay. I can relate to protagonist Sophia, as a former eBay seller and a San Francisco native lost in her own existence. This book reads like a fairy tale; a girl given every opportunity in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but she’s stuck in a filthy apartment filled with thrifted clothes and day-old pizza. Then one day she discovers her passion. Slowly the pieces fall into place allowing her to create the brand, Nasty Gal. 

This book is a must-read for anyone trapped in a daydream; the finish line is out there just waiting for you to find it.


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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things

By Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things

Why this book?

Jenny Lawson is a woman who took her mundane life and turned it into a world of humor, magic, and cultural insanity. In a previous life, she worked in HR (dealing with employees who sent dick pics), suffered half a dozen miscarriages, among other mental/physical hardships. She moved to Texas with the world’s greatest husband, settling into a life of writing, collecting humorous taxidermy, and crushing on Nathan Fillion. Her nonfiction life is a series of adventures that will inspire the freaks and outsiders of society to take notes and create something beautiful for future generations to examine. 


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