God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut scores points for brevity here. If you like Vonnegut, you have no excuse for not reading this half-hour paperback. If I say anything else, I’ll spoil it.
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Siddhartha will help you recover from this XKCD.
I’m probably not the only person who suffered collateral damage from the criticism in the second-to-last panel. Fortunately, Siddhartha offers a somewhat helpful interpretation. Hesse conveys the idea that you can’t have a second-hand epiphany, even if you’re talking to Buddha himself. Sitting around and thinking for a while won’t really help either. You’ve got to live the enlightenment.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzzane Collins
I could write a whole post about the Hunger Games zeitgeist, but I’ll make one point. The series is, on the whole, good. Kids get lured in with the promise of a twilight-esque teen love triangle, but also receive a political narrative about the human cost of war. It’s no Harry Potter, but the pop culture ubiquity is well deserved.
As for the movie: The film is just a few plot points away from being an English version of Battle Royale. The similarities are uncanny.