Reader JDELH had a good suggestion in the comments section the other day:
I’ve no doubt a post on “great bus reading books” would also be popular
As I’ve written before, books and public transport complement each other quite nicely. I get quite a lot of reading done while commuting on the bus.
So to encourage the habit I’m starting a regular open thread for people to share suggestions for good books, pamphlets, or essays to read on buses, trains, or ferries. In the interests of road safety, I encourage you not to read books while operating a motor vehicle.
To kick things off, here’s my recommendation: Barkskins, by Annie Proulx. Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
In the late seventeenth century two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord, a “seigneur,” for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over three hundred years—their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions—the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation. Over and over again, they seize what they can of a presumed infinite resource, leaving the modern-day characters face to face with possible ecological collapse.
It’s a good book for the bus in part because it’s such a troubling topic. While the narrative moved along swiftly, it was also an immensely sad and troubling story. So being able to dip into it a few times a day for half an hour at a time was perfect.
Leave your bus book recommendations in the comments!