Dear reader, do you ever feel the need to run a bath and get some quality reading done? Excellent, you’re in luck. I’ve carefully selected a short list of books for you to enjoy during your watery wind down.
I say carefully, because one has to consider what kind of literature one takes to the tub. In terms of length, not genre. You see, the problem with bath time reading is that you always risk having to stop reading because the water gets cold, or you spend so long in there that you come out looking like a human raisin. Anything to finish that one more chapter.
That’s why I recommend the following works which you can finish in a single tub session, as they can be devoured by chapter, consist of short stories, or because they are in fact mini, bath-appropriate booklets.
1. A Little History of the World
To introduce history to a younger readership in a wittily informative manner, E. H. Gombrich, an Austrian art historian, wroteA Little History of the World. He succeeded tremendously. It might be written for youngsters, but the eloquence with which the author chronicles humanity’s journey is incredible.
From the Stone Age to WWI, each chapter describes an important period in our kind’s development. Dots are connected, our triumphs and drawbacks exposed.
A most refreshing recap. Got kids? Read it with them, you’ll all (re)learn a lot!
Edie Izzard once called Spike Milligan ‘The Godfather of Alternative Comedy’. I call him a lunatic genius. During WWII, Milligan served in the British Army and later wrote a series of memoirs about his adventures. A Catch-22-type-of-deal, except it’s even more bizarre.
If you don’t like English humor, it doesn’t matter, you’ll be turning the scrumptious pages of this literary goodness like crazy.
Comical with a sobering undertone, Milligan’s works also come equipped with the author’s own sketches of military life, which are, like everything he’s ever done, bonkers.
You know Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, now it’s time to meet Roald Dahl’s macabre side.
The legendary novelist’s collection of 11 short stories for adults called Kiss Kiss explores the disturbing corners of the human psyche in an unsettling yet morbidly fascinating way.
Dahl’s style is never dull, but with these tales, he really took unexpected plot twists to a whole new level. Warning: happy endings are overrated, characters are even stranger than they appear, and a mixture of laughter and chilliness is bound to ensue. Make sure your bath is extra warm before kissing reason goodbye. Just kidding, the stories aren’t that odd. Or are they…?
Not that Bard’s acting wasn’t awesome, but this short story, written by The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a textbook example of why it’s advisable to read the book before you watch the movie. Unlike the movie, which to my taste drags on a bit, this story is short. I mean a longish bath soak short. Fitzgerald was a master storyteller and he undid himself with this one.
The emotionally charged tale presents you with a somewhat different look at the life of Mr Button, a man who grows up “in reverse”, and leaves you heartbroken but smiling.
Speaking of heartbreak and smiles, let’s finish with one about having a witty stab at society. Early 19th century St. Petersburg society, to be precise. Nikolai Gogol, a pioneer of surrealism, created this grotesquely absurd satire about a guy called Kovalyov who faces numerous farces while attempting to convince his nose to reattach to his face. Yes, you’ve read that correctly.
The Nose stirs up sympathy and cheeky glee while offering a parodic insight into the banality of social status.
Not big on Russian literature? No worries, Gogol’s protagonist and his runaway nose will leave you in stitches regardless.
Bathroom Empire is a first of its kind online magazine that merges the bathroom industry with storytelling – from humorous parenting stories to heartfelt wellness articles, not to mention books/films/pop culture and so much more.