In my opinion, the approaching October requires a different kind of reading than your typical beachy reads of the summer–something a little melancholy, but still with a little bit of levity. If this sort of book sounds appealing, then check out Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by the recently deceased David Rakoff. By turns funny and sad, somber and energetic, and yet, improbably, Dr. Seussian, this book is impressive for its ability to create fully fleshed-out characters while staying in poetic verse the entire time.
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish traces the lives of four individuals over a scant 113 pages worth of vingettes. All of the main characters are from different walks of life and experience a pretty wide variety of challenges and triumphs. The best of the story lines, like that of Clifford, a young man from Burbank, CA, walk a fine line between tragic and buoyant, all the while maintaining its breathtakingly clever verse. I’m not sure if this is the effect of the Suessian quality of Rakoff’s poetic verse, but I would recommend not reading this book in public spaces unless you are comfortable with both crying and laughing at the same time in front of others.