Boyfriends can sometimes do some really weird shit. Much of it is well-meaning: A boy I liked in high school once sang me a screamo song that he wrote over the phone. He thought it would be sweet, and while I appreciated that he wanted to share it with me, I also had no idea what he was saying. Ah, young love.
Sure, this sounds cringeworthy. But then there's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker, who appears to be, dare I say, the best boyfriend?
In a Washington Post profile of Hollywood actress (and Booker's girlfriend) Rosario Dawson, we discover that because the two have such demanding schedules they have a hard time syncing up to spend time together in-person; during one two-month period, much of their relationship was over FaceTime.
So to keep the spark alive, Booker did what any well-meaning boyfriend would do: read World War II fiction aloud over the phone.
"Dawson says they went two months without seeing each other. But they've made up for it with FaceTime, which they try to do twice a day," the Post reports. "He's gotten in the habit of sending her music every morning, and he just finished reading David Benioff's World War II novel City of Thieves to her over the phone."
Where to begin!
Cory Booker, left, and Rosario Dawson attend the LA premiere of "Zombieland: Double Tap" at the Regency Village Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles.
First of all, World War II novels are the best. The way stories grounded in the historical context of such a brutal time period evoke both the best and worst of humanity is gripping and thought-provoking, always and forever, and anyone who disagrees can eat it.
Second, I love the idea of reading together instead of, say, just watching Netflix shows together. We've all been there — starting a show with your significant other, going home and watching the next four episodes without them and then swearing that you didn't and pretending to be surprised by the plot-twists the next time they turn it on. Not all of us may be into having our S.O. read to us, but a bookclub-for-two sounds like a fun activity to do together in place of watching the latest true crime drama.
Third, I have questions. Who of the two chose this book? Does Booker do different voices for the characters? Does Dawson ever return the favor and read for Booker? Is this something they'll continue doing in-person, or this strictly a long-distance thing?
But as an avid reader of World War II novels myself, might I take this opportunity to suggest some next-reads for the happy couple?
- All The Lights We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr
- The Good War, by Studs Terkel
- Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly
- Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett
- We Were the Lucky Ones, by Georgia Hunter
- The Rising Tide, by Jeff Shaara
- Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn
- The Storyteller, by Jodi Picoult
- The Eagle Has Landed, by Jack Higgins
This might not be for everyone, but good on these two for finding something fun they can do together when face-time is minimal. And if Booker plans to come out with an audio-book version of City of Thieves, sign me up.