Friday, June 16

So, I guess we can start now?

I got a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble for my birthday. What should I get? I'm thinking, you know, summer reading for my upcoming travels around the Northeast.

Two books I'm considering are:
Can't Stop Won't Stop
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

How about let's kick things off with a most corny, yet enjoyable topic: Favorite Summer Reading.

Can't go wrong with Murakami. A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World stand out to me as particularly fun summer selections. Zora Neal Hurston's classic Their Eyes Were Watching God is set in the sultry deep South and is excellent reading for a languid summer's day. While the story doesn't necessarily make for light, summer fair the writing is so lovely that it is recommended for all seasons. One book I just completed that immediately joins my list is Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem. It is a collection of some of Didion's best work from the early 1960's. A grab bag of extraordinary prose, it pretty much blew my mind. It is not too often that I dip into current pop-lit, but last summer I found Yann Martel's Life of Pi to be quite rewarding. Of course I must also include my favorite current author, David Mitchell. I highly recommend all four of his novels. Mitchell's best book, Cloud Atlas, could potentially be a little more of a mindfuck than you're willing to puruse with your summertime fiction, but you should definitely give it a try. Number9Dream and Black Swan Green are his easier, more straightforward reads. (Number9Dream might be best classified as Murakami-light). I suppose I should also add Raymond Carver, Michael Chabon, and The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers to round out my list.


Bryan said...

My fondest memory of summer reading was plugging through Infinite Jest in the summer of '99 at the Edgartown Brickman's, astonishing my not-all-that-bright co-workers (one of them once asked, "Hey, did you know your initials are 'BJ'") I did the same thing years later with the Power Broker. These are the two biggest books I've read, and I can't imagine it's a coincidence that I read them both during the summer. Fond summer memories also include getting halfway through John Adams in consecutive summers at South Beach but not being able to turn the corner, and last year, I killed 100 Years of Solitude and The Master and Margherita while travelling. I don't have any big novels planned for now, though: I've moved onto the Baseball Prospectus release Baseball Between the Numbers (a fine choice for your gift certificate if you have any sort of stats background) and The Great Influenza.

c.s.p. said...

HIGHLY recommend Easy Riders Raging Bulls.