Monday, June 2, 2008

summer reading list

Only healthy food today. Whole grains, soup, fruit, veggies, and fish. I tried to replicate Saturday's sandwich but to no avail. The spinach was a little tough, the pita not hot enough, and the tuna was obviously a different kind from the one I'd had before. Sigh.

Summer reading lists are silly in essence, but I like a bit of silliness, as well as planning, so let the games begin.

What I read this summer will undoubtedly change greatly from what I list here (I like a bit of suspense), but my very reasonable (I think) list will hopefully include:

Bleak House, by Charles Dickens. It's sitting right there, the thick tan Barnes and Noble edition (the only one I could find that wasn't scuffed), at the edge of my tiny bookshelf. Once I can read the book, I can watch the BBC miniseries, which is always handy at the library.
No Country for Old Men, by Cormac McCarthy. Same shelf, but shinier.
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. I started it once and didn't get into it. But I will, darn it, I will. If not, I may actually read The Inheritance of Loss, which I recently bought.
Swann's Way, by Marcel Proust. If I'm going to go Proust, I need to start before my 25th birthday, or I may never get up the courage.
Adventures in the Screen Trade, by William Goldman. It's on the other side of the bookshelf from Bleak House. I clearly do not put my books in any sort of order.
All of these I own and tend not to read in favor of books I borrow on impulse from the library.
Of the books I don't own that I really hope to make myself read tout de suite are Video Night in Kathmandu, by Pico Iyer; A Moveable Feast, Hemingway; and either one of M.F.K. Fisher's books, Oliver Sacks' Oaxaca Journal, or Nicholas Shakespeare's In Tasmania.
There's nothing new coming out that screams READ ME! to me, no matter how charming the covers.
I'll be happy if I read half of the books above. In any given season, not including scripts, I can easily go through 7 or 8 books. So far, this spring, I've read 7. But Bleak House is a behemoth, and I'm quite likely to decide to borrow a few books from the library, particularly travel literature, on impulse. I have Beginner's Greek (the novel) and Chabon's Maps and Legends on hold and am very inclined to read "shame" literature between the heavy-hitters or read a book if I know the movie's coming out (I have Brideshead Revisited, and I think I've heard something about that being movie-ready soon--blast! it's coming out July 25th...).

What are you hoping to read this summer? And what do people think of James Michener? I've never been able to get a handle on what sort of a writer he is. More Grisham or Roth or Bryson or none of the above?

Things to think about.

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In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen