Summer Reading List
June 8, 2005 7:00 AM   Subscribe

So, what books are on your summer reading list (or, your winter reading list for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere)?
posted by ericb to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Catch-22 (well into it already, I don't know why I haven't read it before, it's great.)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (another missed classic)
The Good Companions by JB Priestly (It was published in the US as part of The Phoenix Fiction Series from University of Chicago, of which every book I've read has been great.)
Inspector Saito's Small Satori by Jan Willem Van Wetering (I love his Amsterdam Cops, but have never read any of his other books.)
Probably a Cara Black mystery.
The Stars My Destination (It's been on my list a long time.)
I thought I might re-read the Mars trilogy (I'm not sure I made it all the way through Blue Mars.)
Reread The Diamond Age.
posted by OmieWise at 7:14 AM on June 8, 2005

power's goldbug variations
markson's vanishing point
papadimitriou's turing (have my doubts about this one)
mitchell's cloud atlas

papadimitriou (again) & steiglitz's combinatorial optimization
pye's nature and aesthetic of design
lidwell et al's universal principals of design

all stuck in tucson waiting for a shipment south, and unlikely to arrive here until i leave for tucson. rats.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:16 AM on June 8, 2005

A few days after I saw the latest Star Wars opus I pulled my original '77 young reader's edition of the novelization of the original film off the shelf. The next day I started on the Empire Stikes Back. The following day I was at a loss & after a bit of Googling found out just how many fucking Star Wars books there are. So I ordered a whole bunch online.

So between those & getting thru the Carl Hiassen back catalogue, I'm pretty well sorted for the summer.
posted by i_cola at 7:28 AM on June 8, 2005

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue is my current reading material and is going very quickly.
The Three Muskateers by Dumas is next because I haven't read it before.
I'll then ask to borrow The Uplift Saga by David Brin from a friend.
posted by onhazier at 7:35 AM on June 8, 2005

I plan to read the last four (and-a-quarter) of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels. Like Andrew Cooke, I plan to read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. A friend has recommended I read something by Robertson Davies, and so I will. (I'll probably start with The Cornish Trilogy.)

For book group, I'll read The World According to Garp, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and two Richard Wright books: Black Boy and Native Son.

I'll also probably read The Confident Hope of a Miracle: The True Story of the Spanish Armada, some Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. I may re-read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for a third time this year. (It's that good.) Between all these, I'm sure to squeeze in a classic or two. I always do.

And, as always, I'll continue my exploration of Proust. Summer is perfect for Proust.
posted by jdroth at 7:40 AM on June 8, 2005

Just Finished:
I Dream of Microwaves (Very funny and weird. A quick read that'd be good for the beach but is very much not unchallenging.)

Tourmaline (So far, gorgeous, smart, summery, Hitchcock-like.)

In the Queue:
The Fortress of Solitude (recently finished by boyfriend and awaiting discussion)

How to be Alone (Because The Corrections really was one of the best books I've read in the last five years.)

Breath and Bones (Because I'm moving to Richmond VA, and I'm interested in catching up on the local talent)

posted by lalalana at 7:58 AM on June 8, 2005

Current: John Dos Passos: The Forty-Second Parallel, an early twentieth-century novel my wife bought for a class several years ago. I can remember learning about some of this stuff in high school, as an abstract concept (union organizers, free speech, robber barons & abuse of capitalism). The ideas in the book have far more relevance to me today, considering all that's going on in the world, than they did when they were long-ago, dusty historical concepts during my high school years in the 1970s.
posted by Doohickie at 8:10 AM on June 8, 2005

Currently skim-rereading Gone With the Wind, just for escapism from currently rocky life. May bring Shaara's The Killer Angels, another Civil War historical novel, to the beach next month. On the lookout for page-turner Civil War nonfiction, too, not to piggyback on your thread or anything.
posted by scratch at 8:21 AM on June 8, 2005

As an aside: What's the deal with summer reading lists, anyhow? Do people have winter reading lists? Vernal reading lists? Autumnal reading lists?

I read year-round, as do most of my friends. Why is such a big deal made about summer reading lists?
posted by jdroth at 8:25 AM on June 8, 2005

Summer reading lists come from people taking vacations to the beach (or camping or a cottage) when they have a block of idle time to fill with literature.
posted by Doohickie at 8:29 AM on June 8, 2005

Sadly, I'm almost done with what's going to be the best book I'll read this year. Or almost any year. It's "My Friend Leonard" by James Frey. It's the sequel to "A Million Little Pieces," his memoir of going into rehab.

Generally I don't like those preachy, look-how-much-coke-I-snorted types of books. I find them overly self-involved, boring and pathetic. Frey's not like that. He makes no apologies and doesn't wallow in it. It is what it is. "Leonard" covers his life after rehab and it's amazing. It's hitting me harder than Henry Miller did the first time I read him. Your mileage may vary.
posted by Atom12 at 8:31 AM on June 8, 2005

I'm currently stuck in the middle of Wes Stace's (aka John Wesley Harding) novel, Misfortune. It's rather disappointing - I expected more from him, as he's a very witty, intelligent, literate guy.

In the queue: Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated, which my fiancee is in the middle of now.
She really likes it.

Other than that, I just have a stack of books on my shelf that are as of yet unread that I intend to get to soon. Likely candidates for the next book I read: Middlemarch, Nabokov's Ada, or, Ardor, Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber, and Studs Terkel's Hope Dies Last.
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:55 AM on June 8, 2005

Just finished: Inversions, Iain M. Banks

Trawler, Redmond O'Hanlon
The crow road, Iain Banks
My Uncle Oswald, Roald Dahl
Little Black Book of Stories, A. S. Byatt
The Histories, Herodotus
posted by nicwolff at 9:15 AM on June 8, 2005

hot damn! my books just arrived (well, the non-fiction ones). amazon is wonderful! :o)
posted by andrew cooke at 9:24 AM on June 8, 2005

Recently finished: Cloud Atlas, #9 Dream, Ghostwritten by David Mitchell.
When I find an author I like I tend to read everything I can by them.

Currently Reading: Saturday by Ian McEwan

On Deck: Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami
posted by btwillig at 10:40 AM on June 8, 2005

As a history major (though the book is suited for everyone, in my opinion), I'm currently working my way through People's History of the United States: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. It's actually an item on the local school system's high school summer reading list.
posted by itchie at 3:07 PM on June 8, 2005

Just finished*: Candy Freak by Steve Almond
The Ha Ha by Dave King
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Just Starting:
Courtroom 302: A year Behind the Scenes in an American Courthouse by Steve Bogira

On the next-up pile: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Haunted, a Novel of Stories by Chuck Palahniuk
Don't eat this book : fast food and the super sizing of America by Morgan Spurlock
Garlic and sapphires by Ruth Reichl
The circle by Peter Lovesey
Nasty : my family and other glamorous varmints by Simon Doonan
The twins of Tribeca by Rachel Pine

To be read out loud to my daughter (age 12): Harry Potter and the something something blood by J. K. Rowlings
The Devil Wears Prada by I'm too lazy to look up her name
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

*All of these were excellent, by the way.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:15 PM on June 8, 2005

Over vacation, I read Richard Parker's John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics. Be forewarned: this is a book about an economist. That said, Galbraith was certainly no ordinary economist. The book has its moments, particulary when discussing the progressive movements in the middle part of the 20th century and JKG's role in these movements. Of less interest to a general readership, I think, are the discussions of the departmental politics at Harvard.

Overall, a good read if you are interested contemporary history (particularly the economic side) or critiques of modern mainstream economics.
posted by diftb at 5:14 PM on June 8, 2005

Just finished Titan (Rockefeller's Bio). Was reading The Island of the Day Before, but couldn't quite make it though. Now I am reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, yet again - simply brilliant.
posted by Everest29 at 2:47 PM on June 21, 2005

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