What the iSchool is Reading This Summer
What are you planning to read this summer?
"Whatever I damn well please. It will likely have absolutely no educational content and perhaps some bad jokes or some naughty behavior."
This summer I'm really psyched to read The Summer Book, by Finnish author Tove Jansson. It's a reissue by the New York Review of Books, and tells the story of a 6 year old girl, discovering life, and her grandmother, who is reaching the end of hers. It takes place on a small island in Finland, and "distills the essence of the summer - its sunlight and storms - into twenty-two crystalline vignettes" (from the back cover) as the two ramble around exploring the island and discussing life, death, and love. I first saw this book in January, but have been waiting to read it so that the season outside corresponds with the season in the book. I can't wait.
Nancy's class has inspired me to read as much as I can this summer (while I have free time). I've got probably a dozen books lined up already:
I'm planning to read as much YA lit as possible over the summer, to include "Sunrise Over Fallujah" by Walter Dean Myers and "Skulduggery Pleasant" by Derek Landy. I might even branch out into some adult fiction and check out "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan.
I'm planning to read a bunch of tech-related books this summer:
In non-tech books, I'm going to finish "The Savage Detectives" by Robert Bolano and perhaps begin his magnum opus, "2666."
Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" and everything I can find by Joan Didion.
I intend to read nothing that isn't heavily illustrated all summer long. I'm going to start with Grotesque by Sergio Ponchione.
Well...I might slip in a novel or something. I'm not much of a mystery fan, but the other day I saw one in the sale bin at the UW bookstore that was co-written by "El Sup," and I just had to get it: The Uncomfortable Dead, with alternating chapters by Subcommndante Marcos and Paco Ignacio Taibo II. Could be a train-wreck, or could be pretty great.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell; Collapse by Jerry Diamond; The Reader by Bernhard Schlink; Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami; something by Isaac Asimov.
I'm going to alternate between the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prarie series, which I've never read, and Homicide by David Simon.
Reading? I'm planning on catching up on my SpongeBob.
"The Saga of the Volsungs," and after that, probably "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings" by Robert Bartlett. I don't read a lot of fiction.
What are a few of your favorite summer reads?
"I'm a huge fan of short stories. So, Twin Study, by Stacy Richter; or St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, by Karen Russell."
"Every summer I re-read the entire Harry Potter series - it started because I wanted to re-read them before a new book came out, but now it's tradition."
"Every summer I read a book from the Ender's Game universe, usually one of the Shadow books (the spinoffs with Bean). I like the combination of science fiction and political intrigue.
I also like to read Rag and Bone by Michael Nava - my favorite mystery novel. I first read it during the momentous summer vacation between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college and it makes me feel nostalgic for those...simpler days :)."
"Graceling" by Kristin Cashore, "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, and "Eon: Dragoneye Reborn" by Alison Goodman. (My review of Eon will be in this issue. I have reviewed the other two in previous issues.)
I always like reading "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig and "Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace.
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, as it is light and yet still so satisfying.
Well, I've been rather annoyed with the President Obama's attitude toward The Open Veins of Latina America by Eduardo Galeano. His comments about Captain Hook and Peter Pan at the press association dinner didn't elevate my opinion either. The man should read Peter Pan, and he should also read Open Veins. I read it one summer during a rather long period of "down time" while I was trying to figure out what I was doing in a little town in Bolivia, and why the heck the American Taxpayer was willing to pay me to be there. Whether perfectly accurate or not, this book in really important to a lot of people, and if you're even slightly curious why South Americans keep electing leftist bad-asses, read this book.
Moby Dick; Jurassic Park; Gone with the Wind; Collections of short stories.
If you're like me and you want to know everything that ever happened for real before you waste your time on things that somebody made up, a great summer history read is "The Rise and Fall of the Zulu Nation." It is, how-do-you-kids-say... DA BOMB.
One novel I can hit you wise to is "The Winter Queen," the English language debut of Boris Akunin and his star detective, Erast Fandorin. Akunin is already a sensation in the Russophone world and an adaptation of his Fandorin mystery, "Turkish Gambit," is the highest grossing film in Russian history. Normally I find mystery novels pretty tedious, but Akunin's storytelling is steeped in emotion and character. On top of that, he can employ that grandiloquent 19th century prose to great effect. Read it now before Milla Jovovich and Paul Verhoeven ruin it in a movie next year.
And one non-fiction: