Sunday, June 1, 2008

Six Books You Should Read This Summer

1) Sputnik Sweetheart / Haruki Murakami: "A love story, a missing-person story, a detective story - all enveloped in a philospophical mystery - and, finally, a profound meditation on human longing" (from cover). For me, summer reading needs to tak you somewhere. Sputnik takes you to Japan and Greece, and of course - given it's Murakami - other realities.

2) Beach Music / Pat Conroy: One of my favorite books. A pocket book that spans loves, continents (the deep American south and Italy), wars and generations. A classic story of a flawed protagonist trying to escape his history, only to realize that his past is all that matters.

3) Honored Guest / Joy Williams: Not for the faint of heart, Joy William's short stories describe stark situations in even starker settings beautifully. My personal favorite? "Congress", where a hunter's widow takes her deer hoof lamp on a road trip.

4) Dark Star Safari / Paul Theroux: Even if you never leave town this summer, you can follow Theroux's Africa trip overland from Cairo to Capetown. This is certainly a man's story - a woman taking this trip, I'm certain, would have an extremely different experience. That said, following Paul's journey is a wonderful escape.

5) Who Will Run the Frog Hospital / Lorrie Moore: Summers will never like they were when we were kids, but books that relive those lost summers are essential reading list material. In "Who will Run..." Berie recalls the summer in high school that changed her forever, in the shadow of her present-day faltering marriage.

6) And, for the guilty pleasure read that was written for the kids (but nostalgia makes the stories achingly resonate even today), try The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, by Ann Brashares. Not rocket-science, but when has that ever been a requirement - or even a desire - to round out an awesome summer reading list?

1 comment:

Tai said...

Thanks for making me love reading. I don't think that I would appreciate books nearly as much if I hadn't seen how much you love them my whole life. I will read a few of these this summer. You might have to lend me the porch couch for a while :)