Summer Reading List

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Summer Reading List

Postby kellysouthpaw » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:14 am

Okay, I was looking through the "Watchya Reading?" Thread, but nothing there piqued my interest, and I thought with it being summer, maybe some of us want to make a summer reading list? So far on mine I've got:

"On The Road" Kerouac (about halfway through and I gotta say, not so impressed)
"Catcher in the Rye" Salinger (I haven't read it since middle school and somewhat forgot the plot, but I remember I loved it)


Bear in mind I usually love reading books considered to be "classics". I also love David Sedaris as a general rule. Not read a thing by him I didn't love.

So I thought maybe we could name some of our favorite books, their authors, and just a sentence or two about what it's about (without giving away anything, of course)

I'll start:

"Me Talk Pretty One Day" - David Sedaris. A hilarious book with a bunch of auto-biographical stories from David's childhood. They're all hilarious.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby helgecko » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:27 am

If you're into "modern classics", I reckon you can't go past John Steinbeck. Though, since you're American that's probably the equivalent of recommending rice to the Japanese :wink:

Although I love everything he's written, my absolute favourites, and the ones I keep re-reading, are his "lighter" works especially Tortilla Flat and Sweet Thursday. Wonderful dry humour :D
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby kellysouthpaw » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:30 am

I haven't read either of those. Of Steinbeck I've read "Of Mice and Men" and "Grapes of Wrath" and enjoyed the former much more than the latter
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby vmh » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:37 am

I have about 10 books on my summer reading list so far and I doubt I'm going to get through all of them before September. I'm not much of a leisure reader these days even though I work at a bookstore (go figure!). But I just started on book #1 so I'll talk briefly about it.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
I'm only on page 70 but I've been enjoying it so far. She shares stories about family, food and cooking from her childhood. Tasty recipes are included after each story. Several parts have made me laugh-not in a haha, hilarious! way but rather a warm, smile-inducing way. I won't give anything else away but I will mention that she also has a blog: http://orangette.blogspot.com/
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby helgecko » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:02 am

kellysouthpaw wrote:I haven't read either of those. Of Steinbeck I've read "Of Mice and Men" and "Grapes of Wrath" and enjoyed the former much more than the latter

oh, you really should try those two I recommended. They're written in a very different style to his other works, but they're just glorious :D

I'll try and think of some other books to recommend... I've got pretty eclectic reading tastes.
Are you mainly after "lighter" reading material?

Oh! actually, I have to recommend my favourite fiction book: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
It's written in quite an unusual way (skipping backwards and forwards in time, and sometimes written from the point of view of children), but it's a beautiful and heartbreaking story about a family in modern-day India.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby songbird » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:23 am

Loved "Of Mice and Men".
Hated "Catcher in the Rye", but everyone else who I've spoken to that's read it loved it, so maybe it's just me...

These are great suggestions, will definitely look into them, thanks everyone :D
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby VaiVedrai » Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:45 am

I can't say I loved Catcher in the Rye, but I respect it. The narrative is still relevant, especially with the lengthening of childhood immaturity, and in a way also reflective of the hipster subculture (that everyone's a "goddamn phony" :lol: ).
I didn't read Of Mice and Men, though; my teacher just showed the class the movie version with Gary Sinise. (And CSI: NY is on right now. :lol: )

On my list this summer is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I bought the book new at a $2 sale last year, and still haven't gotten around to reading it. Ditto War and Peace, but I'm saving that for the Christmas break. When it's snowing out, a Russian classic seems more appropriate.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby kellysouthpaw » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:05 am

I also have a really morbid fascination with death, so if anyone else does too I'd STRONGLY recommend "Unnatural Death" by Dr. Michael Baden who used to be the Medical Examiner for NYC. He's done some famous autopsies himself (Elvis Presley and JFK) and it was just amazing to read his stuff. Also "Never Suck A Dead Man's Hand" is a really good one. It's about real life stories from a real life CSI. REALLY funny and VERY insightful.

Also, someone asked upthread, I am a leisure reader. But I will read anytime I get a spare minute. Which isn't TOO often having a 29 month old son, but I LOVE reading. I usually like to read funny books (David Sedaris), books about science/death (Stiff by Mary Roach, Unnatural Death by Dr. Michael Baden), or the "classics" (Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, etc)
Last edited by kellysouthpaw on Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby songbird » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:11 am

VaiVedrai wrote:I can't say I loved Catcher in the Rye, but I respect it. The narrative is still relevant, especially with the lengthening of childhood immaturity, and in a way also reflective of the hipster subculture (that everyone's a "goddamn phony" :lol: ).


Oh my lord, if I ever have to hear the phrase "goddamn phony" again... :witsend:
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby helgecko » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:26 am

VaiVedrai wrote:On my list this summer is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I bought the book new at a $2 sale last year, and still haven't gotten around to reading it.

Oh now, THAT'S a strange book... :lol:
Just going by the name, I was expecting a fairly slow-paced, introspective, philosophical book, but it manages to be almost the polar oposite of that :lol:

It's almost manic, covering several generations of a family (possibly over the course of one hundred years, I guess...) in South America (the country is not specified), and the various amazing things that happen to them and the small town that they founded. It's kind of confusing, as certain names are re-used through the generations, and there's little indication of the amount of time that passes throughout. But it's a good, entertaining read, and it is all brought together really well at the end.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby Sherry » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:36 am

VaiVedrai wrote: Ditto War and Peace, but I'm saving that for the Christmas break. When it's snowing out, a Russian classic seems more appropriate.


You'll need longer than Christmas break to read that one :lol: I read it back when I was 12 or so (yeah I read a lot of heavy stuff back then) and it took me 6 months from start to finish. Just keeping up with the characters (there is an entire section devoted to listing them all :shock: ) was a mammoth task.

I personally would re read anything by Oscar Wilde. I have his Letters, Notes and Essays nearby always and often pick it up and browse.

I may have another re read of Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner series.

As for new books, I don't have time at the moment.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby Peripeteia » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:19 pm

100 Years of Solitude is just a great story period. One of my favorite books ever is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. If you haven't already read it, do yourselves a great favor and devour it now! :read: I just may fish it out of storage for another round.
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby VaiVedrai » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:50 pm

Sherry wrote:
VaiVedrai wrote: Ditto War and Peace, but I'm saving that for the Christmas break. When it's snowing out, a Russian classic seems more appropriate.


You'll need longer than Christmas break to read that one :lol: I read it back when I was 12 or so (yeah I read a lot of heavy stuff back then) and it took me 6 months from start to finish. Just keeping up with the characters (there is an entire section devoted to listing them all :shock: ) was a mammoth task.

I personally would re read anything by Oscar Wilde. I have his Letters, Notes and Essays nearby always and often pick it up and browse.

I may have another re read of Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner series.

As for new books, I don't have time at the moment.
I read Anna Karenina in about a week when I was around 13...and Dostoyevsky's The Idiot in a similar chunk of time. I have a hard time putting books down, regardless of how confusing they are. :lol:
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby kellysouthpaw » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:30 pm

I just love Catcher in the Rye because it is JUST like a 17 year old is writing it. I mean, how they think (at least probably how they thought back then), how they overexaggerate everything, how they flip flop in their thinking...I can't help but think of my best friend Steve and how he was when he was 17 and it's like spot on. And it also really reminds me of an ex of mine. Though he's 28 and he STILL talks/acts this way :roll:

Anyway, I'm getting some David Sedaris for my reading list as well. Me Talk Pretty One Day. I'm also thinking of reading that book that James Bobin's wife wrote. I can't for the life of me think of the title though...I know Turnip was reading it...I shall ask her!
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Re: Summer Reading List

Postby SuzyBatt » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:36 pm

I'm also thinking of reading that book that James Bobin's wife wrote. I can't for the life of me think of the title though

Kelly, I can help you with that... Everything but the Kitchen Sink: What Every Modern Woman Needs to Know by Francesca Beauman. It's on my Amazon Wish List. Too bad I'm the only one who goes to look at the wish list (hence why I got no books or DVDs at my birthday last month :waiting: ).
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