Thursday, March 30, 2006

Spring/Summer reading

It's that time of year when I start thinking about vacations, lying on the beach, and what I'm going to read while listening to the waves lap and the gulls squawk. I often will read some lighter stuff, but it certainly doesn't have to be fluff. My husband and I both read Garcia Marquez' slim novel, Of Love and Other Demons a couple of summers ago and that was perfect. I've been too busy lately to really think about what I want to dip into next, so I'll have to start making a list of possibilities. Both Roth and Updike will have new novels coming out this spring and early summer. I still haven't read Zadie Smith's On Beauty or Doctorow's The March. If you have reading suggestions, please post them.


the cartoonist's wife said...

You mentioned that you like to read fiction in the warmer weather, so I'll give that a try.

A few fiction books I've read recently and really enjoyed were Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant, a historical novel set in Renaissance Florence. I also liked My Father Had a Daughter, which is told from the point of view of Shakespeare's daughter Judith. It's aimed at young adults but as an English major you might find it a refreshing take. (Usually I can't stand these "what if" type books about obscure historical figures, but these two were exceptions.)

On a different note was Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. Ishiguro wrote Remains of the Day, and this book takes place in a similarly out-of-focus Britain, where something's off-kilter but you aren't sure what. And on the topic of surreal British fiction, I picked up Instances of the Number 3 by Salley Vickers from a remainder table and found it similarly intriguing.


Chief Bulldeer said...

I think you should check out some of the books by Cuban Writer Mayra Montero. She's translated by Edith Grossman, and the prose is elegant. Most of her works are set in tropical or Caribbean locales. In the Palm of Darkness is my favorite so far. The Messenger is her most substantial. Right now I'm reading her The Last Night I Spent With You.

P.S. Right now I'm using a Compaq Prosignia 142, and after uninstalling some programs on it, it's quite a bit snappier.


Selena said...

The Ishiguro is definitely on my list. I've also thought about trying some Sarah Dunant. Thanks!

Amir said...

In keeping with the traveling theme I'd go with Mark Twain's 'Following the Equator' traveloques. Their hilarious.


Selena said...

Thanks for recommending Twain. I've never read any of the travel writing.

muw said...

Two works of fiction that I think are a hoot are Grendel by John Gardner and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Two other selections that I recommend are both by Edwidge Danticat: The Farming of Bones and Breath, Eyes, Memory.

I'll also offer a couple of fall reading suggestions (I'm switching gears to non-fiction): Elegy for Iris by John Bayley and Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier.

*** Bonus: Even though I don't know whether this film will come to town, I thought of you when I heard a review of "The Proposition." (Roger Ebert mentioned Blood Meridian and The Unforgiven in his on-air review, so I thought I might be on the right track by recommending it to you.)

Happy summer! - Mary