Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Summer Reading, Finally

Even though I grew into some pretty perilous addictions (as my memoir, Whip Smart scrupulously details), my first drug of choice was reading. And now, years and years since I’ve touched any kind of mood altering chemical, I can still blessedly lapse into a reading blackout. Well, when my classes are prepped for, the avalanche of emails assuaged for the day, the dog walked, phone calls returned—oh wait, that actually almost never happens anymore. Now that I’m a grown up and have so many terrible grown up things to do, I am no longer afforded the luxury of time spent lost in reading (with the exception being the rare occasion I can convince myself that a desired book is “research”). As a kid, I used to read a novel a day in the summer, and shake my head at my parents, who were such slow readers. My mother would take weeks, sometimes months to plough through a book. Needless to say, age has altered my perspective.

This summer, however, I’ve been reading. I’ve been in a reading stupor, rising only to stagger around the block with the dog, and tinker for a few hours with my online class. After a year in which my own first book was published, and I worked harder and more than I have in any previous year of my life, I’ve allowed myself some reading time. I’m leaving town for August to slavishly work on the next book, so June and July, well, it’s watermelon, Coney Island, Cape Cod, and books. (And a reading at PSB on July 12, ahem.)

Here are some from my most recent binge (I’ll refrain from giving synopses, as this blog post is already getting long-winded):

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (I succumbed in an airport bookstore. I see the appeal, but I don’t need any more narratives that include mutilated women in my consciousness. Why are there so very many??)

Borderlines – Caroline Kraus (My editor sent me this because she knows my novel is about an intimate friendship between two girls. Thus, this counts as research. Very engrossing research.)

Manic – Terri Cheney (More engrossing “research.”)

Hurry Down Sunshine – Michael Greenberg (Loved it. Reseach.)
Just Kids - Patti Smith (Haven’t finished it yet, but so far the only thing missing is humor.)

Darkness Visible -William Styron (Not as good as I’d hoped, but my expectations were too high. Also research.)

The Answer is Always Yes
– Monica Ferrell (Yes.)

Touched with Fire – Kay Redfield Jamison (Okay, this was real research. And I didn’t finish it.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great recommendations. Borderlines is a personal fave. Can't understand why it wasn't more popular, so compelling. Wouldn't it be a great movie--a real life Single White Female set an indie bookstore, perfection.

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