Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer reading

A round-up of summer reading lists and some thoughts about them:
What Does Your Summer Reading Say About You?
We can't say for sure that personality caused people's preferences for some kinds of recreational reading over others. In fact, the causal arrow may sometimes go the other way. Reading might not just reflect who you are, but also influence who you become.

Brooklyn beach reads:
10 Best Summer Books by Brooklyn Authors
at least partly related to or evocative of either the summer or heat or love or laughter or death or sex or the sort of false fecundity that this season offers.

This latter list makes mention of Woody Allen's "The Whore of Mensa" — which title reminds me of some women I used to know. I looked it up immediately.
A wall of books opened, and I walked like a lamb into that bustling pleasure palace known as Flossie's. Red flocked wallpaper and a Victorian decor set the tone. Pale, nervous girls with black-rimmed glasses and blunt-cut hair lolled around on sofas, riffling Penguin Classics provocatively. A blonde with a big smile winked at me, nodded toward a room upstairs, and said, "Wallace Stevens, eh?" But it wasn't just intellectual experiences. They were peddling emotional ones, too. For fifty bucks, I learned, you could "relate without getting close." For a hundred, a girl would lend you her Bartok records, have dinner, and then let you watch while she had an anxiety attack. For one-fifty, you could listen to FM radio with twins. For three bills, you got the works: A thin Jewish brunette would pretend to pick you up at the Museum of Modern Art, let you read her master's, get you involved in a screaming quarrel at Elaine's over Freud's conception of women, and then fake a suicide of your choosing — the perfect evening, for some guys. Nice racket. Great town, New York.

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It would seem summer caught me offguard. I'm caught up in a couple long and demanding books that I don't seem to have time for.

I am still working through Vladimir Sorokin's Ice Trilogy, and I devote some occasional minutes to Jean-Marie Blas de Robles's Where Tigers Are at Home.

Books all around me, yet not one of them yet has declared itself the book of my summer. I leave on vacation in a week's time and am starting to panic about what reading material to bring.

What are you reading this summer?
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