Come See our New Website

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Reading List

It's common knowledge that everyone's summer goal is to try to finally get through Joyce's Ulysses (damn you Marilyn Monroe!), but trust me, it will never happen. Borges didn't even finish it, but then again that's probably because he couldn't speak English (Note: I don't think Joyce could either). So in case you want to set down that pile of rubbish and procrastinate for another year, I have compiled a list of light summer reading that you can enjoy instead.

Summer is a time for nostalgia (I don't know if that's true, but I remember my grandpa telling me that one humid night in July when the New Jersey air was ablaze with fireflies and wet with the ammoniacal scent of cut grass), and Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past should be a quick read if you're feeling especially nostalgic.

If you decide to take a vacation to California this summer, you don't need a tour guide, just Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. And if you're going south and you want to pick up the local lingo and syntactical structures, get a copy of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

Some would rather stay inside and read at a Starbucks or (heaven forbid) a Peet's. Get Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea and a sick bag (coffee gives me a stomachache). However, if you are indecisive and can't decide whether or not you actually want coffee, then it's best just to stay home. Draw the blinds and curl up with Samuel Beckett's The Unnamable, which might be a good read unless one of these other works appeals to you. Maybe Roberto Bolaño's 2666?

All of those sports fans out there missing the football season will love Nabokov's Pale Fire and Eliot's The Waste Land. Compare the notes on the poems within these works to John Madden's sportscasting.

The indomitable Harry Potter might be pushing it, so I'll give you the option to choose between that and Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. If you need help with these last two, there are supplementary materials in the form of film adaptations (for the former) and a collection of critical essays (for the latter) entitled "Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress". It's up to you to decide.

Now it seems we've come full circle, but these works should keep you busy for the next couple of weeks. If you manage to get through them all then have another go at Ulysses or wait for the next Nicholas Sparks novel to come out. Happy reading!

1 comment:

Jay MIller said...

You make a jesting case against Joyce, although I can't assume that many people tackle the book for summer reading. I'm reading Finnegans Wake right now, and finished 2666 last year. Are all these books meant to be light reading? Because I can't say that Bolaño is easy on the conscience.

All in all, a great list, if you can pick through the sarcastic suggestions :P