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Summer Reading, Having a Blast

Novels in summer are read different than in any other season. Summer fiction should be quick and shine like silver. My two new light faves from the past few weeks are A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh and The Group by Mary McCarthy and I am hereby recommending them both to fans of Gothic Comedy. Obviously the former title is taken from a line in The Waste Land and there are humorous illusions to the masterwork of references set like cabochons in the droll text. You may want to compare the American and British endings as one is much more diabolical than the other. The second little hero of a paperback is the first book I have read in ages that I actually wanted to live inside. The Vassar girls in those pages are drawn so skilfully and with such arch tenderness that you want to reach in and grab them for a slumber party where you’ll gab all night about the future of birth control and higher education. What would Kay have to say about Legally Blond: The Musical, I wonder?

I know you’re busy with work and home improvement projects and training your new puppy and recovering from family vacation but I exhort you to take time out for a great book this summer, a 10 cent edition from the library rummage sale, that you bring to the beach and bury in sand and slather in sunblock and dog-ear the pages you want to remember. Reading is cool in the hottest of seasons. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. My summer find in the 5 peso shelf is “In the Skin of a Lion” by Michael Ondaatje. Paragraphs and whole pages that I read over and over for the sheer beauty of the prose.

  2. I think your next read should be “The Dud Avocado” by Elaine Dundy.

  3. Grrr, my comment didn’t post….here goes again, my quirky, strange, and awesome summer reading list.

    Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
    Tabloid Dreams by Robert Olen Butler
    A good Scent from a strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
    Dirt Music by Tim Winton (or anything!)
    The Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami (or anything!)
    Elephant to Water by Sarah Gruen

    I just picked up The Group, which was my mother’s favorite book with the idea that I’d learn something about her even though she’s been gone (eek! 38 years). I look forward to it.

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