Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Reading 2009

If there were such a thing as summer reading, and maybe there is--in moments stolen from the reading and writing for projects there isn't time to accomplish the rest of the year--these would be on my 2009 list:

Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited by Molly Haskell (Yale) is one of those guilty pleasures appropriate to summer: a book about a frivolous but fascinating subject by a terrific writer with great insight into film. Especially since Haskell began her career writing about women in movies, this is a great choice of subject. My favorite film critic--Mick LaSalle of the SF Chronicle--loved this book, so I am sure I will, too.

The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr. Beddoes and His Sons of Genius by Mike Jay (Yale.) A dip into the first few chapters reveals an absorbing story of late eighteenth and early 19th century science and society, centered on a fascinating character, Thomas Beddoes. This is intellectual adventure, of a kind with another new book, The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes.

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel (Yale) is a book I'm already reading with great attention and pleasure. And of course I'm reading it in my library at night.

Another book I've started reading that doubtless will be a centerpiece of my summer is Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. I read his Red Mars on my recent multi-hour airplane trips, and I'm sure the last in the trilogy, Blue Mars, is also in my future. If I wasn't already convinced that Robinson is among our best fiction writers of any kind, I would find the first chapters of Green Mars the clinching and convincing evidence.

1 comment:

Diana Raabe said...

If you've read Carlos Ruiz Zafon's phenomenally successful (and fantastic) The Shadow of the Wind, you'll want to read his new novel, The Angel's Game, this summer. But set aside the whole day because you won't want to put it down!