08 August 2011

Summer Reading - so oppressive an idea!

Every time I open a magazine or newspaper in the summer it is chock full of so-called 'summer reading' ideas. What is with people? I read all the time. All the time. Even when I'm driving - don't worry, when I'm driving I read by listening to audio books. It isn't exactly the same but it is reading.
I don't read lighter or heavier books in the summer or any other season. I'm sort of like a cow when it comes to reading - I just mow down the books in front of my soft squishy cow nose. Sometimes a farmer comes out and gives me a book to read, sometimes I take my cow library card into the wonderfully full field of books at the library, sometimes I buy old hay, I mean books. OK - enough with this analogy - it wasn't that good to begin with.
The other day I bought a NEW book. One that hasn't even been out that long. It is Ann Patchett's new book World of Wonder. And it is. I mowed through that book at a ferocious pace because it was completely thrilling to me. Have you read her novel, Bel Canto? No? Well go get it and read it NOW. Then read this new one. Oh my but she is a swell writer.
I finished it the other morning - Sunday. I read my allotted bit (until my morning coffee was half-drunk) then I meditated and then I got back into bed and finished it! Sometimes when I read a fabulous book, I get a feeling of deep despair - in my writerly heart. But I didn't when I finished World of Wonder. I cried for awhile because it was so good and I was so sad to finish it but then I had a feeling of goodness. Like if I wanted to be an architect and I went and saw a building that Douglas Cardinal designed. Cardinal is a well-known Canadian architect, born of M├ętis and Blackfoot heritage. When you see his beautiful buildings, you just feel good. And it was like that. It is in the realm of possibility for me to write a book that someone will cry when they put it down after finishing it. 


Ron is reading Rebecca West's great work, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941), a 1,181-page classic of travel literature, giving an account of Balkan history and ethnography, and the significance of Nazism, structured about her trip to Yugoslavia in 1937. I adored this book - it took me over two years to read it. And I'm a speed reader. Why? It is so dense and rich that you simply can't mow through it. Or I couldn't. Ron keeps reading me bits of it, which is the number one reason to have a partner, in my opinion. 
My point is that no one would consider this book 'light summer reading'. Nor would World of Wonder be considered 'light' by anyone I'm friends with. But they are good any time of the year.


After seeing the latest Harry Potter I have a slight desire to read all of them again. But it might pass. There is so much to read...so little time.


What do you read in the summer?



6 comments:

GigglesandGuns said...

Summer or any other time, whatever grabs me is what I read. I do notice I don't read much non-fiction in the warmer months.

Sylvia Ney said...

New follower here. I read anything I can get my hands on, with a few exceptions. http://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Chary Johnson said...

Right now, I am reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller because my co-teacher is making me.

However, for fun, I am going to read Cirque de Freak #3 and The Coffee House Mystery #1: On What Grounds. After these, I don't know.

I also listen to audio books in my car. That is how I "read" Rainbow Six and The Lovely Bones.

ViolaNut said...

I read EVERYTHING! All the time! Yay books! *coughs* Erm, sorry, bit overexcited there. I'm currently reading the second in the Books of Elsewhere series, Isaac Stern's autobiography, and Speak (since I somehow missed that one). Ask me again tomorrow. ;-)

Jan Morrison said...

All you women are my pals! Just say yes to indiscriminate reading! Do you have any idea how hard it is to spell indiscriminate? GAWWWWD.

Arlee Bird said...

I don't read enough--well other than blogs and the like. I don't need any reading ideas. I probably have enough books in my house to last a couple of decades. I have bought and acquired more than I read.


Lee
Tossing It Out