Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Reading

My church book club is not meeting this summer, but I have been reading a lot due to good luck at the Plainfield Public Library.

Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite writers, and I was very happy to see "Pygmy," his latest, on the New Book shelves in June. I picked up "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham after reading a favorable review. "My Father's Tears" by John Updike was necessary reading and the author's deftness with descriptions of aging matched his ineffable way of writing about youthful and midlife passions.

A book club choice about the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, "Loving Frank" by Nancy Horan, led me to read T.C. Boyle's "The Women: A Novel" and that led to reading both "After the Plague," short stories by Boyle, and "Death in A Prairie House: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Taliesin Murders" by William R. Drennan.

Author Thrity Umrigar's "The Space between Us" had been a well-liked book club choice, so I was glad to see her novel "The Weight of Heaven" at the library.

Other good finds at the library this summer were "The Story Sisters" by Alice Hoffman and "Tea Time for the Traditionally Built" by Alexander McCall Smith.

I was eager to read the updated version of "The Soprano State: New Jersey's Culture of Corruption" by Bob Ingle and Sandy McClure, so I got that one from Amazon.

Something I heard or read about Louis-Ferdinand Celine made me wish to re-read "Journey to the End of the Night" and "Death on the Installment Plan" after many decades. Neither was available in the library, but Amazon had them both in paperback.

Last but not least, I got in the habit of listening to audio books on tape while walking or gardening and the tales spun by Walter Mosley have been very entertaining. The audio book section at PPL is worth looking into if you have a portable cassette or CD player and you are feeling too lazy or relaxed to turn pages.

Happy summer reading, whether at home or on vacation! Or at home on staycation!



Blogger Bill Hetfield said...

Impressive reading list! Not surprised considering your excellent communication skills. You have become the conscience of Plainfield. We are most appreciative. I enjoyed Loving Frank;the ending came out of no where. I wonder if our politicians are readers? Have a great summer.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Celine? All right!! I still have my New Directions editions (also Kenneth Patchen's The Journal of Albion Moonlight, and a bunch of Henry Miller stuff--from my misspent, albeit well-read youth!)

I highly recommend the following:

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones

Comfort Woman, by Nora Okja Keller

Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson, by David S. Reynolds (he is my dissertation director, fyi)

The Most Famous Man in America: the Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, by Debby Applegate

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (my favorite part is where Walton hosts a "beer summit" for the Creature and Victor!)

Good reading,

1:28 PM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

Great minds think...I'm just reading your post and was quite tickled to see we both posted about my case "A" Book. I have to read my daughter's summer reading -- "how else can I discuss it with her" lessen I read it meself. Anywho -- will certainly look into some of your recommendations!

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernice--please indulge me--just two more:

"A Childhood: An Autobiography of a Place," by Harry Crews (also his "A Feast of Snakes")

"Ham on Rye," by Charles Bukowski

These are incredible. don't know of their availability at PPL, but the books I listed in my first comment at 1:28 are all available at Plainfield Library.


11:11 PM  
Blogger Tina Marie said...

The Library also has downloadable audiobooks available FREE from the service and LMxAC. You can download them to your computer, burn to CD, or transfer to an MP3 player or iPod.

6:04 PM  

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