Since, when you flip the calendar to September, there are pictures of school buses or apples (even if it's a calendar of South Park, horses, or the sketches of Escher), I'm going to end "summer" at Aug. 30, and post my list of summer-books-read.
June 1, True and False, David Mamet. There is a God and He is, somehow, sympathetic for my yen for Zen. First, a freak interest in improv -- spontaneity, the "one-ness" of making up a story/being the story for a few minutes, etc. Then, I stroll into St. Mark's bookstore (excellent!) and a yellow spine straight-away catches my eye. True and False. I pick it up. I read the back and ... a seamless weave into the theme of spontaneity, total-ness, etc! The exactly right book for me right then/now. And I don't care what you think of David Mamet.
June 3, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Davis Sederis. I just love David Sederis.
July 13, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, ZZ Packer. Her characters sometimes do unbelievable things like, the girl falls down with a bag of groceries right when it would be most-humiliating/kind of contrived for her to fall down. Still, you still "believe" it. The Story itself is powerful. Props to her Story.
July 20, Exit Ghost, Philip Roth. I haven't read anything else by Roth, to the dismay of several New Yorkers who saw me reading it on the subway/at work, but I'm banking that his earlier works are better? I got the book from the library and it was full of pencil ticks, probably where the previous reader had to get off the subway. Well, I think my own disjointed reading actually helped me appreciate the ... repetitiveness. Everytime I opened it back up, I got caught up. But who am I to judge?
July 23, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie. Pretty and diaphanous as a silken scarf.
August 2, The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton. College reading was always daunting because I read slowly. So, my impression of Edith Wharton was always -- the writer of things I couldn't read fast enough, and the author of one GREAT short story. (Roman Fever, my dear.) So, this collection of short stories? GREAT re-introduction to the excellent Ms. Wharton.
August 5, Fearless Fourteen, Janet Evanovich. I love this series.
August 11, Junky, William S. Burroughs. Um, the veins. If you're going to read a book/watch a movie about heroin, you can't be vein-shy. Which I am, but the language was so 50s hip, and the idea of an ... incorrigable lifestyle so interesting, I couldn't put it down.
August 27, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrelll, Susanna Clarke. Great! Great! Great! Her notions on Fairy, her "world building" (re-building?), and the humor. Oh my goodness. Laugh, laugh, laugh.