Saturday, May 28, 2005

Summer Book Reading

The other day Grand Moff Trojan was asking me if I had any suggestions for summer books. Because the summer season is upon us— according to my calendration, summer starts either June 1 or Memorial Day weekend. And some of us work a schedule that keeps us too busy to read much during "the year"— for me, that means roughly from Labor Day till some time into May.

I happen to live in a big old house on a gravel road way out into the countryside, and my books fill two entire rooms in my house, plus the upstairs hallway, plus several other bookcases scattered about. Here, off my bookshelves, are just some of the books that I have read and enjoyed, or would like to read again, or may actually (re)read this summer, or think you might enjoy:

Books to expand your mind:
Jacques Barzun, The House of Intellect
Daniel Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America
Eric Hoffer, The True Believer
John Carroll, Humanism: The Wreck of Western Culture

Books to expand your consciousness:
Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Richard Brautigan, In Watermelon Sugar
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theory of Colours

Autobiographies:
Linus Torvalds, as told to David Diamond: Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary
George Santayana, Persons and Places; The Middle Span; My Host the World

Science fiction:
Robert Heinlein, Citizen of the Galaxy
James Blish, Jack of Eagles (an earlier, shorter version was entitled Let the Finder Beware ;-)
Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle
John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar

Lumber rooms of the mind:
Dylan Thomas, The Poems of Dylan Thomas
Jack Kerouac, Book of Dreams

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3 Comments:

Anonymous urthshu said...

Another for the SF category: Gene Wolfe's tetralogy. the Book of the New Sun, of which Shadow & Claw comprise the first two.

Saturday, May 28, 2005 9:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

If you've not read it, I bet "The Crying Of Lot 49" by Thomas Pinchon would work for you.

As a Southern Lit kinda-girl, I noticed a distinct lack of Southern Lit. Either intentional (as in ... "Ewww, humidity") or unintentional (as in ... "Southern lit? No, really, are you serious?")

I like "To Kill A Mockingbird" because it reminds me of such a different, and yet true, reality. Life before air-conditioning and Ipods.

I'd recommend anything by Jesse Stuart (all the fiction is out of print) because it reminds me of the stuff you write sometimes. Short stories of people, overheard and observed.

I don't know about the town you live in, but this is the first time in my life I've lived in a town without a "real" bookstore. Its driving me mad! Mad, I tell you! Bwahahahaha.

Interesting trivia: My husband was the first guy I ever dated that scrimped on everything as a broke college student, but managed to buy real bookcases. We met when we both worked in the same large bookstore which gave us a discount on books. We both had a tendancy to spend large parts of our paychecks there :)

Sunday, May 29, 2005 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...

Urthshu, thanks for the recommendation. I should look into some more recent SF— for whatever reason, most of the SF I've read (and I've got two whole bookcases full of it) was written in the period from about 1945 to 1975.

Lucy, what was I thinking of? Speaking of Southern writers, I forgot to include one of my favorite novelists, Walker Percy! See also my reflections on Percy and his novel Love in the Ruins, here.

The nearest "real" bookstore around here is the Barnes & Noble up in La Crosse. Living far out into the countryside, I often find it easier, and almost as quick, to order books over the Internet. I've ordered a lot from Amazon, though recently I've been experimenting with ordering from Powell's Books— have heard that lately Amazon is back to experimenting with dynamic pricing.

Monday, May 30, 2005 8:39:00 AM  

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