SCENE | Summer Reading


Photo of French actress Barbara Laage in her Paris apartment by Nina Leen, 1946.

The great poet and author Maya Angelou passed away on Wednesday, a big loss for the world. I've never tackled any of her lengthy titles and am planning to start with I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings on Friday while on a plane. Earlier this month New York Times columnist David Brooks opined on his eight favorite books (Really Good Books Part I and Part II). His list is unsurprisingly intellectually rigorous, which doesn't necessarily lend itself to a breezy summer read, but it's an interesting list nonetheless. From his recommendations I added A Collection of Essays by George Orwell to my summer list. I'd love to know: What are some of your all-time favorite reads and what's on your list for this summer?

19 comments:

Georgia Christakis said...

All time favorite books are Lord of the Rings. Hands down :)

My last summer reading was North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell. Currently on Game of Thrones because I'm sick of getting spoilers!

Excited to see what everyone else is reading

Melissa Martin said...

I always go back to James Harriot's collection of short stories for my sandy beach read. Still have Leningrad of my night stand after a couple of renews. :)

Rebecca said...

I think summer reading is all about escapism. Last summer, I read The Count of Monte Christo for the first time, and could not put it down. Passion, adventure, other-worldliness, it's all there. The unabridged version would be great for a lazy beach vacation. It's long, but every word is worthwhile. xx-Rebecca

AL said...

For a GREAT fantasy read, pick up The Name of the Wind (Patrick Rothfuss) over GoT, hands down.

Sarah said...

An excellent one, and quite Tomboy Style appropriate, is Robyn Davidson's "Tracks."

Another eternal favourite is "The Easter Parade" by Richard Yates.

CWS said...

All time favorite read: Out of Africa
On the list for summer: Love in the Time of Cholera
Highly recommended summer read: Rebecca

Barkeley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suju said...

Currently reading "My Life in Middlemarch" (appropriate since I finally read Middlemarch a couple of summers ago). Re-reading Jane Austen is always a great summer pastime and I plan to tackle volume two of Karl Ove Knausgaard's "My Struggle" once it's out in paperback in June.

Aja Lake said...

They rebroadcast a Maya Angelou interview on Diane Rehm today; it was so nice.

As for summer reading, I could read Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank a million times. It's a 1950s post-apocalyptic, survivalism novel set in my hometown--such a good, easy read. And Dr. John Ratey's Go Wild is on my list for this summer.

Hallie Sewell said...

Last summer I read all of J.D. Salinger's short stories (Definitely recommend, by the way), and The Stranger by Albert Camus (also a great read), as well as some non-fiction texts. This summer my list consists of finishing Catch-22 (which I recently started), as well as some Vonnegut, Hemingway, Wilde, and a ton of college pamphlets.

Lina said...

So happy to see some of my favorites here like The Count of Monte Christo, Out of Africa and everything by Salinger and Austen. If you haven't read them already, do!

My favorite book of all times, which I recommend to everyone whenever I get a chance, is 'Dix heures et demie du soir en été' by Marguerite Duras. I'm afraid I do not know the english title but translated it is something like: 'Ten thirty a summer evening'. Her other books such as 'The Lover' and notebooks are also very read-worthy.

My other summer read recomendation is 'The summer without men' by Siri Hustvedt.

Kim Nunley said...

I'm excited you're getting to read "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." Enjoy!

Layla said...

the flamethrowers by rachel kushner! about a young female land artist /motorcycle enthusiast finding her way in downtown NY art scene of the late 70s, it's my favorite thing that came out in the last year...

Ruth said...

I love George Orwell's writing! This summer, there are loads of biographies I want to read. I'm currently reading Frances Donaldson's book on P. G. Wodehouse. Then there's Jack London, Alan Turing, Oscar Wilde. If you can recommend any tomboy (auto)biographies, I'd love to read them.

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Favorites:
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
To Kill a Mockingbird (obviously)
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
A Lesson Before Dying by Earnest Gaines

Summer Read: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

John Scherber said...

Most of my readers are women, and they like a good mystery too! Murder in Mexico is my series of twelve mysteries set in and around the upscale expat colony of San Miguel de Allende. Artist Paul Zacher is drawn into crime investigation because ‘he might see things differently.’ Maybe it’s time for the rich humanity of Mexico to show through all the narco headlines! Ready for the real Mexico, beyond the phony news reports? Take a look at this suspenseful and often funny series, available in Print, Kindle, Nook, & Kobo. Start with ‘Twenty Centavos’ by trying a sample on my website.

http://www.sanmiguelallendebooks.com/titles.html

mbick said...

My favorite book is Reynolds Price's The Source of Light which is the middle book of his trilogy, A Great Circle. The book includes one of my favorite quotes, "You'll only regret your economies."

Squab said...

The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway
Anything by P.G. Wodehouse
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky

Anonymous said...

Gigi and Claudine a l'ecole (Colette), Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenter & Seymour, Le Grand Meaulnes (Alain Fournier)The Perfume Guide A-Z (Lucas Turin and Tina Sanchez)