Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Reading List

This summer we're going on a six week road trip to New York (a week at Chautauqua with Julie's family to celebrate her folks' 50th wedding anniversary!), Wisconsin (Bob and Bobbie at the lake!), Iowa (Mark, Jennie and Gillie on a farm with a pond!), Indiana (beer and books with Gordon! and Neville!), Ohio (Erik and Claire and two scrumptious nephews, Asher and Noam!), Vermont (paradise with Dad and Anne!) and New Hampshire (paradise revisited with Suzanne et al, in which Meg and Micah go to camp for a week!).

Yes, we're counting the days.

I'm also compiling a summer reading list, and am open to suggestions. The general themes this summer are 1) short stories 2) Virginia Woolf 3) James Joyce 4) books on the craft of fiction writing.

Here's my list so far, a somewhat random collection of books I already own (it's a budget summer reading list, but if you have suggestions that are classics, I can download them to Trixie's Kindle... and when we're at Prairie Lights, I'll probably have to spend a little money, right? Because it's important to support independent bookstores and writers, right?).

Short Stories

[edited to add:] The Mother Garden by Robin Romm
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Welding with Children by Tim Gautreaux
The Best American Short Stories of 2009 edited by Alice Sebold
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Great Short Stories of the Masters edited by Charles Neider
The Paris Review Spring 2010
Tin House Volume 11, Number 3
The Iowa Review Volume 40, Number 1
Canteen Issue Five
New England Review Volume 30, Number 4
Antioch Review Spring 2010
New Yorker -- the past several months

Joyce and Woolf

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man (I'm half way through)
Homer's The Odyssey (any suggestions of a good translation for me and Trixie to read together?)
To The Lighthouse or Orlando (what do you think if I only have time for one this summer?)
The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Fiction Craft

The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner
Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway and Elizabeth Stuckey-French
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott


Patrick said...

Have you already read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg? It's such a classic that I hesitate to mention it, but I love it. She also wrote Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life which I just read last year. And you know how much I loves me some Bird by Bird, I'll be interested to see what you think. On short stories, have you read any Borges? They're exquisite, though not always emotionally involving. Labyrinths is the only collection I know well. Re: Odyssey, I still haven't read the Eagles translation, which seems to be the hot new(ish) one out there. I still love the FitzGerald. Not sure how much Trixie would love it though; it's in verse, and the language is gorgeous, would that satisfy her?
I think I need to compile a reading list now. This looks like fun.

Maleka said...

New collection of short stories that are fantastic: Mattaponi Queen by Belle Boggs.

Kate Haas said...

For writing, I like Carolyn See's Making a Literary Life: Advice for Writers. Once you get past her initial hand-holding about being tormented and giving ourselves permission to write (oy), it turns into a very sensible, entertaining, insightful read.

Also, Walter Moseley's This Year You Write Your Novel. Which is also chock full of sensible advice, more on the craft end of things and a good read even if you're not working on a novel.

Eric said...

*sigh* Thanks, Kate. Now I've got even *more* to read!! :)