Monday, June 27, 2005

Summer Listening & Reading List

About two years ago, I started asking people for book and music recommendations. I have asked several friends to recommend one book that they think I should read - either because they particularly enjoyed it, or because they think I would enjoy it, or because there is information in it that would be useful to know. I don't read as often as I would like, but I have used these recommendations and am glad. Not only do I enjoy reading books I may otherwise have avoided, but I think it reveals a hidden corner of the person who recommended it.

So, internet world, what would you recommend? I would like to ask you for a book to read, a CD to listen to, or both. There are many of you out there that read this blog who have never quite introduced themselves, and I hope you either leave a comment or shoot an email. I'd really like to hear from you!

And far be it for me to take without giving. Here are a few of my own recommendations for summer reading:

"Love in the Time of Cholera" - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (100 Years of Solitude is my favorite, but if you've never read Marquez before, I think it's hard to start with that one)
"Naked" and "Me Talk Pretty One Day" - David Sedaris
"Prodigal Summer" - Barbara Kingsolver
For the ladies, anything and everything by Jennifer Weiner
For the legal eagles, "The Brethren" by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong is a must-read.


Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

"Prodigal Summer" is such a good book! And you're right, it's perfect summer reading.

CM said...

I just read "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini -- it's a great book and worth a read.
The last book I read and LOVED was "The Time-Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.

Gideon said...

Well, hello :)
My name is Gideon and I am an alcoholic...

Seriously, though - I love 100 years and I did start Marquez with that.

Unfortunately, I can never recommend just one book, so here are my book recommendations:

1. Why I am Not a Christian - Bertrand Russell
2. The Zoo Story - Edward Albee
3. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
4. Notes from Underground - Dostoevsky
5. Anything by Camus
6. Anything by Sartre (especially Age of Reason)
7. Anything by Beckett
8. Anything else by Albee
9. The Prophet - Kahlil Gibran
10. Demian - Herman Hesse

Lots more where that came from! I hope you enjoy a summer of (non-bar) reading!

WomanoftheLaw said...

I too started with 100 Years of Solitude, and about 1/3 of the way through, I put the book down in disgust, thinking "What the hell is his point? And just get to it already!" I picked the book up again several months later and absolutely loved it. Marquez's writing and purpose for writing is like no one else's - it took me a while.

I read "The Stranger" by Camus and didn't like it. It was recommended to me by a friend when I asked for a book recommendation. I'm glad I read it, but books that leave me cold and feeling devoid of all emotion are just not my thing. Life is depressing enough, studying for the bar and all.

Gideon said...

Yeah, "The Stranger" is recommended far more than his other works, but I concurr with your assessment. I don't like "The Stranger" that much. I'd rather read "The Fall", which is a longer book, but far better.

If you don't like cold, depressing books, then I'd strike Dostoevsky off the list. But only if you must... Actually, most Russian authors would fit that profile. I forgot to mention Kafka, or even Graham Greene. Greene's "The Tenth Man" is absolutely brilliant. Or for some lighter fare, Roald Dahl's short stories.

Sheila in Florida said...

"Anna Karenina" - the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Yeah - you had to read it in high school - but now you're a grown up and it's beautiful and sad. And summer reading must include a love story for Pete's sake.
And does anyone know who Pete is?