Summer 2016 Reading List
It’s Friday, the start of a Get-Away Weekend for many of us here in the United States.
We’re getting away from the winter, getting away from the work week and getting on into a long holiday weekend.
Since it’s Memorial Day on Monday, many of us have three days off. This weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, is the unofficial start of summer. If you’re renting a shore house in New Jersey, this is usually the first weekend you can get in.
Personally, my whole mindset changes over Memorial Day Weekend. Feels like I made it through another long winter and I have about three months of a little more relaxed life. Yes, all the job and family pressures will still be there, that doesn’t really change.
But the mornings and evenings are softer, the days are longer, the air is sweeter. And the light can be beautiful.
This is also the weekend I “officially” start in on my Summer Reading List. Here is what is on the To Be Read pile:
- A whole bunch of Jim Harrison. A couple of summers ago, I did the Summer of (James M.) Cain and the Summer of (Mikey) Spillane. The fantastic Jim Harrison (He wrote Legends of The Fall, made into a beautiful movie with Brad Pitt) recently passed away, so this will be a Summer of Harrison for me. Right after he passed, I read his novella Revenge, and I decided I need to read more of him this summer.Revenge first appeared in Esquire magazine in 1979 and has been made into a movie with Kevin Costner. The novella is rich; I haven’t seen the movie. I read Legends of The Fall back when I was in San Francisco in 2003, and picked up a few other Harrison books at the time. I can’t remember if I ever read them, so I’m reading them again as part of this Summer of Harrison. I have The Beast God Forgot To Invent (another novella; three stories, each about 99 pages each) as well as his memoir, Off To The Side. I’m going to try to find more of his novella and short stories as well.
- Runaway Horses by Yukio Mishima. I really don’t know anything about this novel or this writer, so we’ll see.
- Hollywood Handbook by the owner of the Chateau Marmont. This one kinda sorta accidentally fell into my bag back in 2000 when I was staying at a hotel in West Hollywood and it in a trendy lounge bookcase. It’s trashy and falling apart and I just want to go through it again. There’s a William Faulkner short story, Golden Land, in there that you can read here. It’s a bucket-list goal of mine to stay at the Chateau at least once in my life.
- 1776 by David McCullough. Truth be told, I don’t know that I’ll actually read this cover to cover. This one hangs around my side table a lot. I like reading about the American Revolution, especially because of where I live in New Jersey. I LOVE the History Channel miniseries on the Revolution, narrated by the late Edward Herrmann. To read a detailed book of this size would be a challenge for me, but I’m going to go through parts of it, especially the New Jersey section.
- Six Great Modern Short Novels, including The Dead by James Joyce, Billy Budd by Herman Melville, Noon Wine by Katherine Porter, The Overcoat by Nikolay Gogol, The Pilgram Hawk by Glenway Wescott and The Bear by William Faulkner.
- Underworld by Dom DeLillo. I’ve never read DeLillo before so I thought I’d find his biggest damn book and read that.
- And, a late entry. I came across Point-And-Shoot recently, written by an old La Salle University friend, Duane Swierczynski. This is part of his Charlie Hardy series I read Hell-And-Gone a couple of years ago. I’ve written about Duane before and just found out, via his Facebook posts, that this born-and-bred Philadelphian is moving out to Los Angeles this summer. To me, this can only indicate that Hollywood has come knocking about his books or the graphic comics he writes. Either a TV series or a movie or both are in the works. I’m wishing him luck and I hope he finds success out there. And pierogies and kielbasa too. Keep an eye out for his name, even if you can’t say it.
And yes, that’s a Kindle in my hands. I have no qualms about e-books, though I prefer paper. I have a couple books on the Kindle to get to as well (in progress now: Court Merrigan’s Moondog Over Mekong, 0ne of the writers that had a story in Trouble In The Heartland ). Also in the Kindle queue, John Hall’s Sherlock Holmes and the Telephone Murder Mystery.
Finally, a book I recently finished (so it doesn’t really make the Summer Reading list) but that I can’t recommend enough is Fall Line by Joe Samuel Starnes.
Joe is a Southerner relocated to New Jersey. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few times, and photographed him once. Fall Line, his very first novel, is scary good. I once read Robert Penn Warren’s All The King’s Men, and the story and characters that Joe develops in Fall Line puts it up there with that novel. Joe’s book is that deep and rich. And that good. (Red Dirt is another great one from Joe, whether you’re a tennis fan or not.)
In addition to the books, I’ll keep up with my reading of the Financial Times newspaper (I ain’t no money/stock guy, but I enjoy the global perspective of this paper) as well as Esquire magazine (fantastic columns and writers) and my new fav, Smithsonian Magazine. Not to mention all the stuff for work. Do you ever sit back and marvel at how much STUFF we read everyday?
There you have it – my official Summer 2016 Reading List. I read slow, so I can’t say for sure I’ll get through all this. But it’s my goal.
So, what’s on your reading list this summer?
(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016
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