New Reading For August

BooksMy brain still sees August as the last chance I’ll have to do some personal reading—reading for enjoyment—before school starts up again and I file my personal life away in the closet to live and breath text books and required reading. Of course, being retired now I no longer need to rush my summer reading but it’s hard to break old habits.

The days are still too hot to spend a great deal of time out on the lanai, but I keep trying, hoping for a little breeze and maybe some threatening cloud cover. The other day I actually found it difficult to concentrate on my text because of the bright, horizontal bolts of lightning that flashed across the sky followed by frightening cracks and booms. These are the times I’m usually curled up on the couch with a good book and two dogs huddled in close proximity.

So I tried to pique my interest this month by shuffling a few of the titles I keep meaning to read and replacing them with some new stuff that looks pretty good. I sure hope I get to finish reading a few of these: as usual, the target is twelve but eight is probably more realistic. I’m still reading Infinite Jest and the last volume of U.S.A. so I’m already lagging behind. But the list of books might pique your interest too: here it is:

1. The Toughest Indian In the World — Sherman Alexie
2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings— Maya Angelou *
3. The Green Man — Kingsley Amis *
4. Borstal Boy — Brendan Behan *
5. Such — Christine Brooke-Rose *
6. The Women — T. C Boyle *
7. The Riddle of the Sands — Erskine Childers
8. The Nigger of the Narcissus — Joseph Conrad *
9. Nervous Conditions — Tsitsi Dangarembga
10. The Big Money — John Dos Passos
11. A Bad Man — Stanley Elkin *
12. The Mansion — William Faulkner
13. Return To Manure — Raymond Federman
14. Independence Day — Richard Ford *
15. The Cuckoo’s Calling — Robert Galbraith *
16. Letter To a Christian Nation — Sam Harris *
17. Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book — Maxine Hong Kingston
18. The Case of the Midwife Toad — Arthur Koestler *
19. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy — John Le Carré *
20. The Interrogation — J. M. G. Le Clézio *
21. Tomorrow In the Battle Think On Me — Javier Marías *
22. Praise the Dead — Gina Ranalli *
23. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge — Rainer Maria Rilke
24. Martereau — Nathalie Sarraute
25. A Grain of Wheat — Ngugi wa Thiong’o *
26. Royal Family — William T. Vollmann
27. Armageddon In Retrospect — Kurt Vonnegut
28. Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace
29. Salamander — Thomas Wharton *
30. The Garlic Ballads — Mo Yan *

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