June was a terrible month for reading around my house. First, I did become much too involved in television series on Netflix (especially the UK version of Shameless) and then I spent a week out of town visiting my little grand-daughter (she’s on the verge of taking those first few unassisted steps) and also spending some time with my daughter and her hard-working husband.
One thing productive we did while I was visiting was to sign-up for a new cell phone family plan that included me which (of course) instantly dragged the old man into the digital age with a new Smartphone. Up until this last weekend I was perfectly happy with my bullet-proof flip phone (especially since I tended to clock only four or five minutes a month) but my daughter started complaining that she couldn’t send me texts and as far a photos of the baby … forgiddaboutit. But when I discovered all the great things I could do with a Smartphone even if I didn’t need to make phone calls I began to see the future and it looked a lot like an iPhone.
Now when I roam away from home, I will not only have a cell phone but also a link to my databases, a large number of digital books for my reading pleasure and cerebral enhancement, but also a camera, a video camera, and even a way to pay for that Americano down at Starbucks.
So July is the first month I will have yet another device to read on, even if the iPhone 6 Plus is a little tighter than my iPad.
When I was making up the July Reading Pool I probably should have just made a few changes to the June list which didn’t get as much attention as I had first intended; but in accordance with my new plan to turn over the books on the list a bit faster, I have made a number of additions and subtractions that should go a long way to making the list somewhat more interesting than seeing the same titles month after month without ever being read.
So here is the July reading list:
- Chromos — Felipe Alfau
- Mansfield Park — Jane Austen *
- Humboldt’s Gift — Saul Bellow *
- Group Portrait with Lady — Heinrich Böll *
- The Place of Dead Roads — William S. Burroughs
- North — Louis-Ferdinand Céline *
- The Big Money — John Dos Passos
- Middle C — William H. Gass *
- The Odd Woman — George Gissing *
- Gasa-Gasa Girl — Naomi Hirahara *
- The Old Capital —Yasunari Kawabata
- The Ambassadors — Henry James *
- Jackie Brown — Elmore Leonard *
- Women and Men — Joseph McElroy
- Runaway Horses — Yukio Mishima *
- The Black Prince — Iris Murdoch *
- Laughter in the Dark — Vladimir Nabokov *
- The Bathing Women — Tie Ning *
- Punkzilla — Adam Rapp *
- City of Night — John Rechy *
- Whose Body — Dorothy L. Sayers *
- Momento Mori — Muriel Spark
- Hotel Europa — Dumitru Tsepeneag
- Infinite Jest — David Foster Wallace *
- Fear — Stephan Zweig *
And the in-progress titles:
- Lucky Jim — Kingsley Amis
- Mona Lisa Overdrive — William Gibson *
- Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque — Joyce Carol Oates