I thought I'd take a break from photobombing and use my words for a change, ha. Here's the thing: I’m a merciless keeper of lists. That’s it. Maybe I've mentioned it before. But I refuse to be pigeonholed by something like a “summer reading list”. Refuse. Why? Because the minute I finish one book, inevitably I’m grabbing for a recent recommendation from a friend or something that’s been gathering dust on my shelf that suddenly strikes my fancy. Argue that lists can be altered, sure, but making a list I most definitely will deviate from just doesn’t interest me. It feels like required reading for highschool (and who wants that? Exactly. No one). So rather than create a superfluous list of books I hope to read this summer (even though it’s more than halfway over, whatever) here are a few titles that’ve piqued my interest and I’ve either completed or am working my way through, in no particular order:
-Mere Christianity by CS Lewis completely changing my perspective on faith, and what the basics of Christianity are really about. My copy is ravaged by underlines, highlights, and margin scribbles. Something I definitely need to re-read to truly wrap my mind around. So brilliant.
-My annual re-read of Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit (a timeless favorite- again, brilliant)
-Re-read The Perks of Being a Wallflower to refresh my memory for the movie in September. I’m interested to see what director Stephen Chbosky has in mind, considering he wrote the damn book in the first place. That gives me some hope that this incredibly intimate/blunt/uncomfortable/awesome story will somehow be translated from page to screen with the meat of it intact. With my whole heart I hope for that. Maybe I sound ridiculous, rambling like I am, but this was such a mindf* when I read it in junior high. I know his vision for the novel and now the film is different from what readers may have in mind, but I’m really hoping for the best here. I mean, Emma Watson+Ezra Miller= already a step in the right direction. So there’s that.
-The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown: Like Mere Christianity, this book blew my mind and is destroyed by my handwritten notes to self. Definitely requires a re-read to truly soak it in. I tried to savor it as I went through but chapter after chapter was a slap in the face to some of my deepest insecurities. In a good way, of course.
-The Lab Magazine (because it’s basically a book, and I’m about halfway through it)
-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller – I almost put this one down about 52pages in, and text my friend something about how much I hated it and how very Kurt Vonnegut it was. His response was that he hated it initially too, but at some point got really obsessed and couldn’t put it down. And that PS, KV and Heller were BFFs or something. And now I’m almost done with it and completely understand what he meant by ‘obsessed’. Yossarian lives, guys.
-Analyzing Howl by the incredible Mr. Ginsberg for the billionth time. Found a giant copy with original drafts of the poem and edits and commentary and photos at Half Price Books the other day and practically passed out in the poetry aisle. I mean.
-This doesn’t count as reading but it totally does: re-listening to every single David Sedaris audiobook, ever. Especially Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and When You Are Engulfed In Flames. His voice is perfect, his stories beyond hilarious and soul-searching.
-What’s next? Who even knows. I also picked up a giant volume of Ginsberg’s other work while I was at Half Price sooo I’m sure I’ll be pouring through that pretty soon. Also, I miss me some McCarthy and Bukowski, so we'll see what happens there.
That’s not a super impressive list, but you know. I’m doing what I can. I miss those days when I had all the time in the world to devour good literature. Or a few Nancy Drew mysteries a day when I was eight. She was the coolest. Whatever.
What’ve you been reading this summer? Have any recs for me?