I saw a bunch of posts over at HTML Giant where bloggers named their summer reads. Summer is fast upon us, less than a month away if we are to believe calendars. Most people there named five books, and though I plan on reading more than five books this summer, it makes sense to only commit now to five, I suppose. Who knows what might strike my fancy as the hot months unfold. Here are five books I will definitely be reading this summer:
I read Crime &Punishment this winter and was surprisingly enthralled. I've always avoided the Russian giants for the most part, but I think I'm ready. I needed a longer classic to knock out this summer, and so this one it is. I will most likely crowd-source what the best translation is, and I may or may not read it on my Kindle. A friend of mine and past GS contrib, Olivia Kate Cerrone, will also be reading it, so I am eager to swap reflections on it with her.
I picked this up at AWP and have been holding it hostage ever since. I am really looking forward to it, so I am doing that thing where I feel like I need to "save" it because I know it's going to be good. I do this. Anyway, to avoid putting it off for any longer, it's definitely something I am reading this summer. In fact, it will most definitely be the very next book of poetry I pick up.
I had the pleasure to hear Roxane read at the Tirefire Reading series here in Philly earlier this month, and she killed it. I know her through twitter and PANK and from her always being very nice at AWP and even recognizing me in person by my twitter presence. (Alice Notley is a genius like that too, despite having many fans, always remembering something about people--). Anyway, she read from this, and it seemed like she was going to read more, and when she stopped, I wanted her to keep going. So I bought the book, which I most likely would have read anyway. I'd also like to get my hands on her book of essays, Bad Feminist, when it comes out in August!
I actually know very little about this book except that it's a novel-in-stories. The best novel-in-stories I've read thus far might be the only other novel-in-stories I've read thus far and that's Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I love to the point of minor insanity-- though my paperback of it is nowhere to be found, to my horror. This book comes recommended specifically for me by Kathleen Rooney, and I have therefore added it to my list of books to consume this summer.
Bluets by Maggie Nelson
I believe this book first came to my attention because GS Poetry Editor Sophie Klahr mentioned it for one reason or another-- either to recommend it to someone or just reference it generally. Perhaps I read about this book in a blog or facebook status of hers? I don't know. I associate the fact that my first memory of this Wave Poetry title comes through her. Anyway, it then has popped up in various other places in my life on the internet that intrigued me, so I used one of the giftcards I got for my birthday to purchase it recently. While I own scores of books that I've book for myself and have never read, something I like to do these days is read books when I buy them because they are new and fresh and obviously I want to read them because I've bought them. So I will read this book. It calls. When I was at Emerson, there was a class I really very much wanted to take all about the color blue. Everyone who took it said it was a great wonderful fantastic class. It never fit into my schedule or was always full by the time I tried to register for it. Reading this book won't make up for missing my chance to take that class, but I will feel better for having missed it by reading this title.