Summer Reading Continues…

Full Throttle!  Bam!  This is what is going on!  Summer reading is pretty much the cream of chicken to my Hawaiian haystack.  And so I give you the list I’ve read, am currently reading, and plan to read very, very soon.  All this in the past three weeks.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin: How I got through high school, college, and graduate school without having to read this I will never know!  It’s sort of a classic.  It’s sort of as classic as, say, Huck Finn or “The Yellow Wallpaper.”  Actually it’s more like “The Yellow Wallpaper.”  Actually, it’s really, really similar to “The Yellow Wallpaper.”  BUT, it’s still a deeply, passionately felt piece of lit that really got to me.  Hit a chord, made me think, etc. etc.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson: Probably not the best idea to follow-up something like “The Awakening” with a book whose original Swedish title translates to “Men Who Hate Women.”  Just saying.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood: Again, probably not the best idea to follow-up The Awakening and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with a book about how humanity pretty much destroys itself.  Luckily, this one had a much more hopeful tone to it, in my opinion, than Oryx and Crake (its companion novel), though I think I liked O&C better overall.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: So, reviewing the existential angst above, it was probably a good thing this book showed up on the library hold shelf next–seeing as it’s much more light-hearted, adorable, hilarious, and friendshippy.  I really liked it!  I read it in 3 hours!  It was really uplifting (minus all those parts about concentration camps…).

The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays by Oscar Wilde: Well, seeing as there were Oscar Wilde references in  The GLaPPS, as I like to call it now because that title is insanely long and the editor should have known better, well, I had to delve into that beloved foppish aesthete.  And I did. “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” “Salome,” “An Ideal Husband,” “A Woman of No Consequence” and, of course, “The Importance of Being Ernest.”  Love!   But, then again, un-love to how many jokes Wilde recycled!  It was insane and annoying.  If I see his “What are Dry Goods?”/”American novels” line again I’ll throw the book across the room.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: Well, I had to read the man’s only novel after all!  Also, am I the only one who gets The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man confused?  Also, was I surely miffed that the “dry goods” joke came up again?  Yes.  Yes I was.  It’s a great joke, Wilde my man, but did you think I wouldn’t notice?

Marriage: A History by Stephanie Coontz: Dear Dr. Coontz–Can I please please be your adoring fan/protegé?!  This book is the freaktastic amazing!  I’d heard so much about this social/cultural history when it first came out in grad school, but I had not followed up and I rue. the. day.  I love this book like a husband loves a wife, but only in the post-enlightenment way that has been idealized and revolutionized until the movement culminated in the 1950s but then sowed its own seeds of destruction and now we live like the nomads but that is great! Read it.

On the coffee table

Cheap:  The High Price of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell: That woman has a lot of l’s in her name…and a lot of interesting things to say if that NPR interview is onto anything!

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr: Also fascinating.  Also, I think I’m going to be on board with it.  Also, yes I realize I’m telling you this all over the internet.

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann: For my coming-up Book Club dedicated to all things fascinating and non-fiction.  I’ve wanted to read this for QUITE a while.  Ever since I learned about those crazy self-watering floating farms that the Aztecs had?   You know about those?  Why don’t I have a floating garden that waters itself?!  Because I didn’t live in 1491.  That’s why.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Summer Reading Continues…

  1. Am requesting the marriage book and the Cheap book from the library…now. Thank you, my scholarly friend!

  2. Amy Beth

    1491 is amazing! I read it in grad school after the recommendation of a classmate. The untamed American wilderness wasn’t really wilderness, illness killed many of the natives before the settlers even set foot or the invaders would have had a much more uphill battle, the numbers of natives was much higher than we were taught–and many other ideas it debunks.

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words about my book, Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage. Hearing something like that absolutely makes an author’s day! I just turned a new one in to the printers, on women in the 1960s, and Basic books will publish it in January. Hearing women’s stories from back then makes you realize that a show like Mad Men really nails the problems women confronted in that era.

  4. Pinto

    Well, bust it all, thanks for commenting Dr. Coontz!

    I have to say that, having spent some time as an American Studies PhD student, I’ve been taking some time to seriously consider applying to work with you in some graduate studies in the future. Maybe we will meet up sometime!

    I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your next book! Gender studies is one of my passions.

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