Books of Summer 2011

I hope you all had a festive Memorial Day weekend! Now that summer has begun, I thought I would share with you my reading list for the next three months or so. Summer in Houston tends to last 5 or 6 months, depending on your luck. I feel like I had a head start on my beach reading but fear not—I still have plenty to get me through vacations.

Without further ado, here are the 5 books I can’t wait to read this summer (not including Proust and books for the class I will teach in the fall):
Heir to the Glimmering World, Cynthia Ozick (2004)
I found this book at a library sale and was instantly drawn in by the cover and title. I have no idea what it’s about, but the language is gorgeous.
On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
Winner of the Orange Prize for fiction in 2006. I missed this the first time it came around. One of my “smart books” for the summer.
Not Art, Peter Esterhazy (2010)
I have no idea what this book is about, but it sounds cool and has an interesting cover. And really, do you need any other excuse to read a book?
Suite Francaise, Irene Nemirovsky (2004/6 ish)
I love books with a rich publishing history. When I was in Paris this winter, I picked up The Paris Magazine (published by Shakespeare and Co) and read Nemirovsky’s short story “The Virgins” (it was brilliant). Nemirovsky was a French writer who was killed in Auschwitz when she was 39. She had planned a series of five novels; the first two are published together as Suite Francasise. It seemed like everyone was reading this when it was first published; I’m excited to finally be catching up.
The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories (1987)
No summer is complete without vampires. Some stories I can’t wait to read from this collection: Lord Byron’s Fragment of a Novel (1816, written during the summer spent in Italy with the Shelley’s. You may remember the other famous tale invented by Mary that night?); Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Good Lady Ducayne, and Algernon Blackwood’s The Transfer.
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3 thoughts on “Books of Summer 2011

  1. Girl Friday says:

    I've been meaning to read Suite Francaise for AGES, but I keep getting sidetracked by kidlit. Do let us know what you thought of it when you're done!

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