Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summer Reading

Are you doing it? I thought I'd be doing a LOT more reading once I finished my MFA, but I've found myself kind of piddling along. It is, as you might imagine, HOT AS HELL here in southern New Mexico, so I spent most of my time lying in a dark room to maximize comfort and minimize sweat. I should be reading more, but instead I look at the Internet more.

Here is what I've read since the beginning of June, with brainless vacation reads included (I was on straight-up vacation in Italy for two weeks, and finished all the reading material I brought with me, so had to resort to Nora Roberts borrowed from an old lady on the tour bus):

Find The Girl by Lightsey Darst: Recommended to me by Richard Greenfield. I liked it a lot, even if I did find the poems themselves a bit repetitive.

Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy: if you're interested in birth or ever plan to be involved in having a baby, this is fascinating (and well-written).

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: I liked this a lot more than I expected to, and much more than my mom (who I borrowed it from) did.

One Day by David Nicholls: a cute beach read and now I want to see the movie even though I CANNOT STAND Anne Hathaway and want to die when imagining her British accent.

Hot Rocks by Nora Roberts: I read this in about 3 hours, while stuck on a tour bus in a traffic jam in Sicily for 6 hours. The sex scenes were funny.

The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella: pure unadulterated sugar in book form. A WWII love story with pages of lush description of Italian food. Fun to read. I would see this SO FAST if it were a movie.

The Daughter of Siena by Marina Fiorato: a soap opera set in 1700s Siena. Not very well-written or very interesting, but fine to read if you need something to read (I did).

Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau: I read her first novel and I preferred that to this, which had some funny parts but was basically just another dysfunctional family novel.

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver: not my favorite Kingsolver, but a powerful book (I liked the first 100 or so pages quite a bit more than the rest of it).

Serpent In Paradise by Dea Birkett: I just finished this yesterday. I'm working on a series of poems about  one of the weirdest places ever, Pitcairn Island, and this is one of the only books written about Pitcairn in modern times. It's weird. I liked it, I think, but I didn't get as much fodder for poems as I had hoped.

Read anything lately? Tell me about it. It doesn't have to be legit, literary, or even good. I should be reading more poetry so I can get in the mood to write more poetry but honestly, in this heat, I just want to read something that makes my brain happy (poetry or not). Let me know in the comments.


  1. Oh I'm glad you liked The Lacuna. I've had it for a while and I haven't read it yet (which is true for, like, every other book I've acquired recently). I feel you on the internetting--all I've read this summer is A Game of Thrones after seeing the show, and now I'm on the second book in the series. It's fantasy without being all "look at how cool all these Elves and shit are!" like most of that (sadly) poorly-written genre.

  2. I liked Olive Kitteredge more than I thought I would also.

    Recently I have been working on House of Leaves. It's taking me forever (because it's long, and the text is really crowded on the page) but I like it most of the time. I read Pacazo recently, which I wrote about here, and some comics for the first time in a long time. I am looking forward to more novels! Such as the newest one by David Mitchell, which Tracy just read.

  3. Yeah, the David Mitchell book (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) was a great read. A little loose at the end, and so not as great as Cloud Atlas for me, but really absorbing and entertaining.