Tag Archives: Reading

Summer Reading List

It’s Summer! I mean, aside from the fact that it’s still hailing and raining and … is Nashville still flooded? Anyway, it’s almost Summer, and that means it’s time for the readership here at Addison Road to do their public good deeds, and generate The Worlds Best Summer Reading List.

I’m going to make this a little more organized this year. Leave your suggestions in the comments, along with your best one or two sentence pitch for why we should read it, and I’ll edit the post with an updated list so that we can quickly find them. Ready? Go!

THE DEFINITIVE LIST OF AWESOME SUMMER READING, 2010

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman. (fiction) What if every god brought to America by waves of immigrants were still alive, still wandering through the cities and countryside as ordinary people trying to get by? This is a powerfully written book, with rich characters.
  2. Faking It: The Quest For Authenticity In Popular Music by Barker & Taylor. (non-fiction) This is an extension of the conversation on authenticity. If you like popular music, and like thinking about things, this will be a solid thinky read. I recommend loading up your iPod with the artists that the book talks about, and listing to their catalog while you read about them.

Pulitzer Prize 1995 “The Stone Diaries”

So I’ve been on a quest to read the Pulitzer Prize winning books. I had an ambition similar to this when, while teaching, I decided to read all of the Newbery Award Books. Each summer, I made my way down the list of 90+ award winning books. Now that my quest of children’s literature has been sated (save the new winners each year), I am moving into the great wealth of “adult” fiction (no, not the naughty kind, sicko).

The great thing about choosing award winning books is that they never suck. You don’t have to get through a third of a book, just to discover you’re not really that interested, but need to finish what you’ve begun (or is that just my dilemma?). The Pulitzer Prize is given to gifted writers, of great books. Win, win. And when finishing a book, I now have a new favorite author with which to discover their other writings.

So all that to say, I just finished 1995′s winner “The Stone Diaries” by Carol Shields. This is an incredible book. It is written as a narrative biography/autobiography by the main character Daisy Goodwill. She has an almost bird’s eye view of her life, and every once in a while breaks in on her own thoughts and writings to contemplate even further, or even question herself. The book is divided into chapters of life; birth, childhood, marriage, love, motherhood, work, sorrow, ease, illness and decline, death. Journeying through a person’s life is amazing. Especially when you consider what is told and what is kept secret or left out. I appreciate Carol Shield’s storytelling, but even more so, her creativity in telling said stories. She uses correspondance, newspaper clippings, journals, different character’s personal dialogues or point of view to tell the story, and by doing so, gives the reader the big picture, a few insights, but doesn’t get bogged down by introducing new characters or having to tell all of the details of an event.

I am truly enjoying this new quest of mine, although with a 10 month old, sitting down for some quiet reading time, doesn’t happen often enough. I know that we have avid readers of all kinds of literature among our authors and commentators, and I enjoy hearing about what literary adventures we all go on.