With summer just around the corner, I thought I'd resurrect this thread. I know that my fellow student Critical is as excited as I am as having the time and energy to read more. To some people, the notion of a lit major looking forward to reading more is a strange one but hey, that's me.
So, tell me. What are my lovely fellow bookworms planning on reading this summer? I have yet to compile a definite list, but I do know that I want to get into Neil Gaiman this summer. I've heard great things about him from phat and SnowflakeGirl, and since we have very similar tastes, I'm sure he'll be right up my alley. I thought I'd start with American Gods and, provided that I like it, move on to its successor, Anansi Boys. Actually, I think this summer will be all about horror/fantasy stuff for me. For some reasons, I always get the urge to be scared in the summertime. Also, I'm considering writing my thesis on contemporary genre literature (horror/sci-fi/fantasy etc), so I can always tell myself I'm doing research...
Oh what the heck. I'll compile the list here and now, with genre-based categories to boot. There's nothing good on TV tonight, anyway.
The dark and morbid category
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I've had several people recommend it to me, and the blurb from Amazon makes me want to read it even more: "Had The Blair Witch Project been a book instead of a film, and had it been written by, say, Nabokov at his most playful, revised by Stephen King at his most cerebral, and typeset by the futurist editors of Blast at their most avant-garde, the result might have been something like House of Leaves." Intriguing!
- Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Despite being a huge King fan, I've never read what many consider to be his opus magnus. This is a reading project I'm very excited about, especially since the books include references to other King novels. Gotta love metafiction!
- Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavres by Mary Roach. This nonfictional, slightly morbid book about the afterlife that has received rave reviews. I'm morbid and terrified of death at the same time (go figure), so this will hopefully serve multiple purposes: apart from enlightening and entertaining me, it will be like therapy. Therapy for the price of a paperback - not bad!
The "Do they live up to the hype?" category
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Confession time. I never got why Zadie Smith gets such amazing reviews. I bought both of her previous novels, White Teeth and The Autograph Man, anticipating a great reading experience. Here's what happened: I couldn't bring myself to cross the 100 page mark. I found both novels to be dull and over-rated and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. However, her latest effort sounds really interesting so I'm willing to give her a final try before I give up on her altogether.
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safron Foer. Another book I picked up from the library. She's married to Jonathan Safron Foer and together, they're hailed as the post-generation X version of Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt - that is, New York's literary power couple. Seeing how much I love Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt, I'm curious as to whether Krauss and Safron Foer will live up to the hype.
- Saturday by Ian McEwan. I picked this up from the library the other day and can't wait to read it. It will be my first Ian McEwan novel - has anybody read any of his work? He's constantly being dubbed the best contemporary British novelist, so I'm very curious to find out if he's as great as his reputation.
- The Eight by Katherine Neville. This one was recommended to me by Critical in one of the book threads. I came very close to reading it back in high school when the librarian (the closest I came to a best friend in high school... I kid, I kid, or at least a little) recommended it to me, but for some reason I forgot all about it until I was reminded of it here. Another reason to love the FORT.
- The Art of Detection: A Kate Martinelli Mystery by Laurie R. King. FINALLY a new Kate Martinelli mystery! As much as I adore her Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, I've missed Martinelli. This one, too, deals with Sherlock Holmes, although in a different way from the Russell/Holmes series. It's coming out any day now - I'm psyched!
- The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Wells. I've heard many good things about this autobiography and I like to mix up my summer reading with some non-fiction, so I'll definitely pick this up.
- Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman. I've been interesting in this book ever since I saw Seth Cohen read it on an episode of The O.C.. Any friends of Seth Cohen's...
Authors I plan on exploring
- Anita Shreve
- F. Paul Wilson (courtesy of phat )
- Jodi Picoult
- Carol Shields
- Dean Koontz (I've only read Odd Thomas, but I really liked that one)
Aaand, if I have the time, I'd like to re-read a few Stephen King novels, including The Stand (this time, I'll get the expanded version, so it will be a bit like reading a new book), Bag of Bones and Desperation (so I'll know how the mini series will compare).
Well, looks like I got my summer covered. How about the rest of you?