Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer Reading

This past weekend I did a major weed of my TBR shelves- I can't even tell you how many books I weeded out, but I donated three bags of books to my favorite charity shop, Boomerang's in Boston, and I have at least as much left over to sell. The end result of this sorting out is giving up on a host of old books (if it's from 2008, I never think about it and I haven't even entered it into my LibraryThing catalog, am I going to read it? No.), finding things on my shelves I haven't laid eyes on in literally months, and moving some of those buried treasures up to the front of the pile.

Foremost among the buried treasures is my NYRB Classics edition of J.G. Farrell's Troubles, which just this past week won the Lost Man Booker Prize award. I picked this up ages ago, at another local charity bookshop (Bryn Mawr Books of Cambridge) on impulse. It's about Ireland and it looked literary- sometimes that's all it takes to sell me. And now I certainly feel validated!

Then there are all these great books coming out this summer- Gary Shteyngart's new one, Super Sad True Love Story, China Miéville's Kraken, and more. Moved those to the front of the pile.

I was happy to be reminded that I own The Jewish Husband, Lia Levi's novel published by Europa Editions, which also looks really great. And I re-found Stephanie Cowell's Claude and Camille, which I picked up at ALA Midwinter and have heard great things about.

I'm not looking to add a ton of books to my stash right now, but I'd love to get a hold of The Invisible Bridge, by Julie Orringer, which I heard about on the Books on the Nightstand podcast. A story about the Holocaust in Hungary, it sounds like it's right up my alley and I'll definitely be on the lookout for it in the bookstores of New York this week. BOTN host and friend Ann Kingman said it was the best book she's read so far this year, comparable to Cutting for Stone- that's like saying, "hey, Marie, you need to read this!"

With Memorial Day weekend coming up soon, I need to start thinking about my summer reading. Summer is a time when I like to pick up idiosyncratic reads- not necessarily the hot new things (although when favorite authors like Shteyngart and Miéville have new books out, they're irresistible) but those books lingering at the back of the shelf, the books published years ago that just strike a chord. And then when I'm lucky and I get the chance, I fill a tall glass with a cool drink, head out to the hammock in the back yard, and read.

12 comments:

Hannah Stoneham said...

Sounds like the clear-out was worth it then...

happy reading!

Hannah

Mystica said...

Even the planning of your long weekend sounds glorious!

Care said...

Lovely. I do know what you mean about finding treasures. I had forgotten that I own Fingersmith - I've have to read any Waters, Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, and TWO books by Dashiell Hammett!

Zibilee said...

I also have a copy of Troubles that I bought a long time ago, and hearing that it won the prize makes me want to pick it up. Your upcoming reads sound wonderful, and I hope you enjoy all of them. I love the fact that you have a hammock to read in as well!

Aarti said...

Ooh, I want to read Troubles, too! I will wait for your opinion to see if it's one I will like to read. Great job finding those treasures!

Suzanne said...

I'm reading The Invisible Bridge right now, in part due to Ann's recommendation. I'm enjoying it so far, and I can totally see the epic-ness of the novel already. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it.

I should probably take a look through my shelves too. I know I have a few books I've bought in hardcover, haven't read yet, and are now available in paperback .....

Kathleen said...

I've not made any summer reading plans apart from just continuing to make my way through my current stack from the library and the piles on my personal shelves. I hate to set reading goals but I should at least come up with a list.

jewwishes said...

The Jewish Husband is an excellent book, and one I highly recommend.

I'm glad you found treasures, again, within your own books. LOL, you sound like me.

I did some recent weeding out, also.

naida said...

Last time I cleared out my shelves, I did find some lost treasures that I had forgotten about.
A cool drink, the hammock and a good book sound irresistable!
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

writergal said...

I've been doing the same. If a book has been there way too long, I will most likely not get to it and if I remember it someday, I will request from the library. I have to think about moving out also.

The Jewish Husband looks good.

Andi said...

Great idea! I've been itching to weed out some books myself and rediscover some of the goodies hovering near the back of the piles. Enjoy your summer reading!

Pam said...

I don't buy books, but I do need to week my tbr list. Some of the books have been languishing there for months and for many of them I don't have even the vaguest recollection of what they are about or why I added to the list in the first place. You've inspired me to do a little "spring cleaning" myself.