Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Summer Reading

I haven’t been posting much because life has gotten busy. Summer is here, which means more kids running around. There was a graduation. Three performances of a play. Teachers’ gifts to buy, And of course all the time it took to get the house set up with a new TV for World Cup soccer.

When in a pinch, do a list. So here are the books on my summer reading list:

Sweet and Low: A Family Story by Rich Cohen – I am in the middle of this now. Cohen’s grandfather Ben invented those ubiquitous pink packets. Ben made millions, but cut Cohen’s side of the family out of the estate. He explores why. This is written in a colloquial style. It’s very breezy, but it works, even when he talks about the history of Brooklyn.

The Whole World Over by Julia Glass. I loved Three Junes, which won the National Book Award. Once again, Glass dwells on domestic disturbances in both gay and straight relationships. I have started this book and I am already drawn in by the lush language and plot.

Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz. I didn’t know anything about this book until I read a glowing review by Mary Roach in the New York Times. Jentz was attacked while on a camping trip and this the story of her long road to recovery.

Heat: An Amateur in the Kitchen by Bill Buford. The author, the former fiction editor of The New Yorker, works as an apprentice for celebrity chef Mario Batali. I love cooking memoirs ala Ruth Reichel’s Comfort Me With Apples. This one promises sweat, blood, lust, and many marvelous descriptions of food.

The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan. The author, who lives in Berkeley, tells the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through one house. It was owned by Arabs before Israel became a nation, and then taken over by an Israeli family. He’s speaking at Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore in Berkeley Thursday June 15 at 7:30 p.m. I can’t go, but I wish I could.

Water for Elephants: A Novel, by Sara Gruen. I have never read anything by this author but the buzz is incredible.

The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst. Ditto

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read. I had never heard of this Berkeley author until I saw she would be appearing this weekend at Book Expo San Jose. This is her first mystery and she is touring with Lee Child, so I figure it has to be good.

I read about Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky in the New York Times Book Review. I was intrigued. Then Scott Esposito went crazy over the book, so now I really want to read it. For some reason I have this idea it will remind me of A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City by Anonymous, one of the best books I read last year.

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