Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Reading!

OK, I'm officially back. School is now over and all I have to do right now is work and prepare for my move to Istanbul. I've already begun packing up my apartment, which began with packing up, giving away, and selling most of my books. The only books that have been spared from being stuck in storage for the next 9 months are language books, travel books and books that I think I'll have time to read before I leave (or while I'm there). So here's a little peak at the books I plan to read in the coming months:

First up is "Banned for Life," a debut novel by D.R. Haney that was released in May. I first heard about this book from reading this wonderful post by Haney on The Nervous Breakdown and I immediately fell in love with his writing. I received my copy of the book yesterday and cannot wait to begin reading it. Here's a little blurb about the book from Amazon:

For almost two decades, rumors have swirled around Jim Cassady, the quasi-legendary punk-rock frontman who disappeared without a trace shortly after his girlfriend’s apparent suicide. Though largely written off as dead, some claim to have had brushes with Cassady, now said to be homeless and bumming change on the streets of his native Los Angeles. Intrigued, Jason Maddox, a would-be filmmaker and Cassady fan, decides to investigate. But the man he eventually finds and befriends is damaged in ways he could never have imagined, and Jason’s own life begins to unravel as he tries to save the hapless Jim Cassady from himself.

A mystery wrapped in a love letter to overlooked American rebels, “Banned for Life” has already amassed a cult following in L.A.’s underground music scene, where D. R. Haney has long been a fixture.

Next up are a couple of books that I really should have read by now, but haven't because I've been inundated with grad school work. I mean, really, who hasn't read "The Memory Keeper's Daughter," and "The Year of Living Biblically" yet? Oh, me. So I'm going to finally get these two out of my TBR pile.

I'm also looking forward to finally reading "Radiant Days," a novel by yet another TNB author, Michael A. Fitzgerald. From Amazon: "FitzGerald's quiet debut centers on Anthony, a Gen X-er slacking away at a meaningless but remunerative Web producer job in dot-com–boom San Francisco. Anthony's life takes an unexpected turn when he meets Hungarian bartender Gisela at a local watering hole. Beautifully irresistible (and entirely untrustworthy) in the manner of all foreign femme fatales, Gisela quickly persuades him to travel with her to Hungary, supposedly so that she can be reunited with her missing son. In Budapest, the two meet jaded British war correspondent Marsh, a Graham Greene–like character who becomes the third leg in a rapidly evolving love triangle."

Next up is "Chasing the sea" by Tom Bissell, a book that I've owned for about five years and still haven't gotten around to reading. I picked up the book after reading an article by Bissell on the same subject. It's a fascinating story about an inland sea in Central Asia that all but disappeared because the rivers feeding into and out of it were overused for irrigation and what-not by surrounding cities. He travels to the now-abandoned fishing villages that surrounded the sea and discovers now-exposed shipwrecks. He also explains the ramifications of the drying up of the sea. It really does sound fascinating so I can't explain why it's taken me so long to get to it. But I'm really going to read it now that I'll be traveling to that part of the world.

Another book that's been biding its time for awhile on my shelf is "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. I don't know how this never got assigned to me while I was in high school, but somehow I never read it. Steinbeck is one of my most favorite authors of all time, so I'm certain I'll enjoy this one.

A couple of others that made the list are "Say you're one of them," "Godless," and "Measure of the Heart."

The rest will be waiting for me when I get back from Turkey. By then, I'm sure I'll have added many a must-read to my pile.

How about you? What are the books you're looking forward to reading this summer?


Scobberlotcher said...

Those books sound like you'll have a variety of stories. (Moving to Istanbul, however, has to be the most interesting of all!)

This summer, I'm determined to read from the stacks of books I already own. I plan to dive into The Book Thief next, followed by Kaye Gibbons Sights Unseen.

Laura said...

You're moving to Istanbul? How exciting and adventurous!

Becca said...

Yikes! I can't believe I never mentioned I'm moving to Istanbul. I've been planning it for super long, but just got my confirmation letter yesterday so I've been waiting to post abou it. I'll have to write something soon!

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

Wow, moving to Istanbul is intense, good luck with that, and keep us posted!

I think you should read A Year of Living Biblically before you read The Memory Keeper's Daughter, but that's just because I liked AYOLIB better :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I heard about Banned for Life just recently and I really want to read it now. It sounds amazing!!!