Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Reading

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, which means it's time to make your Summer Reading List. What? You don't have a summer reading list?! Then it's a really good thing that I am here to tell you what to do.

Here's my list, broken up in EZ to read categories.

1. The book that everyone will be talking about this summer and you will feel totally left out if you haven't read it, which in turn, will force you to drink many glasses of wine to make you feel less awkward and will lead to alcoholism or possibly a meth addiction, god forbid. It's probably easier just to read the book. Just saying.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Eyre and Seth Grahame-Smith. If you haven't heard about this book, it is the text of Pride and Prejudice, set in zombie-rich England. It's very well done and so far I'm enjoying it.

2. The book that I got because it has an awesome cover and then raced home to look it up on and was thrilled to see that it got a starred review because that means that I am really good at judging books by their covers!

The Ballad of West 10th Street by Marjorie Kernan

3. The beach read. If I need to explain this category, you really need to read more. I recommend working your way through my archives to build up your reading skillz. Basically, it's a book that doesn't strain too many brain cells and yet, it's not porn, so that you can hold it up proudly at the beach, but not care if sand or ice cream gets on the pages.

Four Wives by Wendy Walker.

Full disclosure: a lovely publicist sent me a copy of this book. But for fuller disclosure yet, I've been offered copies of several books that I've turned down because the blurb sounded boring. This one sounded good to me. Take a look at the cover and tell me if the first three lipsticks aren't exactly the same color. And then the fourth one is pink. Despite this obvious mystery, the novel is a peek beyond the perfectly manicured lawns of four wives. (No, not Big Love style, four wives of different men).

4. "Every year I like to read _______."

This is a life tip that I am imparting on you free of charge. If you have a favorite author, and mention at a party that "I like to read one Hawthorne novel every year", people will be super impressed. Sure, some of them will think that you're a snob, but a few well placed crude jokes will dispel that image. As an extra tip, it will help if the author that you choose is not Danielle Steele.

For me, it's Edith Wharton. Is there anyone who doesn't love Edith Wharton? Gossip? check. Snark? check. Romance, glamour and NYC? Check and checkmate. It's like the National Enquirer, but with attractive people and well written.

If you have a favorite Edith Wharton novel, please let me know.

Ok, it's your turn.

What's on your summer reading list? And did I miss any important categories?


Blogger ShallowGal said...

1. The book you read just to rub it in Marinka's face:


xoxo, SG

May 23, 2009 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

heh. I want to kiss Shallow Gal with tongue right now.

Adore your description of a boach read. Perfection.

My favorite author is Dostoevsky, but he's more a winter read. Those Russians are a little dark, you know. He'd be my "I've read everything author" but even crude jokes won't keep people from thinking you are a snob. A dark snob.

Beach read - Tim Cahill. He's a hilarious travel/adventure writer and you would totally appreciate his sense of humor. Try A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg. Awesome book.

I suggest One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Excellent!!

May 23, 2009 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

A boach read is the result of typing before coffee. And ironically I'm actually AT the BEACH. Or the BOACH. Whatev.

May 23, 2009 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I'm going to show my immense maturity and superior intellect here by saying that on deck for reading this summer is The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

May 23, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger hokgardner said...

Age of Innocence is my favorite Wharton novel. I re-read it at least once a year. And I am totally going to have to check out the P&P and Zombies book.

May 23, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Kirsten said...

OK, I thought the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies one was a joke! That one does not appeal to me at all.

So far on my night stand for summer are Run by Ann Patchett and Still Alice by Lisa Genova.

May 23, 2009 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I think I want to read Pillars of the Earth. I didn't have much of an interest in reading it (and frankly it's so looong) but my 17 y/o nephew read it in a week and said it was great. I don't know how great it is, but not one to be outdone by a teenager, I went out and bought the book. It may just take me the entire summer to get through it--we'll see.

I must say, you've peaked my interest w/the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book...I thought it was a joke too!

May 23, 2009 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Ruby Soho, DelusionalGirl said...

I'll trade you Edith Wharton for Thomas Hardy. I can't stand reading Edith Wharton unless I have severe insomnia. She cures it! But Thomas Hardy? He's my man, perhaps I'll re-read Jude the Obscure this summer.

May 23, 2009 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger The Panic Room said...

I gave up reading books so that I can keep up with your blog... so thanks for ruining books.

May 23, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous LadyFi said...

I can recommend Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Other books on my list are: The Book Thief, Shantaram, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and A Fraction of the Whole.


Book of the century: 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

British humour: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Hilarious!

May 23, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Coco said...

I don't get to read very often but my fave books are about paranormal, supernatural, etc. LOVE Clive Barker, Anne Rice. I was into vampires 40 years ago. It isn't a last minute Twilight thing for me.

Daughter has the Pride & Prejudice and Zombies book. I will have to steal it. At least part of it was the classics. First one she has ever read I am sure. She is now reading the host which I will steal from her as well. hah.

May 23, 2009 at 12:12 PM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

"glimpses of the moon" isn't my favorite edith - but it's perfect for summer. it's about a couple who get married for the presents, then end up falling in love! you get wharton AND a happy ending.

May 23, 2009 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Miss Cavendish said...

My favorite Wharton is The Custom of the Country. After you finish it, read the essay "Spragg: The Art of the Deal" (obviously a takeoff on one of Trump's earlier books).

May 23, 2009 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

Like Julie I am showing my immense maturity and superior intellect here by saying that I started rereading Eclipse and next on the list is Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyers. Then I'm moving onto Scarlet by Steven Lawhead and possible the book of Job. After that it's anyone's guess.

I love the idea of the PP & Z book, I will have to check it out. Other than that I don't do reading lists because I read voraciously and continuously all year. Probably it's time to pick back up and finish the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. I'm on book 23 of 31.

May 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

What will i be reading? Anything trashy, raunchy and trashier.

that about does it.

May 23, 2009 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Meade Gresham said...

I read a Roald Dahl book every year, wow the snobs with East of Eden by Steinbeck, and get jazzed by a little Margaret Atwood.

May 24, 2009 at 12:42 AM  
Blogger bernthis said...

I read that Wharton Chick. All of her stuff. Good writer that gal.

I love Susan Isaacs. Her old stuff. Could never put it down. Best beach reading ever

May 24, 2009 at 12:53 AM  
Anonymous ssheers said...

Sue Grafton
Tony Hillerman
Janet Evanovich
J. A. Jance
Lisa Scottoline

I think I'm going to dedicate this summer to reading:
Laura Lippman

and if you haven't read them already:
J. K. Rowling
Stephenie Meyer

May 24, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger Pop and Ice said...

I've just consumed my two new books for the summer: "Handle with Care" by Jodi Picoult and "The Song is You" by Arthur Phillips. Both are wonderful books and easy reads for the Summer. But be prepared to cry.

Regarding books I read every year: The Time Travelers Wife (Audrey Niffenegger), The Diana Gabaldon Series, The Last Time They Met (Anita Shreve), and anything by Dorothy Dunnett.

May 24, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
Anonymous martha t kitchen said...

Ekaterina Sedia's "The Secret History of Moscow" is a weird fantasy novel that really rocks.

Also- how dirty is the word "khren'" in Russian. I read and translate a lot and can't figure out how rude it's supposed to be.

Love your blog!

Martha (A.K.A. Marfushka)

May 24, 2009 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

I am glad to have this list!

May 24, 2009 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I have so many books on my 2009 reading list that they've rolled over into the Summer list! One is my "beach read," though I doubt I'll be at the beach. It's called 'A Summer Affair,' by Elin Hildebrand. Thanks for sharing your list with us!

May 24, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...

I have East of Eden on my nightstand just waiting. . . but Ulysses gave me cold feet. . .

May 25, 2009 at 8:48 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Oh, you, readers, you!

Shallow Gal--yes, by all means, read Ulysses. I'll sit here with a glass of wine while you do, to make it easier to rub it in my face. See? I'm always thinking of others!

Amy--confession time: I've never read Dostoeyevsky. And he's my mother's favorite writer. long story. And not a very interesting one (about why I've never read him, not that I'm calling Dostoyevsky's stories long and boring).

Julie--enjoy! Twilight was last year's beach read for me. Because the cover was so pretty. And tempting.

Hokgardner--I love The Age of Innocence. I think it's my second favorite after Custom of the Country.

Kirsten--I'm interested in the Still Alice book. Is that the one that is about the woman with Alzheimer's? I can't remember. (surely obvious jokes about alzheimer's aren't in bad taste, right?)

Christy--I've never head of Pillars of the Earth. I have a hunch that the feeling is mutual.

Ruby--ohnoyoudidn't. Wharton cures your insomnia?! I could see that if by "insomnia" you meant "boredom." I've only read Teszzzzz, and I feel confident in saying that Hardy was the Father of Ambien.

The Panic Room--you made an excellent choice!

May 25, 2009 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I'm going to second Pillars of the Earth. Ken Follett is DA BOMB.

May 27, 2009 at 2:21 PM  

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