View Full Version : Summer Reading

13-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Not only am I trying to read as much as I can this summer, I'm also in the process of putting together a reading list for while I am living in France - a list of books that my parents can send over as I need them. Walking through the bookstore, I have found some, but as I love reading, and love a good book, it's so overwhelming when there are a million interesting-looking books staring at you. And the cliche of not judging a book by its cover reminds me how many fantastic stories are around that I would never pick up. And so, I ask the brilliant and wordly minds of KKW, for their list of interesting summer reads.

What books have you read lately, or are you planning to read?
Please list the title, author, and a brief discription, so that those who are interested will know if it interests them.

Books I've Read This Summer (So Far):
Breakfast With Sharks. Nonfiction, by Michael Lent. This book is all about getting those sacred meetings with industry folk, how to nail the punchline, sign the deal, not throw up when you're pitching to Imagine, and "navigate the murky waters of Hollywood." A must read (and great eye opener) for anyone even considering working in this industry.
In Her Shoes. A novel by Jennifer Weiner. I saw the fantasticly chick-flick trailer for this (which stars Cameron Diaz) and promptly went to find the book by the author I've heard so much about. The book is about two sisters, one beautiful and popular, the other, as predicted, successful and average. They are forced to live together until the younger one sleeps with her sister's boyfriend and is kicked out. With nowhere to go, she heads to Florida where she tracks down the grandmother she never knew she had. A string of lies and history is unravelled and bring the three women closer than ever. It's great, I definitely recommend this. Or, at least see the movie.
The Second Assistant. A novel by Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare. This is a really funny book, but maybe that's just because it's about someone on the bottom of the Hollywood totem pole. This girl, Lizzie, goes to Hollywood and gets a job as the second assistant to this demanding, hugely successful talent agent. She has to be at his every whim while trying to sell a screenplay, and bedding the sexy production manager at Universal. It's hilarious...one example is when she is asked to find strippers for George Clooney's birthday party but has to find ones with only small nipples, because big nipples freak George out.
My Sister's Keeper. A novel by Jodi Piccoult. Without a doubt one of the most powerful books I have ever read. The last line of the first chapter is: "I want to sue [my parents] for the rights to my own body." The book is about this thirteen year old, Anna, who was concieved just to be harvested to save her older sister, Kate, who has leukemia. The ending is incredible. I started this book last night before going to bed thinking I was just going to read the first few pages. I stopped reading at 5:30 this morning when I read the last word in the book. It's unbelievable, and had so many different affects on me ranging from major waterworks at the end (crazy ending), to deciding I actually don't want to name my kid Kate after all. Everyone should read this controversial, beautiful book.
Lady Windermere's Fan. A play by Oscar Wilde. My new favorite thing. I got this because this is what one of Scarlett Johansson's newer films is based one. I loved it, simple yet twisted, all coming together in a nice little bow at the end. A fun, quick read. I'm anxious to read his others.

Up Next:
Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. I read half of this before but my timing was awful and I had to ditch it right before finals. But this time I bought the book and am anxious to read the whole thing.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. One I've been wanting to read forever. I just started this one this morning.

Please recommend your favorite books.

13-07-2005, 08:13 PM
I haven't read these books yet but i will this summer (summer homework)

the Catcher in the Rye- J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. (taken from amazon...i havent read these books yet :P)

The Things They Carried- Tim O'Brien
"Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than in the myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it." All i know is that it is about the Vietnam war and its an easy book to read according to my friends that, unlike me, already started their summer homework :X

if i have time after i do all my other summer homework (5000 word essay and another 1500 word essay bullshit papers then spanish and history :( ) then im going to try and read

The Glass Bead Game- Herman Heese because i really enjoyed Siddhartha when we read it in class and Glass Bead Game is the book that won him the nobel prize...also my english teacher said i probably wasnt prepared enough to read it so i want to prove that bitch wrong bceause i hate her... :)

and im going to write my final paper i do for english on the glass bead game if i understand it with all its satire and ambiguities

13-07-2005, 09:03 PM
I haven't the faintest idea if these books will, at any time, interest any of you, but they have done a great deal to me. I've become fond of this actress over the past few months, and I've enjoyed all the books I've read herein.

Books I've already read this summer:
Kate Remembered by A. Scott Berg. I've become a big admirer of Katharine Hepburn over the last year, so I did myself a favor and bought this "biographical memoir" (my first) on the illustrious actress. It's a nice little book about the devoted friendship between the author and Hepburn. It offers a great insight on Hepburn's life starting even back during her early days at RKO studios. It also discusses, briefly, on the many men she had relationships with, even - of course, her infamous 27-year love affair with fellow actor Spencer Tracy. The book momentarily ends on a bitter note as the actress starts to become more distant even to her biographer as her health starts to decline. As you all should know, she passed away on June 29th, 2003. The book itself mentions this, and I almost cried. If you like Katharine Hepburn, it's a must.

Me : Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn. Immediately after I finished reading 'Kate Remembered' I went off and ordered this autobiography written by Hepburn herself. At the time, I was still infatuated with the actress, and my passion to find out more about her was still very much evident. I love this book. Though some of the context was an obvious rehash from Scott Berg's novel, it still offered many things Berg never even dared to mention. Hepburn's own style of writing ranks this book as one of my favorites and her unique sense of humor is just as overwhelming as the book itself. Katharine goes as far as her childhood and ends with a sorta apologetic letter to Spencer. Again, for a fan it's a must.

The Private World of Katharine Hepburn by John Bryson. A photographic book published by John Bryson who was given full consent to take pictures of Hepburn at work, around her home, and even in her most intimate moments during and around her late career. Wonderful photos. And a nice relief after reading the two books above.

Books I'm going to read this summer:
The Making of The African Queen by Katharine Hepburn. Though I haven't seen the film yet, I've been told and practically forced to buy this book. The book is self-explanatory as far as the title goes and it contains pictures. It should be arriving in my mailbox soon within a few days.

Get Happy : The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke. I'm finally switching gears here. Judy has obviously done it for me. This too, should be arriving in my mailbox soon within a few days.

I don't read fiction, it's a waste of time. I'm kidding. Maybe I'll do so again someday. :)

13-07-2005, 10:00 PM
Richard, I picked up "Kate Remembered" at the bookstore and kind of flipped through it and read pieces. I've added that to my list. I have to admit, I don't know much about Katharine Hepburn, but was actually intrigured by Cate Blanchett's portrayal of her in "The Aviator."

13-07-2005, 11:55 PM
Just this summer? Ok, the ones I remember...

-Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants trilogy - Ann Brashares
I think I read the first one before classes ended, but the last two I read during the summer. Excellent. The second two are MUCH better than the first, though the first was excellent so...
-Why Girls Are Weird - Pamela Ribon
This author has a blog that I read all the time, and was a participant in what has to be the funniest thing I've ever read. The blog is www.pamie.com (http://www.pamie.com) and the funniest thing is Squishy -(the second part) http://www.pamie.com/july02/09july02.html
-The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
Read it for the second time. Everyone knows the story
-Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Basically the same story...but in Rome...with Cardinals
-Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
Book written by a chef about the food service industry. Wildly entertaining and being made into a tv show this fall starring my imaginary boyfriend Bradley Cooper (AKA Will on Alias)
-A Chef's Tour - Anthony Bourdain
By the same guy, but it's basically him travelling everywhere and eating food that would never even be considered food anywhere else. Still beating cobra heart anyone?
-The Kyoto Officers Club - Sara Bird
Book about the children of a naval officer in Japan and Vietnam in the 50s-80s. Really entertaining and somewhat familiar as my mom has told me stories of growing up like that.
-The Giver - Lois Lowry/Number The Stars - Lois Lowry
I was thinking of books to give my brother that I thought were awesome when I was his age (11) and I reread these before I gave them to him. Still awesome.
-The Lost Continent - Bill Bryson
Anything by Bill Bryson is hilarious, entertaining, and weirdly educational. I owe everything I know about Australia to him because of his book "In A Sunburned Country."
-Summerland - Michael Chabon
Love this book almost as much as I loved his other book (actually my favorite book) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It's a young adults book about baseball, so it's part A Wrinkle in Time and part like...Field of Dreams. It's incredibly good. I was actually reading it for the second time.
-Garlic and Sapphires - Ruth Reichl
Written by the editor-in-chief of Gourmet Magazine...it's basically a book about a food critic. It's fantastic.
-Leeway Cottage - Beth Gutcheon
Horrific book by the author of a different book I completely loved. This book however, sucked.

That's all I can remember right now. I think that might have been it. I'm currently reading a book called Satellite Sisters, which basically just makes me miss my own sisters.

14-07-2005, 01:58 AM
Pissing contest?

I haven't read anything since school ended. I like reading, but this summer has been too busy and I have been too lazy. My college sent me a copy of The Things They Carried with a bunch of papers. I'm guessing I have to read it before classes start, but I'm not sure because I haven't looked at the papers that came with it. Bait already described it, so I won't. I'll just say it does seem interesting.

14-07-2005, 02:22 AM
Reading or already read:

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy

The Chronicles of Narnia(entire saga) by C.S. Lewis

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I'm so mainstream

14-07-2005, 05:38 AM
Summer reading assignments include Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I've read 300 pages of 'Portrait' and it's boring as hell. Has anyone read it?

14-07-2005, 06:27 AM
Nope. You should have asked if it was OK for you to read Washington Square by James, I quite liked that one. It was for uni, but I'm glad I read it regardless.

14-07-2005, 06:55 AM
Get Happy : The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke. I'm finally switching gears here. Judy has obviously done it for me. This too, should be arriving in my mailbox soon within a few days.

Good book. If you want to read more on Judy, try Lorna Luft's book Me and My Shadow. Can't get a better picture of her than from her own daughter. And while the book got objections from Liza and Sid Luft, I thought it was a great book.

I'm reading Angels and Demons right now, so far, same thing, same guy, same girl only she's Italiano... but it's starting to intrigue me.

14-07-2005, 06:59 AM
i was gonna read 'the english patient'.... and then decided that i didn't actually want to read. at all.

14-07-2005, 12:44 PM
I'm reading a history of World War II at the moment. Sort of.

14-07-2005, 02:51 PM
kelsey, definately bump the belljar to the top of your list i bet youd love it. and good choice with the oscar wilde. i was considering that book, my sisters keeper. Im pretty wary of modern fiction, finding alot of it to be totally superficial and trite, but if you think its worth it, ill give it a try.
i just finished rereading Invisible Man, The Color Purple and The Women of Brewster Place. all good stuff.
I also read a bunch of Joan Didion essays in her collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Definately worth a read, great prose essasys about American society in the 20th century.
Im also reading Kavalier and Clay. which seems good so far.

14-07-2005, 04:54 PM
Sin City graphic novels, anyone?

14-07-2005, 06:26 PM
Gracie, I started The Bell Jar last night and got pretty far. So far, I love it. I really think you'd like "My Sisters Keeper." Let me know what you think.

I picked up a couple more books today. One of them was Off Magazine Street. by Ronald Everett Capps. This is what the film "A Love Song for Bobby Long" was based on, so I think I'll like it. I'm looking forward to it.

14-07-2005, 07:08 PM
have to read for school charms of an easy life
choice book harry potter (new)

read so far for summer, the grapes of wrath, must read later this year anyway, was long and horrible. the english patient, in the middle of, definitely not as good as the movie, the old man and the sea, also very boring

looking back, i chose a lot of bad books to read, oh thank god harry potter comes out soon, i'm not an obsessed child about it but i think its a good and exciting read

going to read: a home at the end of the world, the corrections, etc.

16-07-2005, 09:04 AM
Pissing contest?

I haven't read anything since school ended. I like reading, but this summer has been too busy and I have been too lazy. My college sent me a copy of The Things They Carried with a bunch of papers. I'm guessing I have to read it before classes start, but I'm not sure because I haven't looked at the papers that came with it. Bait already described it, so I won't. I'll just say it does seem interesting.

Haha. It seems like every American university is "making" its incoming freshman class read a book. I read the novel assigned to my freshman class on the plane ride to the east coast. For someone who complained so much about serving in the Vietnam War, Tim O'brien has certainly made his writing career on it. :icon_roll

16-07-2005, 09:14 AM
I'm currently reading the Desperate Dan almanac.

16-07-2005, 06:32 PM
A book I wanted to read this summer was The Great Gatsby, I totally forgot to buy it in Paris and I can't find it around here, so I'll wait untill september.

16-07-2005, 08:56 PM
A book I wanted to read this summer was The Great Gatsby, I totally forgot to buy it in Paris and I can't find it around here, so I'll wait untill september.
That was the first book I read for my literature course for uni. I liked it. The books that followed made a better impression, but it's a good book reflecting its era really well. Definitely recommended :)

a ring in return
25-07-2005, 07:29 PM
So far this summer I've read The Metrosexual Guide to Style, Band of Brothers, and Parachute Infantry. All good books.

Band of Brothers is centered around the 101st airborn divison during the later years of World War 2. Parachute Infantry is a memoir by David Kenyon Webster, about his experiences in the 101st during D-Day. And well, The Metrosexual Guide to Style is as it says in its name, a guide to style.

27-07-2005, 02:59 AM
I just finished "Notes from my Travels" by Angelina Jolie. So amazing and eye opening...everyone should read this.

27-07-2005, 10:41 AM
today I'm starting "Long Walk To Freedom" which is the story of Nelson Mandala by Nelson Mandela. That should be interesting

27-07-2005, 10:49 AM
started reading harry potter 6 :P

27-07-2005, 06:56 PM
I recently finished The Making of The African Queen by Katharine Hepburn. It's a great book. A little short, but great just the same. Not to mention, it's full of funny bits. One in particular is when Katharine relieves herself in a box and by her surprise, had a hole in it.

I just started reading Get Happy: The Life Of Judy Garland, and I'm loving it so far.