Musings, Nits, and Praises: Summer Reading Comes Early

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher

Summer Reading Comes Early

Ah, summer vacation. My time to sleep late, watch an inordinate amount of baseball, travel, and binge read. Well, summer vacation is still a little over a month away, but I've gotten a head start on my binge reading. Every year from mid-August to the end of May, I have every intention of reading some novels in addition to the ones I teach, but invariably I don't find the time. I'll go to a bookstore, spot a novel I've intended to read or someone has recommended I read, buy the novel, file the book on my bookshelf, and then think every few weeks, "Man, I really need to read that book."

Oh, sure, I could read several books during the course of the school year, reading a few chapters one night, squeezing in a few more a week later. But for me, dragging out the reading of a novel over several weeks or months ruins the reading experience. When I begin a novel, I like to finish it in two to three days, if not faster, not skipping a day of reading. To read a novel over a long period of time is like buying a new CD and taking a month to listen to the entire album. I don't like to read more than one novel at a time either. Now, I know some people who can juggle reading half a dozen books over several weeks, but I've never read that way.

I didn't manage to read much the past two summers--married in '05, took a lengthy road trip and moved last summer--so I decided to get a head start this year. (There are some books I bought two years ago that I'll finally get around to reading this summer.) With school still in session, I haven't hit my stride yet, but I've read three books in the past two weeks.

The Road - Cormac McCarthy --I've been a big fan of McCarthy ever since I read Blood Meridian. (It's a testament to the brilliance he displays in that novel that after you've read it you can think, "That may be the darkest, most disconcerting book I've ever read, and I loved it.") The Road isn't the work of art stylistically that Meridian is, but it's an undeniably arresting and moving book.

The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro -- a subtle, character-driven book that evokes laughter one moment and sadness the next

William Faulkner -Stephen B. Oates -- I don't read much non-fiction, but I enjoy biographies. Since Faulkner is my favorite author, I already knew quite a bit about him, but I learned plenty more after reading the book. Oates' style is enjoyable as well. It's not a dry, fact-by-fact story of Faulkner's life.

1 Responses to “Summer Reading Comes Early”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Mr. Middlekauff, if you ever want to read a good history book you might looknig into the book Decision in Philadelphia: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier

    D. W. the Mayor  

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