Summer Reading, Part 1


“When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another’s skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness–and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”

–Michael Chabon, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh

Summer is upon us. Huzzah!

Here are books that 1) take place in summer, 2) you maybe haven’t read yet, 3) are coming-of-age stories (because who doesn’t love coming-of-age stories in summer?):

*Be careful with spoilers in these links!*

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon.
The plot isn’t much, but 1) it’s fun to read what Chabon sounded like at 24, and 2) I’m a sucker for those sentences (and lost protagonists who cry at dinner).

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster.
Lucy Churchill + art + Italy + smart, strange dude.  I mean, what’s not to like about this.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
A girl grows up in pre-hipster Williamsburg, wielding her wild imagination against poverty.  Hurrah!

First Love by Ivan Turgenev.
Narrated by a teenage boy in the throes of his first love, it’s at times funny, at times bizarre, and everyone is an emotional wreck.  (Like adolescence, right?) And it’s a Ha Jin recommendation!

Summer by Edith Wharton.
I haven’t read this, but has anyone read it, and could you post below?

And just for fun, here’s some advice from famous writers about drinking.

And also just for fun, listen to Paul Schoenfield’s Cafe Music.  Sounds like summer mischief!

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