The morning sky is so dramatic looking I wouldn’t be surprised if Carleton Heston would appear in a chariot. Yesterday turned into a day as balmy and sweet as a baby’s smile. I was running errands midday and talked the cashier at Trader Joes into juggling my oranges. He says the trick to juggling is “softening the eyes.” I keep thinking that might be an analogy to writing. Then I went on to New Seasons for more supplies and was telling the cashier about the juggling act and he told me a joke. Question: Why wasn’t the lifeguard able to save the hippie? Answer: Because he was too far out. Then I came home to an editing job and reality.
So maybe this summer with the price of gas you might not be able to afford a trip to the beach, but you might be able to still buy books or borrow them from the library. With longer days ahead, let’s round up more summer reads. Each June I buy the latest Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum mystery and spend an evening sipping chilled Viognier or a wine suited to summer on my patio and reading Plum’s latest hijinks, giggling from time to time. But these days I’m reading mostly mainstream and am now reading Richard Russo’s latest novel,
So here are more picks from the Wall Street Journal Robert J Hughes: “The summer will also see books by many first-time authors, including the short-story collections "One More Year" by Ukrainian-American Sana Krasikov and "Say You're One of Them" by Uwem Akpan, a Jesuit priest from Nigeria. "One of the things that makes American literature so vital at this point is that we have input from so many different cultures and linguistic backgrounds," says Paul Yamazaki, coordinating buyer at City Lights bookstore in
Since it's an election year, there's a surge of political books. Among them: a still-untitled work from Ron Suskind on national security, "Your Government Failed You" by Richard A. Clarke and "What Happened" by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
The $28 billion book industry faces challenges in a sluggish economy. Bookstore sales in the first quarter totaled $4.46 billion, a 5.1% increase over the comparable period in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But this week Barnes & Noble lowered its sales forecast for the year. "There are people who believe that books are recession-proof," says Stan Hynds, head buyer for Northshire Bookstore,
His choices are Nonfiction: When You are Engulfed in Flames, David Sedaris; Nixonland, Rick Perlstein; American Nerd, Ben Nugent; One Minute to Midnight, Michael Dobbs; The Monster of Florence, Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi; Rome: 1960, David Mariniss
Historical Fiction: City of Thieves, David Benioff; The Garden of Last Days, Andre du Bus III; Berlin Book Two: City of Smoke, Jason Lutes; The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows; World/Contemporary: My Sister, My Love, Joyce Carol Oates; Beijing Coma, Ma Jian; Pharmakon, Dirk Wittenborn; Fearless Fourteen, Janet Evanovich