Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wrapped Up in Books

*Sigh*, summer equals freedom to me in so many different ways. Physical freedom, mental freedom, spiritual freedom-- I can go wherever I want, be alone when I want and of course, curl up with a good book.

Books become like my little babies in the summer-- this is why I detest reading lists. I'm a control freak who likes to pick what she reads, y'know? I like to read without a deadline. The past summers have gotten me to develop so many favorite books over the past few years. I usually have good taste in books during summer.
  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  • Generation X by Douglas Coupland
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (obviously my favorite book of all time)
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
  • And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

All of the books above were read in summers and magically became my favorites. Each of them left a lasting impression on me, but most importantly taught me the intimacy that comes with a good book. I think this idea came with Trainspotting, which, to me, is one of the most intimate books in the whole world. With each character's chapter (especially the endearing Spud), I felt as if I was sitting with them at a cafe, listening to them tell me about their day. It might've been the first time I felt like fictional people were my friends (*sigh*, I have to read it again soon).
So school's back and I'm feeling pretty hermity. Not only that, but I want to educate myself independently, you know? I want to lose myself in books again this year. I've got an ever-expanding library list and I'm way excited to get some checked off of it this year!

This is what it looks like at the moment:

  • Gilbert Adair: The Holy Innocents (the book that inspired Bertolucci's famous adaptation The Dreamers-- it's rare as hell, so it'll be a challenge to score! The cheapest copies I've seen are anywhere from $40-80... and this is a short story!)
  • Lesley Arfin: Dear Diary (not sure why I haven't gotten around to it yet. Have any of you guys read it?)
  • Simone de Beauvoir: The Mandarins and The Second Sex (these selections were both inspired by reading Persepolis, not to mention I want to educate myself as a feminist. I'm so reading The Feminine Mystique one day.)
  • Bret Easton Ellis: American Psycho and The Informers (the former is apparently a classic, and I can't find it at bookstores or libraries! I'm excited to read it though. The latter will be a movie soon, so I need to get that read ASAP!)
  • John Milton: Paradise Lost (a book I kept getting confused with Lost Horizon by, um, James Hilton! Seriously, can you blame me?)

Do you guys have any summer favorites? What have been your beach reads this year? Tell me the good, the bad, the awesomely trashy-- I want to know it all! Let's give each other recommendations!

Does anyone else have a reading checklist for this year as well? Totally let me know about that! I'm here to hear.

P.S. Erika, apologies, I've totally stolen your layout hook-up. Was getting tired of the same ol' same ol', I hope you don't mind!

3 comments:

Valentina said...

I loves the new layout girl! It's cute!!

Excellent book choices. I can't remember the first time I ever read Trainspotting, but god is it an amazing book. I have in fact read Dear Diary. I loved it. That might be just because Lesley Arfin reminds me SO much of my big sister. Ironically enough it was Lesley that led me to the missbehave website, cause I read that she was going to be blogging there. I had read missbehave before but never been on the actual website. So if it hadn't been for Lesley, I never would have met you guys! That's why I'm team Lesley Arfin!!

I recommend the book White Teeth by Zadie Smith. It's probably my favorite book of all time, and I totally read it a few summers ago. And I'm With the Band is a classic summery read.

lolitahazed said...

Woah. Woah-- seriously? Okay, this is freaky. The Peach Pit's existence boggles my mind, I mean seriously! Somehow, everyone on that list was led to the same place by some randomly shared interest that may never be clarified! Okay, that's really crazy. Now I have to have it!

Dude, I TOTALLY forgot about putting I'm With the Band on my list. Thanks for that reminder! And I'm not sure I've ever heard of White Teeth, but it doesn't matter-- I'm sure it's wonderful, so it's been added to my list!
Y'know, I think we should all trade all-time favorites. Our tastes are all so similar I doubt there'd be many disputes against recommendations!

All I can say is, God, do I love finding people I have stuff in common with.

Erika said...

Good morning! That's okay if you took my hookup girl. It's funny how you mention wanting something new, cos I've been looking for a new layout anyway!
I have a terrible history of reading chick lit, but I'm trying to read more serious novels because it's impossible to get taken seriously while your book du jour is "Secrets Of The Model Dorm." (That's a terrible book btw...)
The best books that I've read so far are Jemima J and Bookends by Jane Green, Sacred Cows (it's a mystery!) by Karen Olson, and I finally got around to reading The Westing Game and I abso loved it.
I really recommend The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan. I had to read it in HS and fell i love with it. And her other book, A Hundred Secret Senses. I'm currently trying to get through Saving Fish From Drowning, but not successfully! I also recommend The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler and sadly I'm still trying to finish Jane Eyre (I started it back in middle school!) but what I've read so far is amazing! Obvi, books are a passion around this here Peach Pit!

 

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