The search for the perfect summer read continues
A few weeks ago I offered a couple of suggestions for summer reading — classic novels I thought would make great alternatives to some of the current best sellers on http://Amazon.com . I also invited you to send in your own picks. Please keep your suggestions coming.
This week I want to feature reader Scarlet Trybala’s Summer reading list suggestions. Scarlet chose a stable of classic titles she has enjoyed over the years. She instantly won a spot in my good graces by including one of Shakespeare’s plays in her picks.
The play she chose is especially appropriate as the weather runs full bore into Summer’s heat. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is one of my favorites. This magical tale of romance and fairies features a ton of slapstick comedy, witty dialogue and unforgettable characters. It’s the kind of story that is fantastic enough to take your mind off the heat as you while away your own midsummer evening.
Among Scarlet suggestions is “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville. “Not exactly light reading but worth the effort,” she said in her note to me earlier this month.
Scarlet’s other picks include: “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. She also suggested “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. “Always wonderful; and for extra points it’s on the William Blount High School Summer reading list,” she said.
I’m adding a ton of detective and pulp fiction to my ever-growing pile of reading I hope to get to this summer. On the detective front, I’m working my way through all the Kenzie and Gennaro novels by Dennis Lehane. I wrote about the first two volumes of the series last year. So far the rest of the books are holding up the expectations set by the initial titles. I’m also planning to check out Don Winslow’s “Savages” before I see the film later this month; and I have a Robert Parker novel queued up as well — his series featuring the Spenser character contains some classics of the PI genre.
I have really enjoyed the BBC (re-aired here on PBS) reboot of Sherlock Holmes. (I have not enjoyed the films starring Robert Downey, Jr. — sorry, Rob!) Seeing some of my favorite Sherlock stories in a new setting has given me a hankering to re-re-re-read the original series.
One of my favorite movies this year is the woefully under-appreciated “John Carter.” Thanks to the film, I’ve dipped my toe in the series (100 years old now, if you can believe that) penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs before he created Tarzan — a beloved series from my own childhood, I have to add.
Hopefully Scarlet’s list and my own increasingly unmanageable collection of Summer reading picks can inspire you and your family with some ideas for hot weather entertainment. Keep your suggestions coming to (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll include other picks later in the season.
Timothy Hankins is a writer, musician and regular contributor to Weekend.