Turn the Page

Summer Reading, pt.2

By - Jul 6th, 2010 04:00 am
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Visual Arts writer Judith Ann Moriarty

Fahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury

The year is 1953 and I’m a junior in a Kansas City high school. Books are square. What I dig are drive-in movies and drive-in burger joints, hold the onions please. In the basement of the library at UCLA, typing on a time-metered (10 cents per half-hour) Remington, Ray Bradbury is pounding out Fahrenheit 451. I don’t read it.

The year is 2010 and the era of books meant to be held in hands appears to be at its end, though their death is not by fire as it is in Bradbury’s work, but rather it’s from the deadly economics of the publishing business. Bradbury has calculated correctly, for the elegant word on the elegant page, bound to be held, is giving way to e-books, and now that I’ve said that, who’s to say that those words entering virtual space will undergo an even
creepier form of “mind control?” Think about the rise of the righteous right who decry various publications. Francois Truffaut’s film version of the book is simply sensational and I’ve seen it several times, but read the book first.  When you’re finished, hide your copy where only you can find it.

High Lonesome
New & Selected Stories 1966 – 2006
Joyce Carol Oates

Listen, just because it’s summer don’t bother me with books of fluff, because what’s the point of lowering the bar? Hand me High Lonesome by tried-and-true Joyce Carol Oates, whose meander-through short stories from the 1960s – 1990s (plus eleven newer tales) are leisure time well spent.

A grad from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she ground through the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and by dint of dedication, is now a wildly respected professor at Princeton. How’s this for an opening line? “ There are places in the world where people vanish.” It’s from Spider Boy. What a web it spins!

Visual Arts writer Ryan Findley

Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Gabriel García Márquez

An old journalist, on the eve of his 90th birthday, decides he wants to sleep with a teenage virgin. He finds a local madame to procure one for him, and then proceeds to fall ridiculously, jealously in love with her while reflecting on his life and the meaning of both love and age.

 

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Muriel Barbery

In an hôtel particulier in Paris, a suicidal 12-year-old and the 54-year-old autodidact concierge both have ample reasons to hide their essential selves from the world around them, until a new tenant moves into the building and upends both of their lives and plans.

0 thoughts on “Turn the Page: Summer Reading, pt.2”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fahrenheit 451 was also made into a play which is opening this Thursday at the Alchemist Theatre from July 8th through the 24th. http://www.aclhemisttheatre.com for info or tickets. Amazing play, but read the book as well.

  2. Anonymous says:

    and this is why I should re-read my comments. http://www.alchemisttheatre.com it works better if spelled correctly.

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