Summer Reading, pt.2
Visual Arts writer Judith Ann Moriarty
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.
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.
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
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
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.