Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Summer Reads: The Inklings & Others


As an English major, I have people constantly recommending books to me, so I try to keep track of them all over at GoodReads. Sure, it's another social network, but to a good purpose. I can keep running lists of "To read," "Currently Reading," and "Read." I'll grant you, there are many more books on the "To Read" than there are on the other two! But that's okay. Although I must admit to feeling overwhelmed when I think of all the books I want to read or when I so much as set foot in a library, it's rather consoling to realize that I will never, ever, get bored in this lifetime.

Here are my rather ecclectic selections for the rest of summer:
  • Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter stories--classic British detective stories I've enjoyed while working out or walking on the treadmill. I'm so much more motivated to exercise when it involves a literary escape with one so charming as Lord Peter Whimsey!
  • J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit--the prequel to Lord of the Rings, this is utter enchantment. Why have I avoided Tolkien so long? Now it's on to the rest of the series, which feels rather like an epic journey in itself.
  • C.S. Lewis's The Pilgrim's Regress--speaking of journeys, there's this meander through Puritania, a spin-off of Bunyan's Progress, in which a newly-converted Lewis responds to the philosophies of the ages.
And parting company with the Inklings, there are:
  • Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe--the beloved adventure story, but there's so much more to it than that! It's a prodigal's tale...
  • Ernest Hemingway's Islands in the Stream, published posthumously. Worth a read for the descriptions alone. Listen: "The house felt almost as much like a ship as a house. Placed there to ride out the storms, it was built into the island as though it were a part of it; but you saw the sea from all the windows and there was good cross ventilation so that you slept cool on the hottest nights. The house was painted white to be cool in the summer and it could be seen a long way out in the Gulf Stream." But then there's H.'s characterization and his dialogue that says so much in so few words.
  • David McCullough's John Adams--what made him the man he was? That's the question I'm asking as I make the trek through this 656 page biography that reads like a novel. Adams's companion for his journey had a lot to do withthe man he ultimately became. Abigail was no doormat wife but acted as John's closest confidante, advising him on matters of state as well as managing their family home and farm in his absence. I border on harboring an obsession with the Adamses, and this book isn't helping to curb it any!
And last, but not least, the texts for my Biblical Interpretation class. I'll save them for another post, since this list is lengthy enough containing just my pleasure reads.

What are you trying to finish up from your summer reading list?

2 comments:

{lauryl} said...

Yes, YES!! Dorothy Sayers! I have every single Lord Peter Wimsey novel, they're such great quick reads. And tell me you've read PG Wodehouse- Jeeves and Wooster, too?

I read The Hobbit years ago and didn't get into it enough to tackle the LOTR books... but perhaps I should try again.

Last week I read To Kill A Mockingbird, two days ago I finished The Great Gatsby, and last night I began Julie and Julia. It's been a good summer for literary pursuits!

Anna M Blanch said...

Keep going. Sounds like a wonderful list.

You should add some Nesbit when you have time. She was an important author for many of the Inklings when they were children!

Also, today's post is in part for you. I finally explain what Goannatree means!