Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer reading

 I thought it might be fun to post a bit on summer reading, the dream of vacationers and grad students alike. Every year, I amass a pile of books for reading over breaks. I add and add to the pile, decide it has gotten too large to be manageable and then whittle it down again. Repeat.

Above you see my current pile, although I admit that I already read A Year in Provence, and it was lovely. I found it in a thrift store on the Delmarva peninsula on a weekend getaway and when I saw Julia Child's endorsement on the back (simply, "I really loved this book."), I knew I had to have it. It did not disappoint, as I found it to be funny, informative, and full of daydream material. Highly recommended by me (and Julia Child). The Pynchon novel is one of my husband's favorites, and he has been needling me to try a Pynchon novel for a while. Jared introduced me to a few wonderful books over the years, including A Farewell to Arms, so I trust his judgment. We made a deal that while I read through it he will reread it so that we can discuss it together. I'm sorry to say he is getting through it much more quickly than I am. The other novels are just some I have been hoping to read for a while. Only time will tell which remain in my reading pile and are actually read this summer.

The last book is dissertation guidance/inspiration/motivation, which I'm reading section by section as I work. The method of outlining and breaking the work into manageable chunks is really helpful, I think. Also, if you want to get through the end of your graduate school work asap, this is the book for you; anyone who wants to meander through the dissertation will be disappointed in the emphasis on choosing projects and methods that move as quickly as possible. However, for those of us who are itching to get on with it, the focus on speed is welcome and needed.

Finally, it seemed funny to contrast my summer reading with my pile of books from the semester. Mind you, I renewed all of those library books through the fall so they aren't leaving my life. I am going to enjoy turning to them a bit less and turning to novels a bit more, however.

Hope the summer is bringing you a vacation or two and some extracurricular readings, as well!

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