Summer Reading

I love summer reading. It’s the time of year when you get a chance to catch up on all those books you’ve meant to read during the year–or to reread a perennial favorite or two. And as an adult, you get to make your own list of must reads. Here’s a selection of what’s on my short list this summer:

1. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. This 19th-century British mystery cum love story is considered the first mystery in the Western canon. In the early 1970s, Masterpiece Theatre did a televised version of the novel on PBS. As a teen at the time, I was captivated by the story, with its complex characters both tragic and delightful, its humor, period costumes, and surprise ending. I’m in the early chapters of rereading the novel (the chapter about Miss Clack and her tracts, to be precise) and am finding it to be even better than what I remembered.

2. Anything by M. F. K. Fisher. I’m a foodie, and it’s somewhat embarrassing to admit that I haven’t actually read anything by Ms. Fisher, one of the most noteworthy English-language food writers of our time. As I am a francophone, a francophile, and a degree holder in French literature, it’s a double embarrassment to me: Ms. Fisher translated from French into English Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste, a classic tome by an iconic French gastronome. Maybe I should add that to my list too–in the original French, of course!

3. Twelve Long Months by Brian Malloy. I recently met Brian, the education director at The Loft Literary Center here in Minneapolis. Besides his work at The Loft, he also writes YA novels, and this one won the 2009 Minnesota Book Award for young people’s literature.

4. A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco. This is actually a collection of illustrated poems that I read about in the spring on Elizabeth Bird’s Fuse #8 blog. I’m a cat lover, and this picture book promises to delight with all manner of tales-in-verse that we cat owners immediately recognize to be part of the fun of living with a feline.

Check in next week for more from TFCB.