Saturday, June 6, 2009

DanielleTBD's Summer Reading List...

Summer may not technically-- officially-- be upon us just yet, but in Los Angeles the sun has been shining and the temperature sweltering for weeks now, allowing me (when not covering faboo celebrity events, that is) to drag my butt out to the sands of Malibu and flop down with my pillow-towel and a good book. Yes, good readers of My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture, not only do I watch enough television for three people, but I read quite a bit, too. Admittedly, when reading in the hot, hot sun, I do prefer lighter topics, like relationship memoirs or chick lit about groups of friends who come together over book clubs (or chocolate clubs!) of their own. Now, since summer has barely started for me, I have to admit I haven't read a whole lot just yet-- though two weekends ago I plowed through "How To Sleep Alone In A King-Sized Bed" (surprisingly refreshing) and "The Chocolate Lover's Club" (surprisingly stereotypical and left me hungry-- for another book and for chocolate!). So the list you will find below is not a list of my recommendations of what you should read this summer (ala Stephen King's column in Entertainment Weekly) but simply the stack that I plan to read this summer. If any strike your fancy and you pick them up, too, please feel free to comment back on what you think of them!

"Holly's Inbox"
Written by a man under a female pseudonym, "Holly's Inbox" is the perfect digital-aged way to become invested in a character and her exploits. Told through a series of email exchanges with friends and colleagues, "Holly's Inbox" is the perfect "chick lit" tale of long lost love and the obstacles in its way to read on the beach this summer! Besides, I've definitely had fantasies about hacking into certain people's email accounts to get the "inside dirt" on other certain people, and this is like the perfect voyeuristic way to do such a thing.

"I'm Down: A Memoir"
To continue with the theme of attempting to scope out my competition in the way of short-story chapter memoirs, "I'm Down" by Mishna Wolff just seemed to be the next logical one on the list. The daughter of a single (white) father grew up in a poor black neighborhood, being raised by a man who wore a perm to reflect an Afro, gold chains, and a Kangol, and wanted his daughter to sing, dance, and play basketball. But she found she didn't quite fit in. And to add insult to injury, she didn't fit in at the rich, all-white school he sent her to, either; she was a girl divided, and the results prove to be quite comical.

Told in choppy chapters that jump around in time and in mood, Terri Cheney's own memoir of her debilitating lifelong struggle with manic depression is admittedly not be the typical "light" reading that I like to do in the harsh summer sunlight. However, the subject matter has been of interest to me since I read "An Unquiet Mind" in high school and based on my own screenplay on the stories depicted there, and everyone from The New York Times to Entertainment Weekly raved about just how poignant and memorable this one is.

"Cat's Cradle"
It's a bit unforgivable that as a writer I haven't read Kurt Vonnegut's masterpiece of metaphoric writing, but for many years I took the "scientist and G-Men" filled summaries at face value, and sci-fi/fantasy was never my genre. However, after catching an episode of The Unusuals, in which Adam Goldberg's character plucks the novel off a dying man's bedside table, it became clear that the underlying themes of man's self-destruction were just as present as the aforementioned scientists, and that was something I could definitely get behind!

"Smart Girls Like Me"
Diane Vadino takes a page from my own past life as she creates a period piece (late 1990s) world of ever-growing worry and distraction. Her main character in "Smart Girls Like Me" not only works at a magazine, plays fast and loose with TV references but also is at odds with herself and her opinions on what "true love" really looks like-- or even if it actually exists. Though the story has been compared to "Bridget Jones' Diary," I have a feeling that's not giving it enough credit!

I don't have a Kindle, so I missed this Stephen King novella release back in February. I did just download the Kindle app for my iPhone, though, so now is the perfect time to download an eBook and check it out (I just hope the glare on the screen isn't too strong! In "UR," King is self-reflexive towards his medium, telling a tale of an "old school" professor who is hesitant to get onboard with too many new technologies, but after his ex accuses him of "not being with the times," he orders a Kindle. What is delivered to him, though, is the stuff of only a King novel, as it unlocks a secret literary world that upon first glance appears magical but turns quite grim quite fast.

I tend to go through a book every time I'm at the beach and/or the pool, and I plan to be there every Saturday and Sunday at least until October, so as you can imagine, this current list will barely get me into next month! Leave your suggestions for books I should check out (old or new) this summer in the comments below!

1 comment:

Holly said...

Thank you!
I'm glad you liked it, kind of you to write about it too.