Summer Reading – 2007

Since my favorite shows “The Office” and “Lost” are now officially over for the season, I decided it was time to construct my summer reading list. Today, I made it official and purchased the following books for my summer reading. I cannot contain my excitement

Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky:

This is the one book of fiction that made my early summer reading list. Last year, I thought I had this great idea for a novel where I would write about the occupation of Paris by the Nazis from the perspective of a young French girl, forced to shack up with a few German soldiers in order to ensure that her family would have enough food to eat while her spirited young fiancee as a POW in Germany. Then I realized, someone already wrote a book that was probably much better than any one that I could come up with that already covered that area. So now, I thought I would get around to reading it. I will just have to focus on writing my other World War II novel. That one, I don’t think anyone has written yet. It is a top secret project for now.

Kingfish: The Reigh of Huey P. Long: Richard D. White Jr.

If you have ever driven across the longest bridge in the world, somewhere in the middle, when you can’t see to either shore of Lake Pontchartrain, you start to wonder, who was the Huey P. Long, that everything in the state of Lousiana seems to be named after? I have read All The King’s Men, now I want to know the real story. I also want to understand better why Louisiana still cannot manage to elect a politician that is honest and uncorruptable.

The Guns of August: Barbara W. Tuchman

I feel it is time that I renewed my understanding of World War I. It is just about that time. Sometime in the past ten years my recollection of the origins of World War I started to become more foggy, and AP European History started to fade from memory. I have been meaning to read this book for awhile.
Too Close to the Sun: The Audacious Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton: Sara Wheeler

I have developed crushes on many dead, historical figures in my day (Most crush-worthy founding father – Alexander Hamilton; most desirable humanist – Sir Thomas More). However, none has been more consistent over the course of my life than my crush on Denys Finch Hatton. Not only do I think that he possessed one of the most fantastic names ever given to any person, but everything about him is just fascinating, charming, and endearing. Believe me, I understand why Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen was totally undone by him. Who couldn’t love someone, described by his Eton classmates as “autocrat and democrat, an adored tyrant.” Isn’t that what we all sometimes want to be? I hate that slut, Beryl Markham for trying to steal him away too. I am glad that a new book has been published to allow me to continue this obsession and take me back to East Africa vicariously.

The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence: Martin Meredith

Because I am a little bit bipolar, my study of history goes something like this: Pre World War II – I am obsessed with Western European History (and maybe you can through a smattering of American History in there too); post World War II – It is all about the history of the Developing World, most particularly Africa. It has been awhile since I have sat down and read a good African History book, and I need to refresh my recollection of a few dozen various dictators. Post World War II history for Europe is so boring. Cold War. Blah, blah, blah. Lets go to the developing world where all of the little vicarious conflicts were actually fought and see how many lives the “Superpowers” ruined.

Alright, all of this talking about these books has made me want to finish this entry up and just start reading. The only problem is, I don’t know with which one to start. I have a long road trip tomorrow over the Cascades for the Sasquatch Music Festival. Three hours in a car reading; I can’t wait.

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