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June 16, 2006


I just got a copy of Patrick Gale's "A Sweet Obscurity." I'd be happy just spending the summer re-reading all his books -- British, often gay-themed, witty and emotionally affecting. Check him out on Amazon.com -- my favorites are "The Aerodynamics of Pork," "Rough Music" and "Facing the Tank." I just re-read Colm Toibin's "The Master" and would recommend it to any Henry James fans. Alan Furst's WWII noir mysteries are great ... and there seem to be dozens of them ... and you can't beat Barbara Pym for another underappreciated British writer with nearly a dozen titles to see you from the 4th of July through Labor Day. And I'd love to re-read Alan Hollinghurst's earlier work, especially "The Swimming Pool Library."

I highly recommend "Suite Française" by Irène Nemirovsky. It is without doubt one of the greatest literary works I've read in many years. I am positive you will be fascinated by the story behind the discovery of this important book and the fate of the author and her family in occupied France and after WWII.

Actually, once you've read the Harry Potter series, that leaves just me. I'll eventually get around to them.

I've been a lazy reader, partially because my head is deeply buried in the blogosphere. Have started 1906 by James Dallessandro, and have a stack of food-related stuff to get through too.

I loved "Life of Pi". I really did. There was so much to it for me. All that stuff about animals and zoos and nature. I dug it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I've read about 8 pages of "Kite Runner". Other than that, I have three books that are still unfinished: "Middlesex", "Year of Magical Thinking", and "Cesar's Way" (yes, the autobiography of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer -- good stuff).

As for the rest of the summer, I'll pick a few from the uprightandstowed crew. Happy Summer all!

"American Theocracy" by Kevin Phillips is an excellent book on the current, alarming state of the country caused by the mixture of fundamentalist religion, debt-financed government spending and oil. Phillips, a Republican strategist from the Nixon administration, has repudiated his party and become extremely worried about what the Republicans have wrought. He draws interesting parallels between current American politics and the decline of past empires.

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