There is no summer for me. When I move house, I plug my wires into new walls. When the seasons change, I change what I wear at the computer. It’s a terrible life, but it’s what I’ve made. Furthermore, I seldom have the luxury of choosing what to read. Between my blogging and critical obligations, as well as the stack of friends’ neglected manuscripts on my desk, I can barely even pay attention to what’s actually out there to read for fun.
That said, on those rare occasions when I do allow a few rays from the sun to fry my pale Scots-Irish skin — for the sake of vitamin D, I tell myself, or to help the environment by reflecting more sunlight back into space — I like to have a variety of books that will challenge and delight.
Which ones I choose are based on a simple formula: entertainment + compulsion + delight = good read. What makes a book entertaining? You don’t want to put it down. What makes a book compelling? It challenges you to think. What makes a book delightful? When you do put it down you can’t stop thinking about it. Of course, you can’t tell if a book qualifies until after you’ve read it, which makes deciding which books to pack a risk.
With that in mind, I have a few recommendations (all of which steer clear of conglomerate press blockbusters — you can find those at the front of your big-box bookstores, right next to the scented candles). All my choices offer serious entertainment along with healthy doses of literary inquisitiveness and love of language.
Archive for June, 2009
I’ll be reading twice in July, first in Dublin and then back here in St. John’s. Info below. If you happen to be in one of these two places near those dates, I’d love to meet you!
George Murray at Fighting Words
(Fighting Words is the charity creative writing centre run by Roddy Doyle and Sean Love)
July 14, 2009
Ireland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
Writers Alliance Monthly Readings Featuring: Stephen Rowe and George Murray
Wednesday, July 22, 7:00pm
Railway Coastal Museum
495 Water Street
St. John’s, NL
Phone: (709) 739-5215