Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Proposed Summer Reading and A Random Question

As best I can tell I skipped posting a summer reading list last year--I just talked about inactivating all the books on hold for me at the public library (and some of those holds are still inactivated: the guilt I deal with on a daily basis) so that I could read some of the ones I already owned. Above's the bulk of the books I hope to get through this summer. I of course want to read the new Justin Cronin, the new biography of E.M. Forster, and whatever will turn out to be the next selection for the Slaves and the newly-formed book club at work, but I don't have any of those on hand for the photo op.

The official Books of Summer 2010 are:

George Gissing's Demos. My Victorian lit for the summer.

Scarlett Thomas's The End of Mr. Y. I love some quantum physics in my fiction. Just started it last night.

J.C. Hallman's In Utopia. Advanced proofs; it's being published in August.

Jean Stafford's The Mountain Lion. NYRB is republishing this over the summer; I'm making do with an older University of New Mexico edition rescued from Compact Shelving.

Dorothy Canfield's The Home-Maker and Leonard Woolf's The Wise Virgins. Still more rescues from Compact Shelving instead of those nice Persephone editions everyone else has been reading.

J.G. Farrell's Troubles. I'm a little worried it'll get recalled before I get it read, but maybe no one else at the university is interested in the Lost Booker.

James Joyce's Ulysses. W. and I intend to have this finished by Labor Day. (I'm currently in the Circe chapter.)

Rebecca West's This Real Night. For my too-long-neglected Rebecca West project.

Wallace Stegner's The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

J.D. Hallman's The Hospital for Bad Poets.

Mary Lee Settle's Know Nothing.

Doris Lessing's The Sweetest Dream.

Doris Betts' The Scarlet Thread.

Maggie O'Farrell's The Hand that First Held Mine. Review copy.

Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists.

Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge. My most recent purchase.

Justin Cronin's The Passage.

Wendy Moffat's A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. Forster.

And my random question: Are there any extroverts who prefer character over plot in their reading? I know some introverts who prefer plot over character, but I can't come up with any extroverted acquaintances who prefer riding a character's thought waves over watching the character pick up the surfboard and head to the beach.


  1. Random answer: I think I'm an extrovert & I definitely don't demand plot. 20 years of studying Woolf ought to vouch for that. Enjoy your reads!

  2. What an interesting thought. I'm an introvert who prefers plot over character, but I have to say this is a form of connection I hadn't thought about before. I love the idea of drawing up a summer reading list. I must have a go at my own.

  3. I'm an introvert, and I need both plot and character, but the latter is more important. Recently read Jane Gardam's Old Filth and Man in the Wooden Hat, and they had exemplary characterizations.

    Loved The Homemaker. Look forward to hearing what you think of The Imperfectionists and the Orringer!

    Now, back to trying to cram in the last of the third Larsson before starting on the Baroque Cycle. Whee!

  4. I'm an extrovert and I am totally rooting for the character. Once I get to know the characters, I sort of make mental sketches of them and try to follow the plot through their eyes. If there is a character I can identify with or am in conflict with, it just makes for a great read.

  5. Also an extrovert whose goes in for character development. Like Anne, might explain my great love of Woolf. Interesting question here though. Occasionally feel that the dominance of introverts in book blogging leads to a perceived preference for plots among most readers. But I could be over-simplifying the matter.


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