For me, summer reading means Jacqueline Susann. It means froth and guilty pleasures and print that can be read through sunglasses. Unfortunately, due to some masochistic part of my personality, my summer reading has not featured any of those elements. In the past I have picked one or two high level novels to tackle as the temperature rises and filled the rest of the time with writers like Susann, Dan Brown, Charlaine Harris, John Grisham, James Patterson, Sophie Kinsella, Michael Crichton, and Helen Golding. This summer I elected to take hours above my masters to pursue professional and educational opportunities. Rather than detailing my reading, I’ll let a picture speak a hundred thousand words.
Of those books, only the top one isn’t for school and it is sadly the most neglected. But, as is always the case when you open yourself to knowledge, the books below it have really informed my point of view beyond academia. Some suggestions for my readers who want the Cliffsnotes version of my reading:
- Check out Brazilian Tropicialia music. My four year old especially love Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso. It’s pretty funny to hear her singing Portuguese protest music. (If you are a Beck fan, I especially recommend this because he draws heavily from Tropicalia–see Mutations as a prime example.)
- Read Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. It’s beautiful, intelligent, and amazingly well-crafted.
- Watch Hotel Rwanda and Black God, White Devil. The first will remind you of the price of indifference. The second is an example of Brazilian Cinema Novo, which continues to impact modern American film making.
As my history professor suggests in his syllabus: eat well, nap often.