I Now Proclaim This the Summer of . . .

Finish that quote.

Never mind, I’m just going to tell you. It’s from the finale of the eighth season of Seinfeld. George is fired from the Yankees but receives three months of severance pay, so he declares it “the summer of George,” in which he will do all the things he has always wanted to do. Somewhere in his rant he wildly proclaims that he may even read a book from beginning to end, and in that order. Through a convoluted turn of events (what else?), he winds up in the hospital fighting for the ability to ever walk again.

In the spirit of George Costanza’s frenzied declaration, I have decided to proclaim this the summer of . . . well, fiction. Not very exciting, but I take what I can get. From now until Labor Day, I am only going to read novels (with, of course, a few exceptions). No theology! no philosophy! No, um . . . theology! And to whet my appetite, here’s what’s on the docket. None of them are a surprise considering my usual fiction habits, but that’s just fine with me of course. I won’t get to all of these, but I will get to most of them.

Some Russian classics:

Dostoevsky.

The Idiot (I’m starting this one tonight.)

Demons (This book, by Rowan Williams, has provided the final impetus for getting to these two. Not that one should need impetus to read Dostoevsky. Maybe Williams’s book is just an excuse to read more Dostoevsky.)

Tolstoy.

Anna Karenina (This one’s a maybe. I started it the summer after I graduated from college. Then I got a job. It still beckons me from the shelf.)

And then some more recent classics (or at least standouts, if not classics)

Michael Chabon

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union (I’ve been dying to read this since it came out but just haven’t gotten around to it)

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (for somebody who loves Michael Chabon, I have not read much Michael Chabon.)

David Guterson (I read Snow Falling on Cedars in the first weeks after I moved to the Pacific Northwest and loved it but have failed to get around to more of his work since.)

East of the Mountains (I picked this up for $1 yesterday!)

Our Lady of the Forest

The Other (brand spankin’ new!)

Richard Ford (On a fine early summer afternoon in Vancouver, recently freed from the constraints of a semester of grad school, I stood in a used bookshop and deliberated between a book by David Guterson, since I had read and like Snow Falling on Cedars a year before, and a book called The Sportswriter by a guy I had heard about named Richard Ford. I chose the latter on a whim and he has since become far and away my favorite novelist writing today. These are his earlier works, which I am ashamed not to have read.)

Rock Springs (This one for sure, the others if I happen upon them in some dusty corner of a bookshop.)

The Ultimate Good Luck

A Piece of My Heart

Wildlife

Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian

Any of his earlier stuff (i.e., pre-Blood Meridian) if I get around to it.

How exciting! If I get to half of these I’ll be happy. Heck, I’m happy just to let fly and read some fabulous novels for a couple months straight.

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4 comments so far

  1. derekryanbrown on

    Excellent. I’m still stuck near the beginning of Independence Day, but am eager to return to it when I get home.

  2. Ryan Cordell on

    About time you read the Idiot. And does this mean it is no longer the summer of Ryan! I thought I declared it already.

  3. Shannon on

    I just want the record to show that I simply told Lucas to finish the quote and he knew it instantly. So he would’ve won if you would’ve kept it as a game. :)

  4. Levi on

    Hooray for fiction! I had myself a Spring of Fiction this year and it was great. Things have slowed down a little as of late, but my novel count for this year stands at around 42 (my list is at home), which is either very impressive or very embarrassing! Just this month I’ve decided to switch gears and read from genres I haven’t ever really dipped into. I finished my first western novel a couple of days ago (Shane) and am enjoyed it quite a bit. Quite a different turn from Sci-Fi! Next on my list of westerns is either Hondo by Louis L’Amour or McCarthy’s border trilogy. Either way, I want to read the both of them.

    Oh, and as a little aside, I am working on that meme you tagged me with a while back. I am just settling into a new blog on .mac and am not quite ready to reveal it yet. I’ll let you know!


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