I’m sad to admit that I haven’t been dedicating much time to reading lately.
But with the summer months ahead and the promise of lazy weekends swimming and lounging outside, I plan on getting back into it. I’ve compiled a short list of a few recent book purchases that I plan on reading this summer, but I’d love for you to share your recommendations as well!
First on my list is the J.D. Salinger classic Franny and Zooey. I’ve always wanted to read this, as I love his work, but there’s also a bit of a story behind it that I wanted to share.
I lost my mom a little over ten years ago. It’s something I’ve come to terms with, but I still miss her every day and sometimes I think she sends me messages or signs. If I’m going through a particularly rough time, or grappling with a difficult decision, sometimes something will happen that I like to think is a sign from her. I know it sounds strange and it’s a little tough to explain, but here’s one example: I have one of her rings, and it’s probably my most cherished possession. I rarely take it off, but I guess I did at some point and I couldn’t find it for a few weeks. On the tenth anniversary of her passing, I happened to be looking for something in the trunk of my car and something silver and turquoise tucked in a nook on the side of the trunk caught my eye. It was her ring, and I felt like it was her way of telling me she was there with me that day.
Back to the present. I was at Austin’s antique mall a few weeks ago… it’s a massive space, one that you can get lost in for hours digging through fabric bins, vintage home goods, clothing, and so much more. One booth is full of used books, and it’s a favorite of mine. I love old books (something I’ve written about on this blog before), and I especially love finding one and opening it up to reveal notes in the margin or a name and date on the inside. When I spotted Franny and Zooey I didn’t even open it, I knew it was coming home with me.
As I was preparing to write this post, I picked up the book and cracked it open. On the inside flap was a paperclip attaching a hand-written note that has been yellowed with time. It reads:
Dear J—- (name not discernible) dear –
I found this book rad – as much of his stuff has a rad thread through it –
Will read “Travels with Charley” when I finish –
I love you,
Now, obviously this is a note written from someone else’s mom… but still. It tugged at my heart, especially with Mother’s Day having just passed. I like to believe this book, and the note, found their way to me for a reason, and I’m so glad they did.
Second on my list was a gift from my Dad that I’m excited to read this summer. I love books about music, and Greil Marcus is a noted music critic and journalist who has written for Rolling Stone, Cream, and more. I’m excited to delve into his mind and find out why he thinks the ten chosen songs are so iconic. For someone who also likes to write about music, it’s always fascinating to me to understand how others interpret music and translate it via the written word.
Another old classic, The Stranger by Albert Camus is one of my all time favorite books. I love revisiting books that I’ve read before, and this one is a pretty quick read but has a ton of depth to it. If you haven’t read it, I highly, highly recommend it – it really makes you think. When I spotted this version at Farewell Books I couldn’t resist picking it up, how amazing is the cover?
Speaking of Farewell Books, the final book on my list was a recommendation from shop owner Mikaylah. When it comes to buying new books, I’m always a little bit stuck and love getting recommendations from people who are much more knowledgeable than I am. I definitely suggest stopping by your local bookstore and doing the same! Mikaylah recommended a few books, but I’m taking her up on one called Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai first. Described (briefly) as “proof that the devil has more fun,” I’m highly intrigued by this post-apocalyptic style tale.
Now it’s your turn! What’s on your reading list this summer?