Saturday, June 13, 2009

Authors on the Beach

Those in cooler parts of the northern hemisphere and looking forward to that thing called "summer" and the book page editors play along.

The Washington Post asked authors which book character they would like to accompany them for a day on the beach. Can you imagine Jodi Picoult playing frisbee with Mr. Darcy; Garrison Keillor coaxing Emily Dickinson out of the house for some much needed sun; or Arthur Philips looking to Captain Ahab to protect him from the jellyfish? Fun.

(I think I'd take along Jeeves to mix me cocktails exactly as I like them and be there with the cold towels ... an unobtrusive but ever vigilant presence.)

The Guardian asks writers including A.S. Byatt, AL Kennedy and David Lodge to recall the book that best recaptures for them a favourite holiday spot in Britain. My choice here would be Bruce Chatwin's On the Black Hill, which is set in the Black mountains on the border between England and Wales - it brought back strong memories of a family holiday where we stayed in a farmhouse, helped out with the animals and rode a pony along green countrylanes. (This novel is one of my lifetime favourites and I'd love to nudge you to read it. It should be a classic.)

You can go to two extremes with summer reading says Betty Simnacher on the Dallas morning News blog:
... or, of course, take the middle way. You can go for the beach book -- fluffy reads that don't require a lot of concentration -- or you can tackle the heavyweights.
I've never been one for fluffy reads, but I can't stand anything too depressing or heavy on the beach. I'll vet the books I take on holiday more carefully since having to restrain myself from throwing Anne Enright into the swimming pool in Bali. (The novel, not the author, luckily.)

Simnacher links to interesting summer reading lists at The Wall Street Journal, and to NPR's website where a whole lot of independent booksellers across the States weigh in with their choices. (You can listen to the podcast too.)

Eric Forbes profiles June reading suggestions on his blog.

I'll append any more summer reading lists as I find them. (And perhaps some winter ones from down under!)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ah, to be an author on a nice, beautiful, virgin beach eh, Bib ? :)

bibliobibuli said...

i have a house on an island in a virtual world. that will have to do for now.

Anonymous said...

That's the wonderful thing about the imagination, isn't? You can have everything in all the alternate universes.

Greenbottle said...

i feel sorry for holden caulfield. i don't mind having coffee with him and i'll explain where all those ducks go in winter.

glenda larke said...

Can't think of a book that recaptures a holiday, but reading Tim Winton's Cloudstreet took me back to my childhood, up to University days, so evocatively that I could smell the same things...

Damyanti said...

I'd take Portofino with me, it is a light novel about a vacation on the beach, and about growing up.

Anonymous said...

Darn, you guys are all too innocent to get it (the first post I made.) Or maybe I just have that sort of mind :P

bibliobibuli said...

erm get what???

Anonymous said...

Never mind.. I'd just get censored again. Life's a beach and all that.