Good day to ya, PopWatchers! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend. Me, I woke up on this lazy Saturday and clicked on the TV to find… a blissfully empty DVR! Ah, summer — how I welcome your warm embrace. The 2008-2009 television season has come to its long-awaited end, and assuming I can avoid becoming attached to any reality programming involving fat people bouncing off things, that means it’s time for my favorite annual activity: the reading of as many books as possible before the TV shows start premiering again in the fall.
I’ve already finished my first novel of the season: Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, about marital struggles and cricket on the fringes of post-9/11 New York. I loved it, and not just because Obama told me to. Sitting now in front of my bookshelves — organized as they are into “already read,” “need to read,” and “read but can’t remember what it was about” — I am really getting excited about the months to come. I’m going to start out with More Than It Hurts You by my old friend Darin Strauss, then dive into All the President’s Men. I think I’ve got enough distance from the movie to read Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men at last. I’ve been meaning to tackle Thomas Friedman’s Longitudes and Attitudes for what feels like a decade; elsewhere in non-fiction, there’s Elizabeth Royte’s Garbage Land, and two from Steven Johnson, Everything Bad is Good for You and The Ghost Map. I never got around to Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America or Maureen Dowd’s Are Men Really Necessary? As always, Gravity’s Rainbow is taunting me like an evil brick. And then there are the guilty pleasures: an unauthorized biography of Axl Rose, or Anthony Kiedis’s memoir, Scar Tissue; a stack of old Neil Gaiman graphic novels; John Irving’s Until I Find You, which I’m not sure is supposed to be any good but I’ve read everything else of his so I might as well read that. Also, for some insane reason, I’d like to re-read some Shakespeare this summer. Maybe it’s because I’m re-watching Sports Night on DVD, and Aaron Sorkin shows always make me feel like I don’t have enough Shakespeare memorized to use when proving a point in casual conversation.
What about you, PopWatchers? What books are going on your bedside table, in your beach bag, or on vacation with you this summer? And how many books do you think you can finish by fall? Summer Book Challenge 09 starts now!
More Summer Reading lists from EW:
Stephen King: 7 Great Books for Summer
Nightstand Inspection: What are you reading right now?