Summer Readings

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After the long hiatus that was the academic year, it is time to revert back to a more contemplative self and engage in summer reading projects. In a recent New Yorker podcast, Kathryn Schulz and James Wood pointed out that when it comes to summer readings, most people inevitably turn to fiction. Perhaps there is something about a warm day on the beach that inspires us to lose ourselves in an engaging narrative. One summer, a few years ago, I finished Bonjour Tristesse on a beach in Nice – that remains one of my most treasured reading memories.The summer always sends me dreaming of stories set in southern France or Italy, something with the magic of Bonjour Tristesse or A Room with a View, something away from the rains of England. This year I’m opting for Tender is a Night, which has been on my list for several years, and A Pale View of Hills. But aside from the Fitzgerald and Ishiguro, almost everything else is nonfiction. With the exception of short stories in Granta, the New Yorker and the Paris Review, my reading list is dominated by a diverse range of nonfiction titles, from works of ekphrasis to travel books. One does not need a fictional narrative to lose oneself in the world of the written text.

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