Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Reading Feast

I just returned from a month in Maine, and am ready to report on what I like to refer to as my Summer Reading Feast...28 days of good food, good movies, and good books.  Prior ot my trip, someone asked me if I did any "professional" reading on vacation or whether it was just for pleasure.  My reply to them sounded something like this: "I am always reading for pleasure - and I am always reading professionally.  Since I read with my leadership lenses on, it is professional; and since I love to read so much, it is pleasureable."  My Summer Reading Feast is often both a series of planned books (I put aside books all year long to take with me to Maine) as well as serendipitous (we have access to a great bookstore and my favorite public library in the world...not to mention Amazon).  While I don't plan any themes, several often emerge.  What follows is a quick overview of my Summer Reading Feast (with more to follow in weeks to come):

Fiction: I am a HUGE fan of fiction in that it helps me understand the "other" in my relationships with people.  I have also come to realize that great fiction is often wasted on the young, so I try to re-read many of the great novels I read (or didn't read) in high school and college during this Summer Reading Feast:
  • The Financier - Theodore Dreiser
  • The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Sodom and Gommorah - Marcel Proust (vol. 4 of Remembrance of Things Past)
  • The Odyssey - Homer (trans. Fagles)
  • To Have and Have Not - Ernest Hemingway
  • Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  • Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout (a collection of stories about life in Maine)
  • State of Wonder  - Ann Patchet
Non-Fiction: During the Summer Reading Feast, I get to spend about 8 hours a day reading, so it is time to tackle the "big books" that are sitting on my shelf all year long (sometimes longer):
  • Che - Jon Lee Anderson
  • Macolm X - Manning Marable (one of my favorite books of the summer)
  • The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris - John Baxter
  • A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway (okay, some fiction, some non-fiction)
  • Falling Upwards: A Spirituality for the Second Half of Life - Richard Rohr
  • A Kierkegaard Anthology - ed. by Robert Bretall
Graphic Novels: The Blue Hill LIbrary has a wonderful collection of graphic novels, so I decided to expand my repertiore in this area:
  • My Friend Dahmer - Derf Beckderf
  • Black Hole - Charles Burns
  • Are You My Mother? - Alison Bechdel
  • The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
  • Maus I - Art Spiegelman
  • A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
I will expand some thoughts on these books in future blogs, noting the leadership lessons learned while reading them.  I hope everyone gets a chance to have some type of Summer Reading Feast, using the time for professional and pleasurable reading.

1 comment:

Amber Fogarty said...

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Falling Upward! I'm reading it right now and it's so thought provoking!