Books All Georgians Should Read

Authors of the Month: July

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Summer Reading Time

Summer is finally here. OK, it’s not really — June 21 is the day — but post–Memorial Day means it’s alright to wear white, and besides it’s over 90-degrees outside. So let’s get started on those summer reading lists.

I’ve always used the summer months as a reason to catch up on the classics, or at least one of them. I finally slogged through “Ulysses” many, many summers ago — though I don’t care to repeat the experience, thank you — and a few years back I got through some of the worst of Faulkner during the dog days. “Anna Karenina” fell to my visual assault one long July, and I even struggled with some Proust before determining that heat, sand, cold beverages and horseflies were just too much of a distraction.

This summer, however, I’m going for more fun. No huge challenges. Henry James can wait. This summer I’ve targeted a pair of World War II books that seem appealing: James Hornfischer’s “Neptune’s Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadancanal” and Michael Burleigh’s somewhat controversial “Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II.” Both promise some rewarding, informed reading. I’m also planning on John Ferling’s latest history, “Independence: The Struggle to Set America Free,” just in time for the Fourth of July celebration. (By the way, Dr. Ferling will visit the Center for the Book on June 20th.)

What about you? Is your summer reading always a light feast, maybe a Pat Conroy or Cassandra King book? Maybe with all the hoopla about the 75th anniversary you’re going to re-read “Gone With the Wind?”  Or maybe it’s mysteries, or biographies or some literary fiction? Whatever, there’s certainly no lack of titles to consider. Lots of folks have come out with lists you can enjoy, and while they are too exhaustive to reprint here, I’ll include some of the most oft-mentioned book that others are interested in:

Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen

Bossypants – Tina Fey

Joe Dimaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports – Kostya Kennedy

Carte Blanche – Jeffrey Deaver

Dreams of Joy – Lisa See

The Passage – Justin Cronin

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris – David McCullough

Smokin’ Seventeen – Janet Evanovich

A Dance of Dragons – George R.R. Martin

Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver

George Washington: A Life – Ron Chernow

The Alice Behind Wonderland – Simon Winchester

Feel free, of course, to add plenty of your own. I’d enjoy knowing what your summer reading plans include and invite you to drop a note to this blog and share your lists with others. thanks. and good reading!!

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