Wednesday, August 22, 2007

in french, the word for vacation is always plural

What I read on my summer vacation:

Oh, man, do I have a crush on Scarlett Thomas. I've already blogged about reading PopCo, and I plan to write something soon about The End of Mr. Y, but for vacation, I turned to her genre fiction. Dead Clever was perfect airplane reading, almost good enough to make up for being stuck in the middle seat on a red eye.

Originally published under the pseudonym of Sally Mara, We Always Treat Women Too Well isn't one of Queneau's more famous books, but I had been wanting to read it for a while. Every bit as smutty and violent as the pulp novels it satirizes, it's also ridiculously funny, and at times startlingly disgusting. In short, awesome.

Lots of Josephine Tey: Brat Farrar, The Man in the Queue, and To Love and Be Wise. As I told my mom, I only read mysteries when I'm on vacation. In response, she handed me a pile of these old paperbacks, culled from yard sales and sidewalk book stalls. She's a good mom.

Amazon has been recommending Snow, by Orhan Pamuk, to me for months. They were kind of right. I can't deny that it's a good book, smart, beautifully written and thought provoking, but, all the same, it's not really my thing.

Reading mysteries on vacation is all very well, but reading mysteries in French makes you look so much smarter. Plus, having a glossary in the back makes it easier. Hence, my dad's old copy of Tournants Dangereux, by Georges Simenon.

Last but not least, Shelley Jackson's Half Life made the plane ride back feel almost short. I saw her read from it a few months ago, and have been wanting to read it ever since. Thanks to a late birthday present, I finally go to. Now I want to read it again. Her writing is so dense and vivid and weird and wonderful; it's the kind of thing you just want to immerse yourself in.

(Next up, books I got on my summer vacation, but haven't yet read.)

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