Monday, July 18, 2022

Vacation Reading

Here are some suggestions for books to read if you go on vacation this summer.  None of them is what we think of as "literature," but they are all well-written and designed to entertain:

Allen Drury, Advise and Consent (1959):  This novel, which won the Pulitzer Prize, tells a pot-bubbling story about what happens when, at the height of the Cold War, the President nominates a prominent Liberal to be the next Secretary of State.  Even if you don't like politics, you will not be bored.

Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955):  I've never seen the movie called Moonraker, but I'm pretty sure it has very little to do with this book:  the third James Bond novel features a mysterious millionaire who has volunteered to build an intercontinental missile to defend the United Kingdom from its enemies.  Opens with a great section about Bond trying to help M catch someone cheating at bridge.

Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides (1986):  One of the last -- and most entertaining -- examples of old-fashioned Southern gothic storytelling about a dysfunctional family.

Roger Angell, Five Seasons (1977):  I think this is the best of the various books collecting Roger Angell's columns on baseball for the New Yorker.  The five seasons run from 1972 to 1976 -- three seasons for the A's, and two for the Reds.  It was a great time for baseball, and Angell reacted with excitement and enthusiasm that made his writing even better.

Anthony Trollope, Framley Parsonage (1861):  There are some people who love long and complicated stories about romance among British people in the 19th Century.  If you are one of those people, and you've already read Jane Austen, and Vanity Fair, then it's really time for you to try Anthony Trollope.  He wrote dozens of books, most of which were meant to serve as the equivalents of binge-watching today.  This one was one of his most popular, and it is one of his best.  It's better than re-watching Bridgerton or Downton Abbey one more time.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very thoughtful collection you've put together. I will check out Five Seasons--thank you.