Wednesday, August 3, 2011

K.C's Corner: Dog Days Of Summer Reading List Part Two

Image: Joseph Robertson: Reads by the Sea

Dog Days Reading – More Lists  Part II

Where do you find nonfiction beach reading?

My sources include librarians, book store staff, newspaper lists, blogs, radio, and crowd sourcing friends and followers.

I grab the summer book lists printed on bookmarks from my library. My mother sends me e-newsletters from her Texas library. On vacation, I cruise indie book stores for staff picks and local authors. Last summer, Rough Guide Vancouver brought to my attention British Columbia Emily Carr’s writing as well as her paintings.  Since my long- ago days of group beach houses, I have stocked my beach book bag with titles recommended by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade & their Politics and Prose team. I miss them both, but I am glad to turn to new P & P owners  Lissa and Bradley for their two-part summer newsletter. In the first part you will find picks on writing and essays; there is a larger listing of nonfiction in part two with sections on American  and World History, Music, (science) at Sea,  Sports and even Mind Games. 

The web and the radio yield more lists. The Guardian offered a best of the best nonfiction list by category in June in time for summer.  Daily Candy’s summer reads ranks as my favorite for visual presentation. I like that The Christian Science Monitor’s 20 of The Smartest Nonfiction Titles for Summer Reading  does not mention David McCullough’s  The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. And I like that Maureen Corrigan’s radio essay does match McCollough’s book with two journey novels:  The Final Storm: A Novel Of The War In The Pacific  by  David Shaara and  an “alternative Western”  -- Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education Of Two Society Girls In The West by Dorothy Wickenden.  Librarian hits radio and the web in Nancy Pearl’s regularly posted and broadcasted lists on NPR. This will take you to her summer list which includes a bit of nonfiction. 

I looked for a list of science-based beach reading. Last year’s Scientist Approved Beach Reading by Physicist-blogger  Chad Orzel  dueled with The Washington Post’s Texts on the Beach: What Scientists Recommend for Summer Reading. I liked the sound of the titles from Scientist Approved better. Orzel featured Teach Your Dog Physics, a perfect title for the Dog Days. I thought both lists shorted natural history mentions. The Parkersburg News Sentinel came through with Summer Reading for Naturalists with suggestions such as Cricket Radio and The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds and the Invention of Monogamy, as did Science Writer Tina Tenneson’s Blog post on Summer Beach Reads (on ocean topics).

Do you ever crowd source book recommendations? Here’s what I got when I asked via Facebook, Twitter, and FFP:

FFP readers list: Your Facebooked and tweeted suggestions ran long on biography, memoir, and histories of World War II and the Civil War. Many were reading Life by Keith Richards. Others listed  Saul Bellow’s Letters and Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, James L. Swanson’s Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse, Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.),  and Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand. One commenter is reading  Parasite Rex: Inside the Bizarre World of Nature's Most Dangerous Creatures by Carl Zimmer and  many, many were reading David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.

One commenter from last week’s Dog Days Read List Part I post listed a list: Rock the Casbah, Playing With Fire. The Lemon Tree, We Look Like the Enemy, Hour of Sunlight, Painting For the Absolute, Utter Beginner, Don't Be Nice Be Real, Writing to Change the World, the Chicken Chronicles, Curious? and Ill Fares The Land.

What are you reading?


My next couple of posts will focus on traveling reading and travel writing.  Want to write an article on your summer travels, take a look at  Peat O’Neil’s  Travel Writing Intensive , a two part workshop offered this fall.





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