My summer vacation

25Aug10

My summer vacation

There are exactly two weeks left until my first class, and while I’m enjoying this August more than just about any other August I can remember (August for me is like February for you), the cool rainy weather of late has me looking forward to the fall. I know that the gross hot weather will be returning by the weekend, and that September is never as autumnal these days as I remember it being, but I’ve got that fall feeling and I intend to milk it for everything I can.

My summer reading list has ended up looking like this:

Butler, J. (1990). Gender trouble. New York: Routledge.
Coontz, S. (1992). The way we never were: American families and the nostalgia trap. New York: Basic Books.
Delany, S. (1976). Trouble on Triton. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Delany, S. (1993). The motion of light in water: Sex and science fiction writing in the East Village. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Diaz, J. (2007). The brief wonderful life of Oscar Wao. New York: Penguin.
Dick, P. (1974). Flow my tears, the policeman said. New York: Vintage.
Doud, P. (2010). The hunt for the eye of Ogin. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.
Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality: An introduction. New York: Vintage.
Gann, K. (2010). No such thing as silence: John Cage’s 4’33″. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Horney, K. (1945). Our inner conflicts: A constructive theory of neurosis. New York: W.W. Norton.
Jackson, S. (1954). The bird’s nest. New York: Popular Library.
Jackson, S. (1998). Just an ordinary day. New York: Bantam.
Jung, C.G. (1989). Aspects of the masculine. Princeton: Bollingen.
Kottler, J. (2010). On becoming a therapist. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Lasky, D. (2010). Black life. Seattle: Wave Books.
Miller, T. and Pramas, C. (2000). Ork! the roleplaying game. Renton, WA: Green Ronin.
Miller, W. (1959). A canticle for Leibowitz. New York: Eos.
Murphy, R. (2010). The redcoats. San Francisco: Krupskaya.
Olin, J. (2010). Hold tight: The Truck Darling poems. New York: Hanging Loose.
Roach, M. (2008). Bonk: The curious coupling of science and sex. New York: W.W. Norton.
Singer, J. (1972). Boundaries of the soul: The practice of Jung’s psychology. New York: Anchor Books.
Stephenson, N. (2003). Quicksilver. New York: HarperCollins.
Thomas, D.M. (1994). Eating Pavlova. New York: Carroll & Graf.

I enjoyed the Delany but not as much as I thought I would, though it definitely bears re-reading. Ditto for the Diaz. I have not actually finished the Horney, but it’s very good, and I’m hoping to in the next two weeks. I started the Kottler and realized I wasn’t in the mood, and the Thomas I started and read about a quarter of before I realized that I just wasn’t enjoying it.

As for the rest, chalk it up to a combination of overabundant ambition and mood: I listed everything I could find that I hadn’t read that seemed relevant to my current interests, regardless of actual likelihood of being read. And of course there were all the books that I actually did read that weren’t on the list:

Berrigan, T. (1988). A certain slant of sunlight. San Francisco: O Books.
Claremont, C. Byrne, J., Romita J., et al. (1982-1989). The Essential X-Men vols. 4-8. New York: Marvel.
Claremont, C. & Byrne, J. (2004). Days of future past. New York: Marvel.
Claremont, C. & Byrne, J. (2006). The Dark Phoenix saga. New York: Marvel.
Easton, D. & Liszt, C. (1995). The topping book. San Francisco: Greenery Press.
Easton Ellis, B. (2010). Imperial bedrooms. New York: Knopf.
Farren, M. (1981). Phaid the Gambler. New York: Ace.
Farren, M. (1987). Citizen Phaid. New York: Ace.
Friedman, J. and Valenti, J. (2008). Yes means yes: Visions of female sexual power and a world without rape. New York: Perseus.
Gaiman, N. (2001). The books of magic. New York: Vertigo.
Grell, M. (2009). The Warlord, Vol. 1. New York: DC Showcase.
Hass, R. ed., (1994). The essential haiku: versions of Basho, Buson, & Issa. Hopewell, NJ: Ecco.
Howard, R. (2002). The coming of Conan the Cimmerian. New York: Del Rey.
Joannides, P. (2010). Guide to getting it on. Oregon: Goofy Foot Press.
Kirkman, R., Adlard, C., & Rathburn, C. (2010). The walking dead: Life among them. Berkeley: Image Comics.
Kunin, A. (2010). The sore throat and other poems. New York: Fence Books.
Licht, A. (2002). An emotional memoir of Martha Quinn. Chicago: Drag City.
MacInnes, C. (1957). City of spades. London: Allison & Busby.
MacInnes, C. (1959). Absolute beginners. London: Allison & Busby.
MacInnes, C. (1960). Mr Love and Justice. London: Allison & Busby.
Moore, C. L. (2007). Black god’s kiss. Seattle: Planet Stories.
Morrison, G. (2008). New X-Men: Ultimate collection book 1. New York: Marvel.
Niven, L. (1970). Ringworld. New York: Del Rey.
Robinson, K. (1995). Green mars. New York: Bantam.
Tarrant, S. (2009). Men and feminism. Berkeley: Seal Press.

Is that it? I think that’s it. About three-quarters of the Claremont X-Men stuff was a revisitation, as were the Gaiman, Hass, and Licht. The Friedman & Valenti anthology and the Tarrant were both pretty eye-opening, and my finding them was a result of reading many feminist blogs. Ringworld I found overrated, and Green Mars was pretty grueling to get through but ultimately worth it (though I’ll have to save Blue Mars for next year, I think).

And then there were the other books I didn’t finish, but really plan to:

Barrowcliffe, M. (2007). The elfish gene: Dungeons, dragons, and growing up strange. New York: Soho Press.
Flynn, N. (2004). Another bullshit night in Suck City. New York: Norton.
Laing, R.D. (1960). The divided self. New York: Pantheon.
Laing, R.D. (1961). Self and others. New York: Pantheon.
Lubrano, A. (2004). Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams. Hoboken: Wiley.
Nussbaum, M. (2004). Hiding from humanity: Disgust, shame, and the law. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Vance, J. (2000). Tales of the dying earth. New York: Orb.
Yalom, I. (1980). Existential psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

I also read a hell of a lot of stuff online. Gaming blogs, feminist blogs, news, “news,” and online personals. I went on five first dates and one second date. I had my consciousness raised. I helped organize a huge poetry festival, did one brief yet successful poetry reading, made a couple new friends, reestablished a valued old friendship, and reinforced a valued ongoing one. I took trips to the Adirondacks, Northampton, Brattleboro, and Jamaica Plain. I saw (various) friends give birth, shack up, get engaged, and get tattooed. I started a workout plan that I actually like (more often than not) and also spent a lot of time on my new loveseat. I played a little guitar and started writing again. I balanced am working on balancing disappointment and optimism. I discovered a lot of new (to me) music and fantasized (as I always do) about running away to Northumbria. My favorite restaurant closed and I spent a lot of time with my cat.

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2 Responses to “My summer vacation”

  1. You seriously read all of these books this summer?

    Truly amazing.


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