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I finished a book [1] but I will not rest on my laurels. I immediately went to the shelves where dwell the ‘read me” tomes.  Thanks to Tsundoku, there are plenty to choose from and they vary in style and content. I do not stick with one genera of writing, but bounce around. I just finished reading a non-fiction ‘science’ book and prior to this one it was “Spoon River anthology”, which is fiction/poetry. So, what to read next? I can sense all the books on the bookshelf sitting up in anticipation, wanting me to pick them. “Read me!” they all seem to shout, each pointing out its charms. “I’ve been waiting the longest!” “I’m the newest!” and “I’m a guaranteed laugh!”

Summer time and the reading is easy. What I like to read in the summer are ‘light reads’, preferring to postpone the more lofty tomes to long winter nights. [2] Fiction is preferable to non-fiction and ‘fun’ reads trump ‘should’ reads. The other day I started – and quickly stopped – ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. It was full-up with wordy circumstantial sentences and not suitable for reading poolside. [3] This was also true at last night’s stab at the latest translation of ‘The Poetic Eddas’ (oh the pain). A few people at work have given me copies of things written by contemporary authors; these maybe worth a look-see. They have the advantage I haven’t the foggiest what they are about and I should know after a few chapters if it is a TGR (thumping good read) or off it goes to Bookman’s, the local used book store exchange.

One book on the to-read shelf is a novel by Salman Rushdie. I can’t recall which one it is, maybe the one that got him into hot water? He’s known to be clever so this next- choice possibility is likely ‘quality’ compared to the rubbish novels next to it. His book is a thick one, so it doesn’t look to like a rush job. Summer reads are usually short, easily consumed, and quickly forgotten – like my men. Yes, the more I think about it, Mr. Rushdie’s brilliant book may have to wait until later this year.

I might choose ‘The Anthropocene’ by John Green. It is Mr. Green’s latest, and has the advantage it is a series of essays, so I can read one, fall asleep, and not need to remember the plot and characters. On the downside his reflections are recondite and often depressing – not the best thing for summer reading.

Slogging my way through more of Mr. Prachett’s forty-plus books in his ‘The Discworld series” might work. They fulfill the criteria for something light, fun, and mindless – like my men, but I read so many in the spring time it feels wrong for summer to be similar.

There is always the option to jilt the unread and rereading some old favorites or return to a series. For some time I’ve been meaning to read/reread ‘Tales of the City’, which I got only halfway through. I would have to start over from the beginning, so that would be no quick project.

Stinko. All the books on the shelf are serious, lengthy, thoughtful tomes – not the sort for summer. It’s like going to the food panty looking for something to gnosh, only to find only healthy stuff when what you really wanted was a bag of nasty chips. I may have to buy something new. Talk about Tsundoku ! Just don’t tell Someone, or I may have to reenact – again -the iconic Flip Wilson sketch ‘The devil made me buy this dress”.

[1] “The book of the moon”. It was an encyclopedia of everything about the moon, from facts of science to superstitions. The chapter of Moon gods/goddesses was quite lengthy; the moon is quite crowded.

[2] Science fiction is the exception. Sci-fi novels are my winter reads although paradoxically they are read on winter holiday in the bright warm weather of PV or Palm Springs.

[3] Mr. Cooper writes fiction as if it were a painful duty.

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June 2021

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