Summer is fading, but also warming up again here on the northern plains. My reading life is reflecting the urgency of shorter days coming and dark so early coming and long winter days promised by the beauty of Fall’s show off colors-all coming soon.
So for the shorter attention span of late summer, can’t sit still for long reader I am suggesting Amy Bloom short stories and Naomi Shihab Nye poetry, perhaps Honeybee or 19 Varieties of Gazelle. Bloom can fit the complexity of a novel into a story like no other, add delight, add surprise, add complex meaning in a simple life.
Try Bloom (even her name is a summer beautiful verb): Come to Me: Stories, or A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You or her newest, Where the God of Love Hangs Out. All of them deliver entertainment and ideas worth pondering while you mow the lawn or look at the summer night sky or float on a pontoon.
Other short stories I love and have been moved by this summer: The Collected Stories
of Grace Paley. She is the goddess of the genre and a joy to spend an afternoon with. Also Sherman Alexie’s new collection Blasphemy. Can we just agree he uses language to shake us up, hard and fast and with a laugh when we most need it and we love him for that?
I also read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, another telling of Earnest Hemingway, his Paris days spent with his first wife and yes, Zelda, Gertrude and Alice and Ezra too. The days of striving, and drinking and writing and drinking give way to an incredible set of choices effecting many souls, all the while a legend breathes and cries and wins and loses. I appreciated McLain’s telling of shared vulnerability and chaotic self discovery in the lives of these creatives. Even when as a reader we know the mutual unraveling and violent end to come, she creates a page turner and a fine summer read.
I feel Fall in the air. I want to buy new notebooks and boots. I want to walk in the heat of the day and feel my knees sweat. I want big thick hardcovers to crawl into soon. But not just yet.