Summer calls for basking in the sun and ice cold cocktails, and what goes better with those activities than a good book? Whether you are sitting on a beach, kicking back on your patio, or flying to a special destination, we all need something to transport ourselves for a hour or two.
Meg would like to serve up a sample of the ways she plans to entertain herself this season, and she hope her readers will share their must reads as well:
Meg just finished Restaurant Man, and she suggests you not waste your money. She was expecting something along the lines of an Anthony Bourdain book, but all you get is a self-centered jerk who littered his book with more f-bombs than Meg has ever dropped in her life, and that’s a lot. The only thing I came away with is I’m grateful I’m not his wife.
Meg always looks forward to a John Irving book. His characters are well developed, interesting and unforgettable.
“A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.”
His most political novel since The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving’s In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile.”
Meg has a love affair with the New Yorker, the one where they sit on her coffee table for a long time and then she has a marathon for herself. Is she the only one that turns to the cartoon on the back page first? In any case, she is anxious to read about Janet Groth’s adventures at the venerable magazine.
Thanks to a successful interview with a painfully shy E. B. White, a beautiful nineteen-year-old hazel-eyed Midwesterner landed a job as receptionist at The New Yorker. There she stayed for two decades, becoming the general office factotum—watching and registering the comings and goings, marriages and divorces, scandalous affairs, failures, triumphs, and tragedies of the eccentric inhabitants of the eighteenth floor. In addition to taking their messages, Groth watered their plants, walked their dogs, boarded their cats, and sat their children (and houses) when they traveled. And although she dreamed of becoming a writer herself, she never advanced at the magazine.
This memoir of a particular time and place is as much about why that was so as it is about Groth’s fascinating relationships with poet John Berryman (who proposed marriage), essayist Joseph Mitchell (who took her to lunch every Friday), and playwright Muriel Spark (who invited her to Christmas dinner in Tuscany), as well as E. J. Kahn, Calvin Trillin, Renata Adler, Peter Devries, Charles Addams, and many other New Yorker contributors and bohemian denizens of Greenwich Village in its heyday.
During those single-in-the-city years, Groth tried on many identities—Nice Girl, Sex Pot, Dumb Blonde, World Traveler, Doctoral Candidate—but eventually she would have to leave The New Yorker to find her true self.
I think we all agree we need a good trashy beach book, and I think this one will fit the bill:
Meg saw a piece on author Scotty Bowers on the CBS Sunday Morning show, and was kind of intrigued with the stories of old time Hollywood gossip and scandal from the 40’s and 50’s. “Full Service”sounds like a book you can pick up and put down where ever the mood strikes. SOLD.
Meg found Robert Goolrick’s “The Reliable Wife” juicy and and entertaining. She therefore can recommend “Heading Out To Wonderful“!
Like any good ballad, the narrative builds slowly to it s violent climax, packs an emotional punch, and then haunts readers with it s quintessentially American refrain..”
—Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly )
Three sisters have returned to their childhood home, reuniting the eccentric Andreas family. Here, books are a passion (there is no problem a library card can’t solve) and TV is something other people watch. Their father-a professor of Shakespeare who speaks almost exclusively in verse-named them after the Bard’s heroines. It’s a lot to live up to.
The sisters have a hard time communicating with their parents and their lovers, but especially with one another. What can the shy homebody eldest sister, the fast-living middle child, and the bohemian youngest sibling have in common? Only that none has found life to be what was expected; and now, faced with their parents’ frailty and their own personal disappointments, not even a book can solve what ails them…
Eleanor Brown’s “Weird Sisters” has been out for awhile, but Meg plans to finally dive in this summer!
Finally, who doesn’t need a good cookbook?
Meg likes to dabble in preserving the bounties of summer like strawberries and corn. This handy guide should give her all the tips
she needs to save some of those goodies for a dreary winter day!
So kids, what’s on your nightstands right now?