One of these mornings I’m going to rise up readin’
George Gershwin, “Summertime” (sort of)
Go ahead consult the best-seller lists. You might even stumble across something worthwhile, though the odds aren’t promising.
So once again we’re offering an alternative summertime-reading roundup. Our position: Mindless reading, or escape lit, is best consumed (if at all) when neurons are drained from a day’s work; long stretches of long days off are ideal for serious reading pleasure. Although this guide is by no means comprehensive, it’ll blaze a path through bookstores’ stand-alone, stand-up cardboard displays featuring James Patterson and those Da Vinci-whatever-it-is books.
As for fiction … some of my suggestions are going to be edgy, even over-the-edge for some people in some cases. And why not? You know where to find the Da Vinci stuff, right?
Dreams and Stones, by Magdalena Tulli, is a short (110 pages), odd and oddly hypnotic narrative about the rise of a mysterious, unnamed city. The—what? novel? not exactly—was translated from Polish by Bill Johnston and has been beautifully packaged by Archipelago, a small new independent press dedicated to offering high-quality foreign literature to the American public.