They Call this Summer?

The rain here in Michigan seems to go on and on and on. Which is great for a big summer reading list, but not so great for my beach time (where the reading really should occur). Regardless of where I’m finding myself with a nose between the pages, I’m delighted at the recent finds, with two books added to my favorites list.

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If you’re following my reading list, you know that I’ll typically read something that will benefit me professionally, weaving these selections between others chosen for pleasure. But this, chosen for its robust description of type and its uses, offered a simultaneous pictorial inspiration for my design life, a history lesson for the geek in me, and glorious writing about the purpose of design. This is solidly among my 2019 favorites for work and for pleasure. It was a terrific find.

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The Sound and the Fury

by William Faulkner

This novel, written in 1929, follows the tragic story of a family and how those in it rebel against each other, changing the family’s trajectory for good. It must be said: I struggled with this tremendously. Faulkner’s narrative style—which includes stream of consciousness—was so dense and filled with dialogue that I found myself reading and rereading the same passages to fully understand. The story line became muddled with my struggle, and while I sought to simply lose myself in the experience of Faulkner, I can’t say that I succeeded. I was glad to reach the end.

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The Jewel Garden

by Monty Don

Following the intense and dense story of the Compton Family (Faulkner), I needed pleasant and simple, and found it in The Jewel Garden. Restoring my faith in my own ability to read, I finished it in a day. Don’s autobiographical account of his relationship and how he came to be the gardner we now know was pleasant (though rife with non-linear tracks) and I appreciated something so straightforward after a literary challenge.

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After the loss of her grandmother, Elsa encounters the characters from her grandmother’s long-told fairy tales, and discovers that all the people around her played an important role in her family’s history. Charming.

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I found this story to be simultaneously hilarious and deeply sad. Eleanor, a young woman coming to terms with an extremely difficult past that left her scarred both literally and figuratively, is our heroin. Her socially awkward ways and desire to fall in love with someone she’s never met is fodder for belly laughs.

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The Algebra of Happiness

by Scott Galloway

Eric Hultgren (who also has a reading list featured here) recommended The CMO Podcast to me after listening to the interview with this author. I took his advise and listened to the episode. In it, Galloway inevitably described his recent book, and notes that when pitched to his publishers, they objected to the subject. That was enough for me to buy and read it (along with his other comments in the interview, of course.) I agree with Galloway’s assessment of life on many levels, naming those things that make you happiest, and appreciate his many forms of self-deprecation.

What’s On Order, On the Nightstand or Next in the Lineup

Note: I read multiple books at a time but hold commentary in this blog until finishing.

I’ve Begun:
The Messy Middle by Scott Belsky
The Complete Claudine by Colette
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life by Jane Sherron De Hart

Waiting, Not Started:
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Buong

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