Read two books over the Memorial Day weekend that I can recommend. First, a must read this summer is Michael Chabon's new glorious novel, The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I haven't had such fun reading a novel in long-time. It's a murder mystery, scifi alternative future based on the idea that the "new" Israel is relocated to Sitka, Alaska in 1948. And there's a lot of Yiddish. It's grand.
Second, I read Milan Kundera's book on the novel. The Curtain. I haven't read a piece of literary criticism that was as strangely compelling as this in some time. And also infuriating. I just have one gripe with is book, and it is a MAJOR gripe. does Kundera not realize that women write novels? Great ones? It's as if he has never read anything in the whole tradition of the novel that was written by a woman. Of the classics, what about Jane Austen? George Eliot? Or more contemporary, Marilyn Robinson? Doris Lessing? Virginia Woolf? I could go on... But I also still think The Curtain is worth reading.
Summer reads I have in the bag ready for future trips include Don Cheadle's Not On Our Watch, on the genocide in Darfur; Gerharde Forde's post-humous collection, The Preached God; Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red; John Stubb's biography of John Donne; and of course, Harry Potter.
What else should be on my list?