Recommended Reading

It's funny how what you read influences what you read next, I just requested four books from my library referenced in books or magazines I've read. I love how reading goes in phases and some months are enthralling while other months it is hard to find a book to sink your teeth into. Hope your late summer reading is going well!

Recommended Reading

Here is an excerpt from each:

1. What's Not to Love?: The Adventures of a Mildly Perverted Young Writer (Jonathon Ames)
"This Other Side of Paradise"
We met at a dance the second night of Freshman Week. She was beautiful, but also very sad, and I wanted to take care of her right away. She was longing desperately for the ocean, had never been apart from it her whole life, so we skipped orientation the next day and I bought us bus tickets for Atlantic City. It was the only beach in New Jersey that you could get to from Princeton using public transportation. So we sat on that bus early in the morning and she leaned her head against me like that, like I was someone who could be counted on. We hadn't kissed the night before because she had mentioned a boyfriend back in California. So I had a noble thought that I would just have to be a friend to this beautiful girl, and as she slept, it felt like the most important thing in the world not to move, not to disturb her. And I remember it was a beautiful discomfort because I was a martyr and already in love. (P. 60)
2. This Cake Is for the Party (Sarah Selecky)
"Throwing Cotton"
Flip is stretched out on the chair, even though the chair itself doesn't recline. His body is slouched down so his seat reaches the edge of the cushion and his head is pressed into the back of the chair. His long legs are crossed at the ankles. It doesn't look comfortable. He takes up most of the living room. (P. 4)
3. Shopgirl: A Novella (Steve Martin)
For Mirabelle, there are four levels of being held. The first, and highest, is the complete surround: he will wrap his arms around her and they will spoon as he whispers how beautiful she is and how he had been transported to another plane. The odds of this particular scenario unfolding from the youthful Jeremy are slim, in face, so slim that they could slip out the door without opening it. There are, however, other levels of holding that for tonight would suit Mirabelle just fine. He could lie on his back and she would rest her head on his chest, while one of his arms holds her tight. Third best would involve Mirabelle lying on her back with Jeremy alongside her, resting one hand on her stomach while the other one plays with her hair. This position requires the utterances of sweet nothings for her to be fully satisfied. She is aware he has barely spoken a sentence that didn't end in "you know" and then trail off in a mumble since they have been together, which makes the appearance of these sweet nothings unlikely. But this could be a plus, as she can interpret his mumbles any way she wants--they could be impeccably metered love sonnets for all she knows. In fourth position, they are lying on their backs, with one of Jeremy's legs resting languidly over one of hers. This is the minimally acceptable outcome, and involves a commitment of extra time on his part to compensate for his lack of effort. (P. 14)
4. Reading Like a Writer (Francine Prose)
With so much reading ahead of you, the temptation might be to speed up. But in fact it's essential to slow down and read every word. Because one important thing that can be learned by reading slowly is the seemingly obvious but oddly under-appreciated fact that language is the medium we use in much the same way a composer uses notes, the way a painter uses paint. I realize it my seem obvious, but it's surprising how easily we lose sight of the fact that words are the raw material out of which literature is crafted. (P. 15)

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