Summer 2009 Reading List
Wrong. The answer is read. A lot! Researchers have conducted hundreds of studies proving facts like…90% of all students who earn perfect SAT scores were read to by their parents every night as a child. Basically, the point is, reading makes you smart. Playing PSP all day makes you lazy.
In the past I’ve given you piles of “classic” literature to read, in hopes that it will better prepare you for your applications and actual studies. Well enough with the classics. Lord knows my personal library isn’t made up entirely of Edmund Spencer, and yours shouldn’t be either. Here are a few books by contemporary authors who I believe will one day be called as the greatest novelists of our age.
1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon
This novel earned Chabon the US’s highest literary prize in 2001, the Pulitzer. It’s about two cousins who draw comic books. Awesome. Plus, Chabon novels improve everyone’s vocabulary.
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz is from the Dominican Republic, & though he writes in English, his work carries a heavy dose of Caribbean/Spanish flavor. This book won the Pulitzer in 2008 and it is a masterpiece. Tremendously beautiful book.
3. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
This British novelist has many more recent books, but this one is still his best. If a foreigner catches you reading this on the plane, he’ll automatically think that you’re one cool cat.
4. South of the Border, West of the Sun – Haruki Murakami
My favorite novella from the greatest contemporary novelist in the entire world. Just last week I finished the task of reading every single word this Japanese author has ever written. Time well worth it. You could hardly do better with your free time than to read Murakami.
5. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
This is the single most beautiful novel ever written in the English language. That’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. This Sri Lankan/Canadian poet is the better at writing within the sentence than anyone else in the world today, and this novel is pure magic.
Be smart and read good books this summer. Trust me, it’ll do you a lot better than blogs and textbooks. That’s a promise.