By Deb A.
Summer is always a good time to catch up on some reading — the weather is just right to relax under a tree in the park or wiggle your toes into a sandy beach and turn the first pages of the book that's been sitting on your shelf, waiting to be read, for months.
By now, you may already have devoured a few of the books you've been meaning to read; in case you're wondering how to fill the rest of the season, here's what the staff of Agave Magazine will be tucking into the sides of their picnic baskets.
Ariana: I'm working my way through Harvard's annotated Jane Austen editions. Gorgeously constructed square-format volumes that are both highly informative and insightful, ideal for any Janeite. I'm also reading The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch and catching up on finishing The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.
Anna: At the top of my summer reading list are Grace, A Memoir by Grace Coddington and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.
Issraa: On a maternal kick this summer with the late Maya Angelou's Mom & Me & Mom and Hanan Al-Shaykh's retelling of her mother's story, The Locust and The Bird on my reading list. Meanwhile I'm slowly getting through What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. No new titles here I'm afraid. But I did just give these two books by Sweden's new bestselling author as a summer reading birthday gift: The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.
Deb: Apart from marathon on-demand readings of the Dr. Seuss classic One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (does it count as reading if you' can do it with your eyes closed?), I've got Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie's reflections on his time in hiding, in my carry-on bag. That should tide me over until I get to my favourite bookstore, Drawn and Quarterly in Montreal, where I always find at least a half-dozen titles I can't resist.
Grant: I'll be reading California, Edan Lepucki's debut novel about post-apocalyptic America, as well as How The World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through The Science Of Fascination by Sally Hogshead.
Tony: There's a tiny paperback that I keep coming to (a lot) it seems. I decided to pull out a slim 122-page paperback that lives on my hefty studio shelf, next to all the massive, hardbound, thousand-page art books filled with glossy reproductions of the inspirational Renaissance Masters. Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bales and Ted Orland was given to me years ago by a fellow artist who, after I confessed to him that I was "stuck", figured this book might be of some use. It was. Still is. Every person, creative or not-so-much, can benefit from a few key words of high-minded wisdom, or just a low-winded kick in the ass. Although with time, I usually find a way around dilemmas of creative emptiness, this book tends to speed up the process. A quick read for a prolonged journey of elevated bumps and bottomless hovels along the way to wherever.
Happy summer everyone — what will you be reading?
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