Summer Reading Lists abound at this time of the year, and I’m jumping in with 3 recommendations for your consideration, based off books that I’ve recently finished.
Love and Summer by William Trevor. Can’t think of a better title for Summer! This is beautiful story that I wanted to go on forever – the kind of book that leaves you with a sense of loss at the end because you miss the companionship of the characters. The recorded book version, 5 discs, has an excellent narrator. If you want your Summer driving to be less stressful, more pleasurable, pop this into your car’s CD player!
The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Obviously a classic, so well-written that it brings tears to your eyes. Reading this will enhance your Summer. And, by simply carrying it around, you will impress people with your good taste in literature.
Under the Skin by Michel Faber. I’m just now finishing this – the recorded book version. A few months back, I saw the movie (starring Scarlett Johansson, now on DVD). I have no idea how the movie was spawned by the book, as they are vastly different, but each is good in its own way and might provide some summer stimulation, making you wonder about . . . things. If you’re inclined to watch the DVD, an interesting double feature would be Under the Skin along with another recent Scarlett Johansson movie, Her. Ms. Johansson has very little to say in Under the Skin, whereas Her features her disembodied voice. Thus, by watching the 2 movies together, you get to appreciate the full range of her considerable acting ability.
Summer Movies are generally pretty bad, and I look forward to the Fall when I can start planning my annual movie-going blitz in prep for the award shows. In the meantime, it’s good to recall some of my all-time favorites — here are 3 for your consideration.
Once (2007) – I’ve watched this musical love story several times and relish almost every scene (there’s one part involving a motorcycle which doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the movie, so now I just fast-forward through that). I like the sound-track, and also the fact that the lead actor and actress fell in love in real life during filming (now they’re ‘friends’). Once is also a Broadway Play, winner of many Tony Awards — currently playing in San Francisco (I was planning to buy a ticket until I saw how expensive they are).
Groundhog Day (1993) – I love this movie after countless viewings. Definitely a goofy premise: Self-centered TV weatherman covers Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, PA and repeats the same day over and over. But, it’s extremely amusing, imaginative, and thought-provoking. Bill Murray shows you how to gradually change/become wonderful/live happily every after.
Working Girl (1988) – Another romantic comedy that still resonates. It’s full of great scenes, plus awesome chemistry between Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith. You may want to watch it just because it features the Carly Simon song ‘Let the River Run.’