Summer Reading Series: Leslie Larson
Categories: Literature & the Arts
Leslie Larson, Editor, shares her summer reading list. Find out which books she plans to delve into in the coming months and why she chose each of them! For more lists from our Summer Reading Series, click here.
1) Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor by Lynda Barry
I’ve followed Lynda Barry since “Ernie Pook’s Comeek” was a regular in the Village Voice back in the ‘80s. To me, she is one of the most underappreciated talents in the country, someone who melds words and images in a completely original way and a teacher of writing and drawing with an approach that trains artists to get to the heart of what they want to express. You sink deeper into the pages of What It Is and Picture This, noticing more and more on your way down: subplots playing out in the corners of the page, images layered below others. Syllabus is just that, produced in a cool format (composition book) with the usual Lynda Barry twists and turns.
2) Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
I’m a sucker for family dramas, books set in the ‘70s, and portrayals of the collision of cultures and, according to reviews, Everything I Never Told You has it all, in addition to being a thriller. This is Ng’s first novel and I’m eager to see how she negotiates her story.
3) Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
I’ve always been intrigued by how extremes of poverty and wealth often exist side-by-side, a stone’s throw from each other. The global economy seems to be driving even starker contrasts, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers, which delves into the lives of people scraping together a livelihood in a ramshackle settlement next to the luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport has received massive attention and praise.
4) Amnesia by Peter Carey
Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang was flat-out one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve ever read, so I’m happy to see that his new book. Amnesia has just hit the shelves. The subject of this book—cyber warfare—is a departure for him and not up my usual alley, but I’m such a fan of his writing that I’m more than willing to take a chance on it.
5) Lila by Marilyn Robinson
Some writers just speak to you. Their voice sounds familiar the first time you hear it; they articulate something that you’ve always felt without ever realizing it. That’s how it was for me with Robinson’s two previous novels, Home and Gilead, so I’m eager to read her third, Lila. Robinson manages to explore life’s deepest mysteries through specific, ordinary details—a talent I appreciate.