By the end of my Master's Degree in English Lit., I was pretty tired of reading. After all, reading academically is so much different from reading for pleasure that I'd actually forgotten how to switch off. And having written my thesis on superheroes, I couldn't even read my favorite medium (comics) anymore without applying this theorist or that model, yada yada.
But now, having just finished teaching my first lit. class, I suddenly love to read again! All semester I kept adding to a mental list of books I wanted to finish, start, even reread! Once the end of the semester was in sight, I started keeping an actual list of books I wanted to read over my summer break. And here is that list:
Dracula, The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: The first novel I taught this semester was H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines--a book I discuss here incessantly in relation to Resident Evil. Rereading it along with my class and following it with Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen reminded me how much I love Victorian lit. Not only that, but both books were fairly successful among my student (though The League more so). So when I was offered another lit. class for the summer, I knew what the topic would be! And these are the other novels for that course.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt: I started reading this a few years ago and really enjoyed it until I got caught up with other things. But it's time I revisit Savannah, especially since I won't be moving there this year as previously planned.
Stories from the Edge: Jimmy Santiago Baca may be visiting my campus next fall to present to several different Learning Communities that I'm either teaching or helping to organize, so I'd really like to get more familiar with his work. Sadly, I've read very little.
Sometimes a Great Notion: I've been slowly reading a little bit of Ken Kesey's novel every summer since it was given to me as a graduation gift from the chair of my thesis committee. The book is excellent but very dense! I felt bad for taking so long with it until I read that it was a book best savored. So I've been savoring it for three years now!
Doom Patrol: Crawling from the Wreckage: A colleague of mine insists I give Grant Morrison another chance (I'm not a fan), so he lent me this comic for the summer. I've actually been wanting to jump into this series for a long time, making for a nice compromise.
B.K. Evenson (his science-fiction pen name) is actually a pretty accomplished writer and wrote a companion book to the work of Robert Coover (another author I taught this past semester and on whom I plan to write more in the future). And the comics' writer Antony Johnston has a pretty decent resume himself.
This is what I'll be reading in the comic weeks, and you can count on my thoughts concerning at least half of them. There are other works too, I'm sure, but my preference lie on these.
So what will you, dear readers, be perusing this summer?