The solstice has signaled the official beginning of summer, and as we all head off to our various iterations of vacation in the coming weeks, it’s time to refresh the book shelves and playlists. Today the Bushwick Blog writers are sharing some picks.
Every other paycheck I buy 4 books. I’m usually able to get through them all before it is time to put in another order. I prefer to shop online, mostly because I really love getting cool stuff in the mail. Arriving in my mailbox this last round was Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, The Catalog by Jasper Tomkins, and This Is A Book by Demetri Martin.
Recently I discovered this really great band Mts. & Tunnels – absolutely love them. They are playing this Saturday at Darrell’s Tavern and I’m pumped about it. I also tend to listen to Das Vibenbass and By The Way at home every night after work while I work on Bushwick stuff.
Right now, I am RV camping at the Oregon Coast with my parents so I have been ingesting some fun books that are well suited for lounging outdoors. My friend recommended Aisha Tyler’s Self-Inflicted Wounds and it’s the most I have laughed at another person’s misfortune in awhile. I also picked up Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan yesterday which I hope to read by the ocean while I daydream about owning a small bookstore in a beach side town.
In preparation for the big Wu-Tang Clan show at Bumbershoot this year, I have been busy refreshing myself on their catalog and downloading a lot of their solo albums. It is going to be a banging summer while I dance my way through their immense body of work.
I usually don’t do the “beach reads” kind of thing, but I just polished off a couple of books that have probably made more than a few of those lists, and I enjoyed the hell out of them. First was Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, following a group of friends from adolescent summer camp all the way through late adulthood. It definitely has a “Big Chill” kind of vibe, but there is this hidden core to the book–the most subtle and moving of unrequited love–that kept my attention throughout, regardless of what other major themes started to make themselves known. After that I moved on to Dare Me by Megan Abbott. This has been my favorite read of the summer, maybe even the year. About a group of hardcore cheerleaders who are manipulative and mysterious, but also frighteningly loyal and alarmingly vile. This book kind of feels like a cross between the dreaminess of The Virgin Suicides and the horror of Stephen King. I loved every page, mostly because of how much fun it was to read.
Next up for me is Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days. The Goodreads reviews are a mix of outraged MJ fans and people with a lot of love for this book. The authors are Jackson’s two private security guards in his last couple of years. They are upfront about being huge fans of the quiet and reclusive Jackson. This doesn’t seem like a book that is ill-intentioned, which makes me interested to get reading.