A Haze of Summer Reading

Still embedded in the couch, where I’ll be for the foreseeable future, my leg held slightly less aloft, though… and with less pain in my foot.

The hours go by. The days. So do the pages of the book I’m reading, though the medicine makes me slightly less attentive to the thread of the plot than I’d ordinarily be.


A summer book. A stack of summer books. I recently came across a copy of the syllabus for my honors English class in high school. Forty years ago. The teacher, Chuck Aschmann, was some kind of a genius, and he brought out the genius in his pupils. Just page 1 of the reading list would be enough for more than a single college literature course.


By page 2… I don’t remember it being hard to read most of his selections, just sitting for hours in our sticky leather club chair and dreaming over these amazing books. Spending a lot of time in the humid heat of August, reading and dreaming and reading…


Dos Passos, Woolf, Conrad, James. Fielding, Sterne, Thackeray. Melville. Twain. Sophocles!

I was actually spoiled for college English after this, thought I knew all there was to know about fiction and spent my non-class-time hardly reading at all but scribbling diary entries, page-length prose poems and love letters.

In high school it didn’t take foot surgery to keep me on my rear end reading novels in summer.


Filed under Culture, Fiction, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Writers, Writing

2 responses to “A Haze of Summer Reading

  1. Thank you for the link. Very nice.


    I love lists, especially lists of book titles. I didn’t know that Thomas Keneally’s very long list goes way back to 1964, including SHINDLER’S Booker Prize winner of 1982 and a couple dozen others, mostly *factictious.* (He’s an Australian Living Treasure!) Talk about a prolific writer!

    Anyway, Jean, please keep on keeping on… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-l91O9VxN0

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