Summer Reading List

The Summer break is opportunity for, yes: days on the beach, extra work hours,  pajama days, and midnight debauchery; but also, believe it or not, for reading. Recent studies, both from the University of Toronto and the New School for Social Research in New York, suggest that reading literary fiction can help us better empathize with others, and help us think more critically.

The question then is, what to read? As my novelist neighbor Ms. Morales once said to me on a cold afternoon in April when I was thirteen, “The best. We read only the best.”

And so, with Ms. Morales advice in mind, we here at Cypress Chronicle have devised a Summer Reading List for Cypress College Students. We tried to get a good mix of classics and celebrated contemporary novels. We also reached for novels that have something (however marginal) to do with summer or the sea or vacations. We challenge our readers to read five of the fifty or so novels laid out in the reading list.

Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler

Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire

Kate Christensen’s The Epicure’s Lament

Stephen Greenblat’s The Swerve

Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to an End

Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections

Anne Patchet’s Bell Canto

Chekov’s short stories and plays

Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

Scott Fitzgerald’s Tycoon and Great Gatsby

Gabriel Marquez’s Memories of my Melancholy Whores, Love in the Time of Cholera, 100 years of Solitude

Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Hardboiled Wonderland, Norwegian Wood

Cormac Mccarthy’s Blood Meridian

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club

Harold Bloom’s The Anatomy of Influence

David Foster Wallace’s A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never do Again

Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

Foucault’s Madness and Civilization or The Birth of the Clinic

Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless you, Mr. Rosewater & Breakfast of Champions

Albert Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus and Stranger

Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling

Milton’s Paradise Lost

Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov, Notes from the Underground

Homer’s The Iliad

James Joyce’s Ulysses

Cervantes’s Don Quixote

Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf or Narcissus and Goldmund

Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49

Borges’ Labyrinths

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Sound and the Fury

Salinger reread Zooey

Heller’s Catch 22

Tool’s Confederacy of Dunces

Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, Old Man and the Sea, Garden of Eden, In Our Time.

John Bart’s Lost in the Funhouse

Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea

photo courtesy of www.imgsoup.com

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