What book (or books) are you reading this summer? What would you recommend?
Candice Bergen: First of all, NOT a book but a movie. Woody’s “Midnight in Paris.” Magic.
Books: David McCullough’s “The Greater Journey” about Americans in Paris in the 1920s and turn of last century which dovetails very nicely with Woody’s movie. I just started.
“The Hare With Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal, which my friend Henry tells me is a masterpiece.
I like “Swamplandia” by Karen Russell very much, but prefer nonfiction. Also a book on what the future holds fifty to a hundred years from — “The Physics of the Future” by Michio Kaku. Very accessible and interesting. We’ll be dead.
Mary Wells Lawrence: I am moving boxes and suitcases onto my boat in the cold Pacific rain so it is not reading time for me. However, I started “A Visit from the Goon Squad” before I left New York and am enjoying it enough to sit up late into the night to finish it. It is luxurious to sit up in bed and to read with New York lights dancing outside my window, but at the moment I see nothing but black Pacific rain out there. (Not a bad atmosphere for “Goon Squad,” I suppose.)
I have stacks of books piled high in the boat for summer reading. Lots of thrillers for the fellas. Although I tend to go for all those books by scientist-futurists these days, I have just been given “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” by David McCullough and it looks good. The book that follows me around is “In the Psychiatrist’s Chair” by Anthony Clare. I was seriously mad about Anthony Clare, as many were. A highly regarded professor and head of psychological medicine in a medical school, he was a smash hit interviewer of celebrities on radio in England and wrote books you wanted to read over and over again. I keep him alive through his books – they are hard to find but worth it.
As for movies — “Somewhere,” Sofia Coppola’s film, is on DVD now and is the perfect hideaway movie for a night when you need to cool your brain and your psyche.
Joan Ganz Cooney: I have no recommendations because I have just started Lawrence Durrell’s “Alexandria Quartet.” What’s interesting is that I think I read “Justine” many years ago — but like Nora Ephron, I remember nothing. I also find that reading magazine articles slows down the book reading pace. I remember years ago that Michael Korda announced he was giving up reading magazines because it took time away from reading books. I just don’t have his discipline because I love good articles. I’m reading a great one right now that was published months ago in the New Yorker titled “Letting Go” by Atul Gawande on end of life care. It sounds depressing, but if one is interested in the even more depressing cost of medical care in this country, it is thrilling.
Judith Martin: The chic reply would be “I’m re-reading Proust,” but I really am. I talked my book group into it, over their dead bodies, and now they’re up to “The Guermantes Way” and apologizing for those unseemly protests. They’re even getting ahead of me, which is embarrassing, because I forgot from my last run-through (perhaps twenty years ago) that it is like eating a rich dessert, and I can’t digest too much at once.
Joan Juliet Buck: Advance proofs of Patti Bosworth’s riveting, wonderful biography of Jane Fonda — at last! Ten years in the writing, it reads like a dream.
Owen Matthews’s memoir “Stalin’s Children” about his parent’s love affair in Moscow during the cold war. The Newsweek Bureau chief in Moscow (who prefers to live on an island off Istanbul), Matthews is a masterful writer with a great and horrifying story to tell.
Sarah Kernochan’s “Jane Was Here”, a terrific reincarnation thriller.
“The Enchanter: Nabokov and Happiness” by Lila Azam Zanganeh— a playful meditation on Nabokov.