Summer Reading

Online book club @1book140

If you have ever joined a book club you know from experience that it is not easy to coordinate busy schedules, agree on next month’s book, or decide who will be next to host. Northeastern Journalism Professor, Jeffrey Howe, has created a book club that eliminates all of these troubles. Howe’s book club is on Twitter @1book140. The way it works is quite simple. 1book140 selects the book of the month by a majority vote of its Twitter followers. Once a book is selected members tweet their thoughts as they read, abiding by the month’s weekly schedule, and including the hashtag #1book140 so that their comments are collected on the site’s Twitter page. This month, readers have their noses in The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. If you’re interested in joining you can view the weekly reading schedule for June and reserve The Blind Assassin at Snell Library to start your summer reading! For more information about @1book140 read this article from Marketplace Tech Report

Summertime, living’s easy

Our summer reading display is up. Go to the lobby and check out the large display case. All the visuals and designs are courtesy of Krissy Lattanzio. I still am debating putting some actual books up in the case, but not every book mentioned. I feel this would help grab people’s attention and make the display jump out. So there may be more to come.

Summer Reading exhibit needs your suggestions!

To all blog visitors/posters: We are in the process of creating a summer reading exhibit to go in the large display case just off the lobby of Snell Library. Please leave comments here with any suggestions for books that you would recommend as summer reads. For the sake of popular wisdom (I may be saying this more as a reminder to myself than anybody else), please suggest books that are fast-paced, accessible, maybe cinematic reads. We will include several new releases, but also older books that stand the test of summer-reading time. We want to include mostly books that are on the shelves in Snell. Look forward to reading your suggestions.


As far as blog posts go, this is most likely my last for a while. I will not be around in the summer or fall of this year. In the spring of 2009, I should be back at work. Provided that this blog is still operational, I will be back to posting then. I will continue to post on the Facebook page and continue to leave comments. This is my opening disclaimer for this post.

I have decided to make this a comment–oriented post. There are numerous books that I want to read in the upcoming months, but it seems that I can never get around to them. Sometimes I feel that I am being too ambitious and trying to read books that are too weighty for this time in my life, when I have a lot of things going on. But I think I will get around to reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I have heard generally good things about this book, and it seems to be very popular for a work of ‘literary fiction.’ It has been made in to a movie starring Viggo Mortensen that will premiere at Cannes in May. Before I see that film I will try to read this book and try not to picture Viggo Mortensen as the main character. Perhaps this will add another dimension of difficulty to the book.

I also want to get around to reading, at least partly, some of Pauline Kael’s writings in her various collections of Film Criticism. Trash, Art and the Movies is her most famous essay; I don’t think I’ve ever gotten around to reading all thirty-something pages. I would like to read The Citizen Kane Book: Raising Kane, where she argues that Orson Welles deserves more credit than is necessary for revolutionizing cinema with Citizen Kane, and even in the creation of certain aspects of the movie itself. I have read with interest other writings by Pauline Kael that I’ve read (what fan of movies hasn’t?) and feel the need to dig in to more.

But I need some recommendations as well. What are other good books that Snell Library has which are worth reading? What about movies? What is a good summer read. i.e something that is sort of silly but interesting? I still have two and a half more months in Boston (before I go to New York for a spell) and still need to spend some time in the Snell stacks.

Summer Reading–Rebecca

I think Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier typifies the perfect summer read.  It’s atmospheric and has one of the most famous opening lines: “Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”  It borrows liberally from past gothic plots (most obviously Jane Eyre) and also manages to make more over the top, an already pretty over the top genre.  It’s chock-full of romance, secrets, jealousy and revenge. 


This book is one I’d recommend checking out from Snell Library to read over the summer, and it’s also featured in the Summer Staff Picks exhibit on the first floor of the Library.