Summer reading has us a blast…

June 18, 2010

A week or so ago, our colleagues up the road at the Scottish Book Trust unveiled their plans for summer reading. Now we enjoy a good list, and we also love a good book, so the natural next step was to compile our own…

Lizzie (Assistant Librarian)
It would be so nice to really read some poetry slowly rather than just hunting through it … I could start with any of Iain Crichton Smith’s …

Shoring up some time for Dark Matter: poems of space as I didn’t get time to take it in when it first came out

Anna of all the Russias: the life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein.

And as a break from poetry (yes, really!): Lustrum, the second in Robert Harris’s trilogy about Cicero

Julie (Librarian)

Art and Text from Black Dog Publishing – I got this for my birthday – full of images of work by artists using text.

I’ve just finished Sarah Bakewell’s biography of Montaigne so I’m now going to work my way through his The Complete Essays.

At the Loch of the Green Corrie by Andrew Greig is in my summer pile.

I’m interested in sound and silence at the moment, so have a pile of books on those subjects, including Listening by Jean-Luc Nancy

I’m planning to catch up with a couple of Bloodaxe lecture titles – Silent Letters of the Alphabet by Ruth Padel, and Hiddenness, Uncertainty, Surprise: Three Generative Energies of Poetry by Jane Hirshfield

Poetry I’m thinking of:

The Best of It:  Selected Poems by Kay Ryan has caught my eye and is my must-buy read (the cover and design is gorgeous)

And  then I’m planning to spend some time really getting to know the work WS Merwin, Charles Reznikoff, Lorine Niedecker, WS Graham

And dip again into some constant favourites, such as Thomas A Clark, Robert Creeley, John Burnside, Alice Oswald

And I really want to spend lots of time exploring http://www.ubuweb.com/ – a fantastic source of visual, sound and experimental poetry and other artforms

I’m not really reading novels that often any more but I do like Scandinavian crime now and then. I’m thinking of starting the influential Martin Beck series by Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö from the 1960s.

Robyn (Director)

Orlando Figes: Natasha’s Dance: a cultural history of Russia

Bill Manhire: The Victims of Lightning [poems]

Lorrie Moore: A Gate at the Stairs

Kay Ryan:  The Best of It: new and selected poems

Into The Deep Street: Seven Modern French Poets 1938-2008, translated by Jennie Feldman, Stephen Romer

Laura (intern)

Bill Bryson – At Home,  A Short History of Private Life

Carol Ann Duffy – Love Poems

Curtis Sittenfeld – American Wife

John Carlin – Invictus

J. R. R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings

George R. R. Martin – A Feast for Crows ( Book 4 of a Song of Ice and Fire)

Jules Watson – The Swan Maiden


Lisa (intern)

Just now I need to finish a huge biography of George I by Ragnhild Hatton. I expect my summer will feature some David Roberts murder mysteries, as Amazon recommended him for me, and some Mary Stewart. I also intend to read The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey, and maybe some more Alys Clare, I just finished one of hers and loved it… can you spot a strong crime and suspense theme? Other than that I will stroll down to my local library and take home anything that looks promising.

Peggy (Communications Officer and Events Programmer)

I am currently entertaining a torrid obsession with the work of novelist Richard Yates, which has recently been heightened by a wonderful gift of the titles I didn’t have. Having just read Disturbing the Peace, and currently on A Good School, the ones left to read (sadly few) are A Special Providence, Liars in Love and Cold Spring Harbor.

In order to delay the pain of finishing the above too quickly, I intend to finally tackle some of the bedside books that have been piling up of late. I’ll be dipping into Alex Ross’s tome The Rest is Noise, an epic sweep of the story of 20th-century music, and Dennis O’Driscoll’s Stepping Stones: Interviews with Seamus Heaney, a more manageable tome now it’s in paperback.

There’ll have to be a bit of Paul Muldoon: in preparation for our summer exhibiton Plan B, Muldoon’s poems interpreted through the photography of Norman McBeath, I think now’s the time for his The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures. I’m also dying to finally read Robin Robertson’s The Wrecking Light and Lorrie Moore’s A Gate at the Stairs.

What are you reading?

5 Responses to “Summer reading has us a blast…”


  1. […] June 18, 2010 We contemplated our summer reading lists! […]

  2. david Says:

    I’m jumping back and forth between Frances Yates’ The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, a book of Lawrence Durrell’s travel writing and a dictionary of cant. 🙂

  3. Alexei McDonald Says:

    You’re all so organised! I only seem to look one or two books ahead at the moment. I’m reading Colin Martin & Geoffrey Parker’s The Spanish Armada right now, and I think after that will be the collected poems of A. E. Housman. Beyond that I don’t yet know.

  4. Lilias Says:

    And I was actually on holiday and can now confirm that I spent part of it reading Diane Wakoski, The Butcher’s Apron, and heartily recommend. I spent the rest of the reading time with cookery books (turns out this was highly appropriate) and dizzying and odd selection of classics from Project Gutenberg – first steps in e-reader shared ownership.

    Get Diane Wakoski! Read Diane Wakoski! There are a few poems on the Poetry Foundation site.


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