Summer Reading List

I’m trying to read some real literature this summer, so here’s what I have tentatively planned.

Books which I have and plan to read:

  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Collected Oscar Wilde by Oscar Wilde The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas*

*Barnes and Nobel sent the wrong book, but with the correct cover. That’s right, the cover and the pages don’t match. I’m perfectly fine with this however, as this is a book which I have also been wanting to read.

Plays which I have and plan to read:

  • Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde
  • A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde
  • An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
  • Salomé by Oscar Wilde

These four plays are all in a collection titled The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays. I have already read—and seen in both movie rendition and live performance—The Importance of Being Earnest.

Nonfiction books which I have and plan to read:

  • Screenplay by Syd Field
  • Writing with Style by John R. Trimble
  • Gates by Stephen Manes and Paul Andrews

The last title is of course a reference to Bill Gates, not garden gates.

Books which I don’t have but plan to read:

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick**

**This is Cornell’s summer reading book, which they’re shipping soon.

Books which I don’t have but do want to read:


  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo (at friend’s recommendation)

Added from edit:

  • Straight Man by Richard Russo (at friend’s recommendation)
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (at friend’s recommendation)

Well, that’s it for now—there’s a heck of a lot of other books I want to read at some point.


Finally, for the sake of completeness, below is a list of books which I have read so far in 2010, in approximate forward chronological order (many of these appear as posts on my blog).

Books which I have read so far in 2010:

  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka*** (actually I read this on Dec. 25, 2009, but eh, close enough!)
  • QED by Richard Feynman (and I read this on Dec. 29, 2009, oh well)
  • Perfect Rigor by Masha Gessen
  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
  • Viva la Repartee by Mardy Grothe
  • Oxymoronica by Mardy Grothe
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Othello by Shakespeare***
  • The Pirate Hunter by Richard Zacks
  • The Pursuit of WOW! by Tom Peters
  • Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou***
  • I Never Metaphor I Didn’t Like by Mardy Grothe
  • Ifferisms by Mardy Grothe
  • Introduction to Graph Theory by Richard J. Trudeau
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • The Aims of Education by The University of Chicago
  • The Great Gatsby by F.S. Fitzgerald***
  • Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You by Mardy Grothe
  • Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar by Tom Cathcart and Dan Klein
  • xkcd: volume 0 by Randall Munroe
  • The Annotated Alice by Martin Gardner and Lewis Carroll
  • Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
  • “The Hunting of the Snark” by Lewis Carroll

***Assigned readings for school

By the way, the size of this list is rather unusual for me, as I used to not read this much. I went through most years of my life reading maybe five or six books outside of school per year; only this year (and the latter half of 2009) did I really start enjoying literature.

If I had to recommend five books from this list—actually a tough decision—I would choose Viva la Repartee, Candide, Siddhartha, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass. Yes, Lewis Carroll is just that awesome.

2 thoughts on “Summer Reading List

  1. Nobody’s Fool is a beautiful book and very funny. I finished it a couple weeks ago, and I just received Straight Man from Amazon.

    Also, you could look into Graham Greene if you want a great novelist of the mid-century.


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