Tuesday 24 May 2011

Summer reading/ What are you reading?

Summer reading - recommendations you might profitably or enjoyably read this summer from members of EAS around the city will be being posted on our Twitter feed @EASManchester over the next week or so, sign up to get some ideas of what to stuff in your suitcase...

Let us know what you are reading over the summer by adding to the comments section below.


  1. Summer is the season for immersing myself in those 600+ page mega-books (usually of the 19th century variety) that I can't give my full attention to during term-time or marking periods. From a canonical perspective, can I suggest Vanity Fair (a truly rollicking read, with a delightfully amoral heroine), Bleak House (I defy you not to be moved by the plight of poor Esther Summerson), The Brothers Karamazov (more humorous than you might imagine) or, if you're really game, Robert Musil's Man Without Qualities (a philosophical novel of gargantuan proportions, the European Ulysses). But there are some contemporary mega-books worth giving your time (and holiday) to, as well: Don DeLillo's Underworld and Nicola Barker's Darkmans spring to mind. I must admit that I haven't yet made it past the first 200 pages of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest, but I'm planning to knuckle down to it this summer, to determine whether it is, as alleged, a work of unparalleled genius, or merely an endlessly proliferating work of insane energy... we'll see. Students taking my 3rd year Futuristic Fictions course next year might also want to read some of the many future-oriented novels that haven't made it onto the course - feel free to contact me for suggestions! Kaye Mitchell

  2. Among God knows how many other things, Neil Lazarus’s new book The Postcolonial Unconscious (which promises, apparently, to ‘revolutionise’ the field), Derek Walcott’s new volume White Egrets and Raja Shehadeh’s A Rift in Time (melancholy reflections on Palestinian history). And Marx’s Capital of course, which I read cover to cover every summer. Robert Spencer

  3. I've just been reading some great stuff:

    1) Siri Hustvedt's *The Summer without Men*
    2) Tove Jansson, *The True Deceiver* and *A Winter Book*

    Also, poetry:

    Mary Oliver, *Wild Geese*

    Anke Bernau

  4. The new Geoffrey Eugenides is out soon isn’t it? I’m reading The Children’s Book by AS Byatt at the moment and it’s wonderful. I will be going for the Tove Jaanson next.

    Katie Popperwell, Citylife/ Manchester literary journalist

  5. Sub Songs
    Streak ~~Willing~~Entourage Artesian
    both by JH Prynne

    Noir by Robert Coover and Impressions of Africa by Raymond Roussel in the new Mark Ford translation
    The Afterparty by Leo Benedictus.

    That should confuse a reader for a Summer.

    Matthew Frost, Commissioning Editor, Manchester University Press

  6. Trying to finish Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest too, probs some Historical novels:, Patricia Cornwell/ David Peace/ Charles Dickens

    Jerome de Groot

  7. Lots of Dickens, Vanity Fair, China MiƩville, Djuna Barnes, and Faulkner if it becomes unbearably hot

    Tristan Burke, L3 student

  8. Work: Bowlby-Carried Away; FM Ford-A Call; van Bergen-Before My Helpless Sight; Doblin-Berlin Alexanderplatz

    Fun: BS Johnson-Travelling People; Childers-Riddle of the Sands;Good Soldier Svejk; Striphas-Late Age of Print

    Andrew Frayn

  9. Michel Faber, _The Crimson Petal and the White_--am very keen to read this doorstopper of a faux-Victorian novel after loving the recent BBC adaptation thereof;

    China Mieville, _Embassytown--I've loved all of his novels, and this one, centring on language and its relationship to truth and understanding, and set in a futuristic universe of interplanetary migration, looks especially fascinating;

    Jennifer Egan, _A Visit from the Goon Squad_--being old enough to remember the last vestiges of punk, this story of the exploits of musicians and music industry types from the 1970s to today sounds like my ideal read, and I was thrilled to hear that Egan is scheduled to participate in next year's Literature Live programme.

    Natalie Zacek

  10. Bronte, Marquez, Kafka, Borges, Debord, Zelda Fitzgerald, Icelandic Sagas, Rahul Bhattacharya, Hopkirk's The Great Game...

    Laura Swift, L3 EAS student

  11. Dickens, (as much as I can), Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Marquez, Mann and Conrad

    Jack Sullivan, L3 EAS student

  12. Richardson's Clarissa; otherwise, initial thoughts are Plath, Ovid, Blake, & yet another re-read of Lolita.

    Isabelle Dann, EAS Student

  13. I need to finish Zadie Smith On Beauty & Hemingway To Have and Have Not

    Abigail Davies, EAS Student

  14. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and will be taking Javier Marias’s Poison, Shadow and Farewell (3rd in the Your Face Tomorrow trilogy) on its third annual holiday, this time to see if it can actually get read.

    David Matthews

  15. Summer reading will be H G Wells, Iris Murdoch and China Mieville

    James Stanley, Contact Theatre Communications Officer

  16. This summer - Annie Proulx, D Foster Wallace, Roberto Bolano, Kafka, Italo Calvino, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Cormac McCarthy, Saul Bellow, David Peace, Jonathan Franzen, and probably some Coetzee.

    John Roache, EAS Student

  17. Aside from my 3rd novel, which has a lovely murderer in are my suggestions:

    Per Petterson's novels, Out Stealing Horses or I Curse the River of Time (stunning, sad, smart page-turners). I read them both cover to end then back again twice. It's been ages since I was so floored by fiction. He's super super.

    Sam Harris's The Moral Landscape (non fiction) is great too, if you want atheist scientists for company like I do....

    MJ Hyland

  18. I'm planning to revisit two old favourites:
    Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (one of those long books that you feel bereaved at finishing) and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov (the devil turns up in Moscow but it's not political vogue to believe in the devil any more which causes a few problems).

    I'd also recommend 'The End of Mr Y' by Scarlett Thomas, which mixes magic, psychology and philosophy with a rather desperate picture of writing a PhD.I am still trying to get my head round it!

    I am going to Whitby for a weekend, so I expect I shall finally get round to reading 'Dracula', and will be joining Natalie in reading 'Crimson Petal' (and suspect that despite its length it will tie up even fewer plot ends than the TV adaptation).


  19. I’ll be reading Dermot Healy’s new novel Long Time No See, Ali Smith’s There but for the, Roy Foster’s Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances; I’ll be revisiting Jo Shapcott’s Of Mutability and Derek Mahon’s New Collected Poems and reading, among other new collections, Bernard O’Donoghue’s Farmers’ Cross, Sean O’Brien’s November and Ian Pople’s Saving Spaces.

    John McAuliffe

  20. As of this moment, mine (besides third years texts) is No Country for Old Men, a biography of Bruce Springsteen, Dickens, and - possibly - the Millennium Trilogy. Hope that helps!

    Joe White

  21. My Summer of Love by Helen Cross
    A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

    I also plan to work through the long list of classics I haven't had time to read. First stop - Great Expecations!

    Hannah Moss