During the Heat of Summer, My Mind Turns to India
Most people’s idea of summer reading is of some cheap paperback to be consumed on a beach towel or on a long plane, train, or bus ride. There are a large number of trashy novels written each year to satisfy this undemanding audience. My taste in reading material, however, is more of what you would describe as deep-dish.
When the temperature rises into the 80s F (30s Celsius), there are certain books that appeal to me. Looking back over July and August in the last several years, here is what appeals most to me during temperature spikes:
- Books about India, such as those written by William Dalrymple, author of City of Djinns
- The novels of William Faulkner set in Mississippi
- The novels of Brazilian author Jorge Amado set in his native State of Bahia
- The novels and short stories of Chilean author Roberto Bolaño
- American and French noir novels
- The Travis McGee novels of John D. MacDonald set in South Florida
- Travel books such as those written by Freya Stark, who traveled extensively by herself in the Middle East
Sometimes, I go in the opposite direction: I recently read Chauncey C. Loomis’s Weird and Tragic Shores: The Story of Charles Francis Hall, about a failed trip to discover the North Pole.
I am currently rereading William Faulkner’s Go Down Moses and have Jorge Amado’s Home Is the Sailor in my TBR pile.