Saturday, June 13, 2009

my summer reading list

every year, roy christopher collects and compiles cool summer reading lists. here's my contribution to this year's list.

my summer reading list

1. michael pollan's second nature: a gardener's education (new york: grove press, 1991)

i dig michael pollan. reading pollan gives me ideas for both my garden and my classroom. this book comes highly recommended by USF colleague, friend, and homesteader melinda stone.

2. erik davis' the visionary state: a journey through california's spiritual landscape (san francisco, california: chronicle books, 2006) - with stunning photographs by michael rauner.

this book is about california, sacred and profane buildings, shamans, pranksters, psychedelic visionaries, the prayer wheel in berkeley, the chapel of the chimes in oakland, and the alan watts library in druid heights, something i first learned about in arthur magazine.

3. mary appelhof's worms eat my garbage: how to set up and maintain a worm composting system (kalamazoo, michigan: flower press, 1982)

i want to be able to gather our food wastes, walk them outside, and feed them to worms. in return, i want and expect, with time, rich compost for our garden. this book will help.

4. karl linn's building commons and community (oakland, california: new village press, 2007) - published under creative commons

i'm tired of reading books about building community online. i want to read a book about building community offline - with help from community gardens, public exhibits, and neighborhood commons.

what's your summer reading list look like?


Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for posting this. I especially liked the selection on community spaces. My father is in real estate and works very hard to integrate community spaces into his projects -- a moving theater and restaurant complex with a covered courtyard in the middle, condos situated around a common yard. Now he's looking towards residential projects all built around a garden. I plan on purchasing that book for him for father's day.

david silver said...

hey melissa!

i haven't read building commons and community yet (that's what summer's for!) but i'm really excited to. i think it will make an excellent gift for your dad on father's day.

judging from your tweets, it sounds like new york is treating you well. see you soon.

paris said...

Simone de Beauvoir's "The Mandarins" (1956), as prep for my Camus seminar this Fall, but really assigning it was just a way to get myself to read it. I finished last week; it was fabulous!

David Foster Wallace's "Infinite Jest" (1996). I started this a decade ago, but got distracted after 250 or so pages. I've felt disturbed for months now that our generation's pre-eminent novelist has died so young and in pain, and I want to give respect where due.

Roberto Bolano's "2066" (2004, trans. in 2008)) is on my list, as is Neal Stephenson's "Anathem" (2008), but I'm hoping to get discounted copies of both first, since last I looked they're still in top-dollar cloth.

david silver said...

ooh, nice reading list paris!

you may want to check out infinite summer, a group of readers distributed all over the place reading infinite jest this summer.

paris said...

Thanks for the tip! Checked out the site, will begin tonight. Lots of side-blogging going on about it, too. If only I found people more, well... interesting.