Monday, June 28, 2010

summer reading list

each year, roy christopher collects summer reading lists from a few friends and publishes them on his blog. this year's a dandy. here's my contribution.


for as long as i can remember, nixon-related books have occupied the highest shelf on my parents' book collection - books like john dean's blind ambition and woodward and bernstein's all the president's men and the final days. a few weeks, while visiting my mom, i reached up to the top shelf and plucked down the final days (simon & schuster, 1976). it's the story of a criminal, crooked, crazed, paranoid, and totally incompetent president and the final months, weeks, and days of his reign. great summer reading!

a few months ago, at moe's books in berkeley, i traded three brand new academic books about digital media for one used copy of edward espe brown's the complete tassajara cookbook: recipes, techniques, and reflections from the famed zen kitchen (shambhala, 2009). what a great deal! i started reading and cooking from this book in late spring and will continue through summer and beyond.

as its title suggests, pam peirce's golden gate gardening: the complete guide to year-round food gardening in the san francisco bay area and coastal california (sasquatch books, 2010) tells northern californians what to plant, why, how, and when. it's my bible - especially in summer. i'm also reading gayla trail's grow great grub: organic food from small spaces (clarkson potter, 2010) for some wonderful and creative tricks and techniques.

this summer, i'm working on a new freshmen seminar called "golden gate park" which, if approved, will run next spring. to generate ideas and stimulate the old noggin, i'm reading, skimming, and scanning all kinds of wonderful books like raymond h. clary’s making of golden gate park: the early years: 1865-1906 (don’t call it frisco press, 1984); chris pollock and erica katz’s san francisco's golden gate park: a thousand and seventeen acres of stories (westwinds press, 2001); sally b. woodbridge, john m. woodbridge, and chuck byrne’s san francisco architecture: an illustrated guide to the outstanding buildings, public art works, and parks in the bay area of california (ten speed press, 2005); christopher pollock’s golden gate park: san francisco's urban oasis in vintage postcards (arcadia publishing, 2003); and hosea and nellie a. blair’s monuments and memories of san francisco: golden gate park (calmar printing company, 1955).

most of my summer reading, i suspect, will be read out loud, to siena, our 11-month old daughter, and revolve around stories about clever animals, being kind and curious, and going to sleep.