One of the good things that has come out of the pandemic is that my college friends and I Zoom each month. When our reunion was cancelled, I emailed the gang to see if people would be interested in meeting up on line. And, I’m glad people said they were.
I lived with the same three other men for all four years of college. Our room was tight with eight other women in our residential college class. There were no romantic links (that I know of), and, so we were a group of 12 friends before there was Friends.
We take turns to suggest a topic and to manage the discussion. In about 10 minutes, we’re going to discuss what our favorite books are. Someone set up a Google Doc, and we’ve been filling in the details. It’s a great collection of books, and I’m unfamiliar with most of them. I’m looking forward to a summer of good reading.
FWIW, below, are the books that I listed and the reasoning. I hope you find some good books to read this summer!
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
Great prose. Awesome book about love, adventure, complicated relationships, and ennui. A funny scene about fly fishing with a friend while they drink wine. For a long time, I re-read it every winter while sipping a whiskey in honor of Hemingway.
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
An account of his post-WWI years in Paris as an unknown writer. When I read this in high school, I fell in love with all French girls even though I had never been to France and knew no French (I took German). Only Hem can spin prose to make every day things come alive and be almost sensual to the reader: sharpening pencils before he writes, eating oranges while he works, eating oysters and drinking Muscadet at a café. A funny and sad profile of F. Scott Fitzgerald as well. At one point, I wanted to be a writer….
The Accidental Superpower, Peter Zeihan
Explains much about today’s world. Pretty much predicted Trump 2016. Projects that the US will be the only superpower for the foreseeable future (all other major nations face population declines). We’re #1, yo.
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
A few years ago, I decided to read Black authors. This book is sad, hopeful, and entirely moving. DNA tests show that one in nine Death Row prisoners are innocent. Bryan after Harvard Law could have cashed out but instead started a non-profit to free innocent people who have been condemned to death. He is a mensch.
Body Keeps the Score, Bessel van der Kolk
A long-time NYT best-seller by one of the world’s leading researchers of trauma. He breaks down the science of trauma and highlights which treatments actually work.