Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remy Bumppo's Beach Blanket Reading Recommendations

Remy Bumppo wants to know...what are you reading this summer? Here is a look at what company members are currently reading. Tell us your summer reading list and we'll publish the titles in next month's newsletter.

Artistic Associate Linda Gillum is reading Young Kate by Christopher Andersen. Young Kate is an authorized biography of Katharine Hepburn that touches very little on her career and later life and gives more detail about her parent's influence on her and their lives and how her brother's suicide affected the family. I read it in one day."

Artistic Director James Bohnen has two recommendations to get you in the mood for Night and Day, Tom Stoppard's great romantic play about the power and importance of reporters getting the story out. The first is Evelyn Waugh's fascinating novel about reporters following a war in Africa, Scoop. Written in 1937 after Waugh returned from Africa and covering the war in Ethiopia, the novel is about classes and the ways the press can massage the message. Stoppard was inspired to write Night and Day when he re-read it in the middle 1970s., and he uses a famous line from the novel in the play. Keep your ears peeled. The second book is brand new. It is a wonderful first novel by a foreign correspondent named Tom Rachman, The Imperfectionists. This book is about an English language paper published in Rome. It is told in individual chapters about various figures on the paper, so you get both a personal story of these vivid or sad or fragile or funny, or all of the above, characters, and a view into various jobs on a paper. If that weren't enough, at the end of each chapter is a two or three page piece that chronologically traces the history of the paper from its founding in the Sixties until 2007. Wonderful story telling and a glimpse into a world few of us have experienced.

Artistic Associate Nick Sandys recommends The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez-Reverte, a thriller about an ex-photojournalist-turned-artist, haunted by memories and by a mysterious stranger, a novel that raises some very interesting moral dilemmas about journalism's role and responsibilities in the theatre of war, and possibly a good counterpoint to Night and Day which starts our season in the fall.

Marketing Chair and Founding Board President, Nancy McDaniel: ANY of the series of The Number One Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. even if you are not passionate about Africa (and especially Botswana) as I am the vivid descriptions and engaging stories are sure to win you over. A quick read and wonderful for the pool beach or backyard this summer

Director of Development Kate Oczkowski is reading The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner. Weiner is a former foreign correspondent for NPR who traveled around the globe, visiting countries whose residents claim to be the “happiest” (eg. Iceland, Bhutan, Switzerland) and the “least happy” (eg. Moldova) to try to figure out what’s making them so blissful (or miserable – sorry, Moldovans). It’s a unique sort of travelogue – thought-provoking, inspiring and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny.

Business and Operations Manager Amy Schultz recommends The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Riordan, who used Greek mythology to capture our imaginations in his Percy Jackson series, now tackles the myths of Ancient Egypt in The Red Pyramid. This first book in a new series of adventures follows 14-year-old Carter Kane and his 12-year-old sister Sadie as they learn how to harness their “godling” powers in order to save the world from chaos and destruction. An entertaining and educational read for both children and adults!

Subscription Manager Charles Riffenburg highly recommends City of Truth by James Morrow. Morrow is one of the top religious and cultural satire authors in the country, and City of Truth is one of his most touching works, and a delightfully short read. It tells the story of Jack Sperry, who lives in a future dystopian world in which everyone has been conditioned to only speak the truth, regardless of the consequences. Jack's job is to destroy the lies of the old world, incinerating objects like art, novels, magazines, and all works of fiction. When his son is stricken with a fatal disease, he recalls having read about the power of hope and positive thinking in one of the artifacts he has destroyed, and decides to lie to his son by telling him he'll be alright. This leads Jack down a dangerous path, in which he must find the balance between lies and truth, and how an extreme in either direction is a bad thing.

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