Monday, May 16, 2011

Official Summer Reading List 2011: Erika

As I graduate from law school, study for the bar and generally settle into the life of a new unemp-lawyer, there is thankfully one thing I can afford to do: summer reading! Yes, I have already darkened the door of the downtown AADL three times in the past week. I ripped through "One Day" and "Bossypants" in my post-exams cleanse--huge disappointment and timeless delight, respectively, though I would have gobbled up anything to get the taste of the tax code off my palate--so I will not be including them in my Official Summer Reading List 2011. In no particular order, and I can't promise that I won't go off script, here are the books that are slotted to whisk me away from my stressful-but-happy summer.

Apollo's Angels by Jennifer Homans

In her introduction, Homans laments ballet's retreat from pop culture relevance in the past three decades: "Something has passed, at least for the moment, and we have time to look back and reflect." As I again can carve out time in my post-law-school schedule for the open barre at the Y, I can explore, through the reflections and research of a former professional ballerina, the 400-year-old explanation of my oldest hobby.

At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill

A recommendation from a friend. Something about Ireland and Virgil's "Alexis." I'm working up to this one.

Middlemarch by George Eliot

This book is from my oldest reading list scribbled in a long-retired journal. I expect to identify closely with Dorothea Brooke. No one takes her seriously either.

Griftopia by Matt Taibi

So, we're here. How did we get here? An investigation into the 2008 crash, alarmingly relevant to my life at the moment.

Michigan pick: The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter

I'm about halfway through this book, which was written by a former University of Michigan creative writing professor and recommended to me by a student and a university employee. It's set in Ann Arbor, and the characters, the ideas, the weave of colloquial storytellings ring so true and so poetically Midwestern that I search the faces at Old Town on a Friday afternoon for the coffee shop manager Bradley, for his first wife Kathryn the softball player, for his employee Chloe. (Charles Baxter's not there; he teaches at the University of Minnesota now.) This is a book about love and loss and Ann Arbor, and it's already the best local book I've ever had the pleasure of reading.

Check back for more Damn Arbor Official Summer Reading List 2011!


  1. They reprinted the Michigan Murders, a true story which takes place mostly in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. It was a worthwhile read. I picked it up at Aunt Agatha's on Fourth.

  2. I love love love this book. Looking forward to Ms. Jost's thoughts!

  3. I love Middlemarch, but the first time I read it I was already in my fifties. You've already read it? My dear, don't let it put you off marriage! Did you know there's a PBS dramatization? Of course you did! You're Erika!

  4. Just picked up F of L from the library. I'll try to catch up to you.