We love summer reading lists, so we asked a few Vermont Book Award nominees to share theirs.
First up, Jensen Beach. Jensen is the author of the short story collection, Swallowed by the Cold put out by Graywolf Press. The San Francisco Chronicle describes Beach's book as follows: "“Beach's gifts grab you by the throat. . . . Reprising an ensemble of characters back and forth in time, these linked stories enter us, dreamlike yet unnervingly real, sometimes close to sublime for their deep, fierce insights. Swallowed by the Cold is dark, seductive and worth finding.”
Jensen Beach's Summer Reading List
The Gift, by Barbara Browning -- This is the most thought-provoking book I've read in years. I loved it, even as it frustrated me. It's a mediation on art, performance, commerce, the internet, identity, beauty and truth. I tore through the book recently and plan to immediately read it again.
It's Beginning to Hurt -- James Lasdun. This collection is a several years old now, but I revisit it regularly. Some of my favorite stories are in this slim volume. I read this book every few months.
The Brand New Catastrophe, by Mike Scalise -- This is a book I've been waiting for months to read. I bought it when it first came out and have been waiting to dig in until this summer, when I knew I had a number of long airplane flights. I read best on planes, it turns out. The Brand New Catastrophe is a memoir about illness and Andre the Giant (sort of). It's also, from what I have read so far (I cheat a bit) enormously funny.
Thanks so much, Jensen!