A Summer Reading List, In Time for the Fall

Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo

Anjan Sundaram bailed on a job at Goldman Sachs and headed for the Congo to report on that region’s struggle with poverty, violence, environmental destruction, politics and corruption. Not an easy task, especially for a rookie reporter.  But Sundaram succeeds and in the process writes a book that will help pretty much anyone better understand a region that we, here in the U.S. at least, don’t hear enough about or even begin to consider.

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout 

From Wall Street Journal to fire station look out, Philip Connors weaves a steady narrative about a summer spent (one of many) watching for smokes in New Mexico’s Gila National Forrest. Connors ties in a lot of interesting history surrounding the naturalist writing movement, land management and the government’s confused approach to wildfire fighting. 

Kurt Vonnegut: Letters 

Kurt Vonnegut was no overnight success story. It took him 19 years to publish his first breakthrough novel. During that time he worked at GE, started a Saab dealership on Cape Cod and came up with entrepreneurial schemes to develop a board game and also a bow tie, all in the name of supporting his writing career. And if that weren’t hard enough in itself, he also had four kids (two he took on of after his sister and brother in law died tragically). 

The point is success, especially for an artist, takes work and commitment. There were dark times in Kurt Vonnegut’s road to success, lean times, and good times too. His book of letters is an excellent way to peak inside the mind of a man utterly committed to the written word.  

Cape Cod Modern:

Not your typical coffee table book. Cape Cod Modern tells the interesting history of Cape Cod’s Bauhaus cottage scene. More on that here

Liar’s Poker 

Because to understand how we got into this current financial climate, it helps to start from the beginning, and no one tells this story better than Michael Lewis. It’s erie how a book written so long ago is still so relevant.