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5 books to read during summer holidays

For a relaxing moment with the sound of the sea waves in the background

5 books to read during summer holidays For a relaxing moment with the sound of the sea waves in the background

Since the dawn of time there has been a quarrel among readers about which type of books is better to take with us on the beach: from college students who use textbooks to shelter from the sun to the pretentious for whom the book is an intellectual showoff rather than the pleasure of reading, till the teenager or middle-aged woman with the latest ‘Shades of...’ by E. L. James.

Well, here is a list of 5 novels (or collections of short stories) that - even though they distinguish themselves for the beauty of the plot or the style or even just for a marked irony - we can definitely consider perfect to focus on despite the sun, the wind, the sand in our eyes and the sound of the waves.

 

1. ME PARLARE BELLO UN GIORNO by David Sedaris

"When shit gets you down, just say 'fuck it' and eat some fucking candy.”

David Sedaris, radio personality, humorist, writer, son of the 1960s and Woody Allen's anecdotal and neurotic irony, wrote this book as a sort of psychoanalytic flow mixed with a stand up comedy monologue. The book reveals Sedaris's childhood in North Carolina, early adulthood in New York and his recent adventures with his boyfriend Hugh in Paris. David defends his fifth grade rebellion against a speech therapist who attempted to alleviate his speech impediment, rationalizes that his therapist had the hidden goal of dehomosexualizing him, writes about his sister's addiction to tanning, about the insane idea of his father to found a jazz group made up of his children. Sedaris makes fun of his own mediocrity, his poor score on the IQ test, he feels so anonymous that he has to cling to his flaws to bask in the idea that he is somehow different from others, but he does all this with spontaneity, self-irony and a healthy dose of cynicism, so much that it becomes impossible not to love him.



RIVE GAUCHE by Agnès Poirier

“They were all in love with Simone. Bouvoir and Sartre agreed that their relationship was essential, while any other relationship they had would remain contingent. Their life together, and not, formed ripples in an ever-deeper lake.” 

La Sorbonne, Les Deux Magots, Café de Flore, the Hôtel La Louisiane: the legendary Rive Gauche between the 1940s and 1950s. From the dust of the bombings a city rises with the intrinsic joy that characterizes every process of rebirth, thanks above all to the numerous artists and intellectuals, such as Sartre, De Beauvoir, Juliétte Greco, Picasso, Miles Davis, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, Saul Bellow, Christian Dior, who helped make Paris the hegemonic capital of post-war European culture in the collective imagination. From existentialism to the theater of the absurd, from jazz to chansons, to the research of a third way in politics and militant feminism, Rive Gauche is a journey to discover the origins of the symbols of a nation.



LIFE IS SOMETHING TO DO WHEN YOU CAN'T SLEEP by Fran Lebowitz

“There are so many alcoholic writers because if you have to be face to face with yourself, it's better if one of you is drunk.”

Fran Lebowitz is one of New York's cultural mainstays, like hot dogs or the Empire State Building. She was hired in the early seventies by Andy Warhol to write for Interview and edited two columns for the magazine: one on bad movies ("The Best of the Worst") and one on New York society ("I Cover the Waterfront"), recently Martin Scorsese dedicated to her the documentary 'Public Speaking' and the docuseries on Netflix 'A life in New York’. She is undoubtedly the most lashing humorous voice in America, she has an opinion on any subject and does not ask for it to be expressed, she is witty, cruel, pungent, an unrepentant New Yorker, lover of fashion, luxury furniture and art. And she has become - despite her - a style icon, among the ten best dressed women according to Vanity Fair (even if she has been wearing only variations of the same outfit for years): tortoiseshell round glasses, shirt with cufflinks, jeans, men's jacket and camperos. She officially stopped writing in 1981 and has never stopped talking ever since, has carved out a career as a public speaker and has given lectures and public interviews on just about everything: from politics to fashion, to art, to cinema, to theater. No one has ever dared to contradict her and almost all of her writings are collected here, something between a social commentary and a series of complaints.

 

FRESH WATER FOR FLOWERS by Valérie Perrin

“Why do you go to certain books the way you go to certain people? Because we are attracted to certain covers as we are by a look, by a voice that seems known to us, already heard, a voice that distracts us from our path, makes us raise our eyes, attracts our attention and will perhaps change the course of ours. existence?”

The story of a life as difficult as it is ordinary, with its fair share of grief, betrayal, ghosts in family closets, anguish and resilience. Violette Toussaint is the guardian of a cemetery in a small town in Burgundy, tender and full of vibrant love, a hypersensitive sentinel of the trains, then of the dead, but above all of the living who accompany them. In fact, during visits to their loved ones, many people come to visit this beautiful woman in her house, always ready to offer a hot coffee or a friendly smile, until one day a policeman from Marseille comes up with a strange request: her mother, who recently passed away, expressed the desire to be buried in that distant village in the tomb of an unknown local lord. From that moment things take an unexpected turn, hitherto unspoken links emerge between the living and the dead, between the living and the living. A delicate but very powerful book.

 

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY by Tea Hacic-Vlahovic

“They say that Croats come to Italy to steal husbands. But I'm not that predictable. I'm also American, I could steal anything”

The life of the party is a dark comedy set in Milan, a little bit Sex and the city but more splatter and penniless. Mia, a young American recently expatriated in the city of fashion, is the pseudo-autobiographical transposition of Tea, a Croatian-American performer who arrived in the Northern capital in the early 2000s to dive into the world of fashion and its nightlife. Roommates who, like her, only eat junk food to save money for a cocktail, houses that look like shacks but cost like suites, very cool but super precarious jobs, unreliable boyfriends. Sex, drugs and more sex with an unbridled and brazen Milan in the background as you may have never seen it before, in a book that we could define as a memoir or the manifesto of a generation, which contains irony but also a deep sadness ( just like the generation it describes).