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The Summer Reading Guide

November 23, 2009

Saturday morning, amid the cocktail haze from Annie’s 40th birthday party the night before and a rampant summer heat which felt like being wrapped in a hot, wet blanket, the Summer Reading Guide landed on the kitchen table.

The first thing I would like to point out about the Summer Reading Guide is it is sponsored not by the big bookstore chains like Borders or Angus & Robertson, but instead four small independent bookstores. Woo hoo to the Indies.

The second is the awesome Michael Leunig cartoon on the front. He remains my favourite Australian cartoonist. I also went to primary school with his neice (before I even got “who” Michael Leunig was!) There are old yellowing cartoons of his from The Age tucked away in shoe boxes with other high school memorabilia.

The third is all the wonderful books! It would be easiest, I think, if I were to simply fold it up and send it to Santa with a “Yes Please” sticky note on the front.

I have never really thought too much about “summer reading” but this year, armed with the trusty Summer Reading Guide and not just Christmas coming up, but also a birthday, I’m going to perhaps be ahead of the game. I say ahead of the game because I’m usually gathering up twenty year old best sellers in January at the largest book sale in the Southern Hemisphere rather than getting them brand new off the shelf. That is the wonderful thing about books I guess, they’re just as brilliant twenty years old as they were brand new. They age well, like a good bottle of wine.

The last and possibly the most wonderful (other than to ohh and ahh because Margaret Attwood has another new book!) I found what I thought was the return of one of my much-loved characters from my teenage years – Adrian Mole. Wandering over to the official website of Adrian Mole I however found there is much I have missed since I was a teenage girl giggling about the trials and tribulations of young Adrian (because it was easier to laugh at him than laugh at myself.)

Moving on from The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 ¾ (where I got my first glimpse into the male fixation on their unique anatomy) and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole – there are another four books, and the latest The Lost Years of Adrian Mole 1999-2001. Makes me wonder, where the hell have I been?  Quite possibly under a rock it seems.

Instead of battling zits and anxiety about the length of previously mentioned male anatomy, Adrian is struggling with nits, explanations when his son takes a condom to school as his contribution to a hot air balloon project and other hi-jinks  as a single father. Somethings never change though – as his sibling rivlary/jealousy with his half brother Brett continues.

Summer reading is perhaps taking on a new dimension this year and I have to admit, I can’t wait.

What characters from your teenage reading would you love to see revived in their middle aged (in)glory?

Jodi Cleghorn crossed the 50K line a little after 5pm yesterday at the local write in. She is ever so glad the en/em-dash saga was safely entrusted to Paul last week having already head her eyeballs sucked from her brain line editing the week before.  Find out about this mysterious publishing project at Chinese Whisperings.

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