The dog days of summer are in full swing, and this week Humanities and Sciences faculty member, playwright, poet and short story writer Louis Phillips suggests classics, short humor and other diversions for perfect beach reading.
Has anybody read a great book on the beach? Can you imagine a person trying to make his or her way through James Joyce’s Ulysses while getting a tan? Can someone really pay attention to Don Quixote’s adventures while the sun is beating down and the surf is beckoning? As we say in New York, fuggedaboutit! Now that I have gotten that off my chest, here are some recommendations for books to take to the beach:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Not to read (see comment above) but to use as a table to keep sand off your hot dogs and other food.
Jaws by Peter Benchley. The opening chapter is told from the shark’s point of view. Brilliant. Unfortunately as you read you keep glancing up to find out where your friends or family members are.
The Man Who Stole the Atlantic Ocean by Louis Phillips. From the book:
What would happen if some
Disgruntled adults steal the Atlantic Ocean
And hide it in their basement? If, on the other hand, you are on a beach facing the Pacific Ocean you might not care what happens
To the Atlantic Ocean.
The Insanity Defense: The Complete Prose by Woody Allen. These humor pieces are short. The reader can dip in, go for a dip, and come back to the book, and dip in again.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. No comment necessary.