Summer Reading Challenge: Infinite Jest

It’s a little early to be thinking about summer, but I’m already dreaming about the books I will read while enjoying the warmer weather. Nothing is better than reading outside, stretched out on a blanket in the sun.

When I was in high school and college, my recreational reading took a dip during the school year. Summer was my time to read whatever I wanted to, and I took full advantage of it. One of my favorite summer books is Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. This book tells the story of two young boys growing up in Illinois in the 1920s. Summer for these boys is so special, it’s magical. For several years as a teen and young adult I would read this book every year as soon as school let out. It was my ritual, my signal that summer had officially begun.

This summer, I have a challenge for myself. After seeing it on The Maine Edge’s Summer Reading List last year and getting a glowing recommendation from a friend, I have decided to tackle Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It’s a challenge mostly because of the length. My paperback copy of the book is 1075 pages. I have never read anything by DFW, but I have heard that his writing can be a little dense (and heavily peppered with footnotes). I’m sure it will be worth it, but I need to carve out time to read this book and also keep up with my other reading (a mix of juvenile fiction and youth fiction that I’m guessing will act like a sorbet). I have rather high expectations from this book, especially considering that Dave Eggers wrote the introduction.

If you’ve read this tome, do you have any suggestions? I want to really devote my attention to it, and I don’t want to see it as “homework.” After all, this is summer reading we’re talking about-it should be fun and carefree. I also plan (if there’s time) to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest to finish that trilogy. What are your plans for summer reading? Any good books on the list so far?



Filed under summer reading

5 responses to “Summer Reading Challenge: Infinite Jest

  1. mary morrow

    “Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” for sure; I am hooked! Good luck with your tome—it will be a worthwhile and satisfying endeavor, I am sure.

    • I am way behind on the Millennium trilogy…I can hardly remember what happened at the end of The Girl Who Played with Fire. We will have to watch the movie to catch up before diving into the third book this summer 🙂

  2. So nice to find your site.

    If the reading has to be season-appropriate, there is no finer piece of Northern New England literature than “Disappearances” by ( I think) Howard Frank Mosher. It’s set in Vermont, but the feeling of a soggy time in early spring evokes the region with wonderful accuracy.

    And while I have you3 attention – been meaning to ask – has anybody ever xhexcked that old revolutionary war flintlock so proudly on display at Ellsworth Library to make sure it’s not loaded?

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