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Summer Reads for Former Recess Rebels

by Glen Weldon
Jun 4, 2007

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Face it: Summer's not for everyone.

Remember recess? Summer's a lot like recess. Most kids I knew couldn't wait to get out and start jumping ropes and dodging balls in the blazing sun. But there were those of us (unathletic types mostly, pale of skin and soft of belly) who'd gaze out through the classroom windows just before noon, scanning the horizon for thunderclouds.

Because indoor recess — say it soft and it's almost like praying — meant sitting quietly at your desk and reading. There was none of the pressure, implicit from teachers and explicit from classmates, to leap, climb or hurl projectiles.

Kids like us, as you might expect, grew up to resent summer and all it entails, because it's basically outdoor recess. For three months. And my people, we own no shirts boasting wicking technology; we do not, as a general rule, jet-ski. Our adult interests are those best pursued in the cool, dark places of the world: We are film dorks, comic-book geeks, fantasy-lit fans, indie-music nerds.

So when summer comes, we leave the frothy beach books to those who frequent the frothy beach, seeking out spikier, more esoteric pleasures instead. Our summer books are books you can sink your teeth into — and that sometimes bite back.

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American History, on Shuffle-Repeat

A Bracingly Unpredictable Voice

A Newly Unearthed Patch of Middle Earth

Fiction Without Filters

An Enlightening Take on Darkness

In Defense of Music Snobbery

Come On, Baby, We're Going to the Rock Show

Let Us Now Praise Wacky Neighbors

Gorgeous, Sweeping, Inch-High Adventure

Music is Magic. Literally.

Profiles in Disarming Cluelessness

Art Is Long, Lunch Period Is Short

Recommended Reading:

Click here for a printable list of our summer 2007 book roundups.

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