In honor of my grandfather, William Weidenbach, who died last summer, this summer I plan to read from the list according to the letter W: William Trevor, William Faulkner, Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, and Virginia Woolf. Though they are predominantly American writers, with the exception of Woolf, I know that they will supply with lots of diversity when it comes to style, which should make for interesting summer reading.
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner — Daunting is the only word I can think of when I think of Faulkner. I’m sure it will be heavy. I’m sure it will be moderately depressing. I’m sure it will be a difficult read.
The Collected Stories by William Trevor — I haven’t gotten the chance to read any of William Trevor’s work, but I do know that he was influenced by James Joyce, so I feel I will be well taken care of. Also, I figured I would need a palate cleanser after any Faulkner novel.
My Ántonia by Willa Cather — I’m excited to get a new view on the American West that isn’t the Little House on the Prairie.
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton — I figured this would be an interesting read, because I just read The Bell Jar, and it will be curious to kind of juxtapose the characters New York experiences as well as issues of social class. The loss of wealth is also a theme I am currently curious about.
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf — This is the book I am most looking forward to reading this summer. I have read some of Woolf’s short stories, and I really enjoyed her voice. I also like the idea of a novel being set in a single day.
In addition, I’ll be reading a few books with my book club, like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg, so it should be a summer packed with books and the ever-present Fresno heat.