My son Sam just finished Kindergarten, probably his most important milestone, and here’s why: He left knowing how to read.
As parents milled about his classroom on the last day, kids running crisscross for hugs and farewells, Sam’s teacher Ms. Sandifer held each child firmly at arms length, staring over her glasses intently at them, imploring them to read this summer, as if it might be the last words they would ever hear before marching off to war. Read, Sam, Read!
It might be the most important words they would hear, at any rate. Read, kid, and enter the infinite world of ideas. Always a companion at your call.
So, do what you learned in K-school, and read something good this summer. Here’s my summer reading list. Nah, not new releases or best-sellers, just some that I like and have read or re-read recently. Feel free to add to this list.
The Americans, by Robert Frank – It’s gotta be on your shelf if you are remotely interested in photography
Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes – Short, “infuriating,” thought-provoking.
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson – Will make you laugh.
Once We Moved Like the Wind by David Roberts – Will make you cry.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Will scare the bejeezus out of you. Such a profound parable of modern darkness that I consider it non-fiction.
Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs by Ansel Adams – This book is like a bottle of 1963 Vintage Port that every one can enjoy forever. Read one example at a time and let it sink in. My go-to book for photographic inspiration.