Do you need a few good book suggestions to pore over this summer? Well, look no further than Thomas M. Lauderdale’s Summer Reading List! In this new Pink Martini blog series, the famed leader of our humble little orchestra will share a favorite title from his extensive library that he thinks you’d enjoy by the pool, at the beach, on your lunch break, in school, or wherever you’ll be spending time this summer!
This week’s selection is A Shout in the Street: An Excursion into the Modern City by Peter Jukes. Take it away, Thomas!
“A Shout in the Street is kind of like those Nietzche aphorisms. It’s a collection of quotations and moments – film stills, photographs, exerpts from essays – and it’s about four different cities. The cities are London, Paris, Leningrad, and New York City. And they’re so beautiful. Small little quotations about each of these cities at different times.
Here’s a great one about Paris: “Paris is like a whore. From a distance she seems ravishing, you can’t wait until you have her in your arms. And five-minutes later you feel empty, disgusted with yourself. You feel tricked.” Henry Miller in the Tropic of Cancer. Isn’t that great?
I first started reading this book one summer after I graduated from Harvard, summer of ’92. I had four jobs, and one of those jobs was a security guard at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston during the day. And so I would scold people as they walked through the museum if they touched or sat on the furniture. So I read this on my breaks. That’s where I first fell in love with this book.
Here’s another good one. It’s an excerpt from Richard Sennett’s The Fall of Public Man:
“In the mid 19th century there grew up in Paris and London, and thence in other Western capitals, a pattern of behavior that was unknown in London or Paris a century before, or is known in most of the non-Western world today. There grew up the notion that strangers had no right to speak to each other, and that each man possessed as a public right an invisible shield, a right to be left alone. This invisible wall of silence as a right meant that knowledge in public was a matter of observation, of scenes of other men and of women, of locals. Knowledge was no longer to be produced by social intercourse.”
Isn’t that intense? It feels so totally right. It’s such a great book. Read this book!”
Come back next week to discover another literary gem from the library of Thomas Lauderdale!