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Summer reading: Sam Lipsyte on John Jakes

Samlipsyte_ceridwenmorris For summer 2010, we've created the L.A. Times list of 60 books for 92 days. All of these are new titles being released during the next three months -- they're a plethora of great summer reads.

At Jacket Copy, we're asking bookish types about their favorite summer reads of the past. Sam Lipsyte is the author of "The Ask," a novel about Milo Burke, a failed painter and under-enthusiastic fundraiser for an arts program at a New York university. "Targets of Lipsyte's satire," our reviewer wrote, "include Williamsburg loft dwellers, liberal-arts students, radical child-care providers and reality-TV aspirants." Lipsyte's "The Ask" is now out in paperback.

Jacket Copy: Do you remember reading a specific book or books during summer?

Sam Lipstye: When I was a kid I read "The Bastard," "The Rebels," "The Seekers," "The Furies," which are the first four books of the Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes.

JC: What year was it, or how old were you?

SL: I was 12, maybe 13.

JC: Where were you?

SL: In a rented cottage near a lake with my mother, father and sister.

JC: What about the books was significant to you then?

SL: The books had sex (in haylofts), revolution, and musketry, things very much on my mind at the time.

JC: Have you reread the books?

SL: I don't want to reread them. They are with me forever as they were on those blazing days in the grass or beside a window during a summer storm.

JC: Have you picked out anything to read this summer?

SL: I'm eager to read the new Rick Moody novel. 

-- Carolyn Kellogg
twitter.com/paperhaus

Photo: Sam Lipsyte. Credit: Ceridwen Morris


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