HALLIE EPHRON: Last week Julia started a discussion of camps and camping, which got me thinking about favorite books about camp. Mine: HOLES, Louis Sachar's hilarious book about Camp Green Lake (it's not green, and there's ain't no water.)
In it, poor Stanley Yelnats (Yelnats, by the way, is Stanley backwards) is unfairly accused of stealing the smelly used sneakers of baseball great Clyde Livings (actually they fell from the sky and landed on his head). He's sent to Camp Green to serve out an 18-month sentence. Stanley and his fellow inmates are roused before dawn each day to dig holes in the dry flat lake bed. Only Warden seems to know what they're looking for. It's hilarious, and the jigsaw puzzle pieces of plot fit together almost miraculously at the end.
Here's the opening lines:
Stanley Yelnats was the only passenger on the bus, not counting the driver or the guard. The guard sat next to the driver with his seat turned around facing Stanley. A rifle lay across his lap.My favorite camp movie? Dirty Dancing. Was Patrick Swayze hot or what? We all wanted to be "Baby."
Favorite song? Hello Mudda, hello Fadda...
What are your favorite summer camp books, movies, songs... foods even?
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Favorite camp movie? The Parent Trap. Dirty Dancing comes in second. Songs? Summer in the City by the Lovin' Spoonful. Beach Boys, of course. And the Stones.
Summer foods? Texas peaches. Texas tomatoes. Texas blueberries. Fresh figs. Oh, and when I was a kid we used to pick blackberries off the vines that grew on the creek bank behind our house. Heaven--unless you got into the poison ivy...
RHYS BOWEN: Oh Debs, I loved the Parent Trap. Let's get together, yay yay yay.
And I thought the movie of Holes was brilliant too.
Favorite summer books are ones that have a great sense of place but don't require too much concentration. Currently re-reading Mary Stewart's This Rough Magic as it's set in Corfu and I've just returned from Greece.
Summer foods? A picnic on a headland with blue water below me, a baguette, French cheeses, ripe peaches, maybe cold barbecued chicken, or oysters, or cold spiced shrimp--you can tell I'm writing this just before dinner and I'm hungry, can't you?
DEBS: Rhys, This Rough Magic and My Brother Michael. Perfect summer books. And I want your picnic...
ROSEMARY HARRIS: I've always loved A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy - that'll date me! Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone. A Summer Place (when I finally saw the movie I thought it was preposterous, but I still like the sappy music.)
And is there anything better than Summertime (and the livin' is easy)? For a lark I once made a tape of all the different versions I had of that one song. Lots.
Can't think of any summer books though.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, camp books...Marjorie Morningstar, of course! And On the Beach. (OK, that's a joke.) Oh, and the Horsemasters on Mickey Mouse Club. (Talk about being dated!)
Music: Do you know the Basia song--I thnk it's called Time and Tide? And Girl from Ipanema. SO summery to me.. And the Beach Boys Imagination. It's perfect!
And my grandson Elijah and I were JUST discussing HOLES last night! He loves it! I don't. And there you have it.
Summer food? Lobster. Gin and tonic. Prosecco. Prosciutto and melon.
LUCY BURDETTE: I would have done anything to be "Baby" to Patrick Swayze in DIRTY DANCING. The wonderful way that movie built the tension as she learned to dance--"Nobody puts Baby in a corner!"
Now that is reminding me of the dancing in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, which I also loved Hallie. Learning to dance with a hot instructor--can't beat that!
"Under the Boardwalk" and "See you in September" for songs...
Corn on the cob and blueberries for food...
HALLIE EPHRON: What are your favorite books that evoke summer -- camp songs? movies? Can't believe no one mentioned barbecued steak. Mmmm.