How to Write a Sentence (and How to Read One), by Stanley Fish
I'm finding good ideas for my teaching, ways to simply launch students into sentence writing without having to think first about the terminology I'm teaching. However, the book so far (I'm halfway through) seems inconsistent, as Fish counsels that we avoid technical language while using technical language to describe what he's up to. There's also some sloppiness (his four-word-long "three word sentence" notably). Colleagues and I are reading this for the summer.
Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
I'd read the early chapter that Ellison published separately as "Battle Royale." The scene is altered slightly for the novel, but it's a poor fit. Yes, the subsequent scenes also have their surreal moments, as the poor narrator enters one Kafka-esque, dreamlike trap after another, but they don't match the battle royale scene in their wildness and weirdness. The book is pretty goofy, willing to spend enormous amounts of time—à la Don Quixote—fixated on somebody who isn't the protagonist, so there's a looseness to the narrative that I didn't expect. Enjoyable and strange so far.