Friday, August 22, 2008

I need to read more

Maggie at Mighty Girl has written a list of books that changed her. It's inspired me to write my own list. Though upon review, I realize these are books I read years ago. What have I been doing lately? Or do just the books you read when you were young and so much more impressionable stick with you? I still read these authors/poets, but it's the first reading I remember the most.

“Salvador” by Joan Didion -- It’s a very long essay on American involvement in El Salvador written in 1983. It showed me that journalism could be so much more than just the story in the newspaper. -- that an observer could also be passionate. For years, I made all my friends read it. My apologies to those of you who I quite obnoxiously forced to do so.

“Birthday Letters” by Ted Hughes: It is an amazingly honest, intimate and incredible book of poetry. It reminds me that there are many sides to a story and many years that carry that story even after death.

“Adrienne Rich’s Poetry”: It was a critical edition for a post-modern poetry class in college. Her imagery coupled with her politics and her personal growth as a feminist was so compelling, so engaging. It made poetry so “revolutionary” to me. The volume is still on my shelves and often next to my bedside.

“The Moving Target” by W.S. Merwin -- Again that post-modern poetry class. Perceptive, clear and vivid poetry that inspired me.

“A.P. Stylebook” -- The journalist’s “Bible.” I think I slept with it when I discovered it in my first journalism class. I loved the order, the rightness of it.

“Bachelor Girls” by Wendy Wasserstein -- She could chronicle smart, successful yet human women with such sass and spirit. You felt like she knew you. When she describes her mother’s response to her winning a Pulitzer Prize (“That’s nice honey, but your sister has given me grandkids...”), I could relate.

“Thinking Out Loud” by Anna Quindlen -- She is a journalist, novelist and a mother. She blends personal with political and always touches you. I want to be her (my version) when I grow up.

1 comment:

nancy said...

Ahhh, yes. Joan Didion. I do remember that very well. In fact, I have some of her books here.