|Friends Elysia and Joseph on one of annual trips to Hyde Brothers Books in Fort Wayne, IN|
Every writer I've met has a list of books they've been meaning to read but never have the time to get to. People have always assumed I read everything because I'll read anything. I am one of the fortunate few whose knowledge of what makes a "good" book has never hindered them from enjoying a really shitty one. What can I say? It's a gift.
|Some of the books I left at my grandmothers when I went to college. No wonder my love life has been so twisted.|
This was the wrong Indiana winter to decide to do winter activities I'd never done before. I want to go ice-skating but I wanted it to be outside. But the weather here has been so globally-warmed I'm not sure whether or not I'll get to do that one this winter. I blame James Franco.
I started my 90 days of 750 Words a Day challenge today and I wrote over 1000 words. This is not a game.
Sending mail is so much fun guys. Sending notes and letters and packages is just....the best. When you send mail, PEOPLE WILL SEND YOU MAIL BACK! I've gotten beautiful handmade cards, wonderful messages that lift my heavy-booted spirit, and this past week I got a mix CD I haven't stopped listening to since it arrived (Thanks, Jordan!).
Not to mention buying new stamps is perhaps the most exhilarating thing you can do on a chilly (yet unseasonably warm) Midwestern day. I have stamps that commemorate the America Negro Baseball Leagues as well as ones that honor legendary actor Gregory Peck. Oh! I also have some gorgeous ones with a single sailboat painting on them. I'll save my gushing about my stationary for another day. But rest assured, there will be gushing.
In any event, things are moving right along. I'm feeling really good about this year and I'll be damned if it doesn't seem like this year is feeling really good about me too. Now, here's my list of books. Maybe you'll read some of them with me? Oh, you already read them all? Shade.
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding - I saw this movie as a kid and it blew my scalp back. Always wanted to read the book.
- The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger - Never got around to this one. Still, somehow dated three different versions of Holden Caulfield. Jesus, help.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou - I've read lots of my love, Ms. Angelou. This is one I wasn't ready for until now.
- Walks with Men by Ann Beattie - I had a friend suggest this to me and I've been meaning to read it for a solid 6 months. I'm interested.
- God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut - This will be my first time reading a Vonnegut novel. I've read some short stories before, but nothing long-form. He's even from Indianapolis. I'm a bad Hoosier. Also, I hate basketball. LOLZ.
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel - Most of my friends have read this book. Many feel about it they way I feel about The Giver or Walk Two Moons. So I have to read it.
- Sula by Toni Morrison - I just haven't read enough Toni Morrison.
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho - My roommate (and life partner) Spencer made a book trailer for this one for a class he took last semester and I've wanted to read it ever since.
- Just Kids by Patti Smith - Rock and Roll memiors are always a good choice, even the bad ones. You know what? Especially the bad ones. I've heard good things about this one. Excited to start it.
- Living Well is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins - Another suggestion from a good friend. I had a sort of historical romance with this group of Ex-Pats over the summer. Ernest Hemingway was that dude.
- Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid - My friend Maggie bought me this book on my last trip to NYC. I was intrigued by the little black girl on the cover. Now, she's mine.
- Other Heartbreaks by Patricia Henley - I won this book at the Ball State University Writers Community Gala this year. It was published by two professors in our department and Cathy Day will be teaching it in her novel-writing class this semester. I miss that class. Still working on the novel(s).
- A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - For obvious reasons.
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - Because I hated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
- The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie - I love YA books. There are so few of them on this list because I keep up with them really well. Alexie has always made me laugh and think, sometimes at the same time, and I want to know more about native people in this country who are living here right now. Also, I'm going to be published with him in PANK 6!
- Night by Elie Wiesel - After reading Number the Stars in third grade, I found myself obsessed with the Holocaust for many years. I've never really gotten over that obsession, but somehow in all my readings about it, I never got to this one. I'm sure I'll be in tears. But tears sometimes help me see things more clearly.
- Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans - Been meaning to read this since summer. Recommendation from Roxane Gay. Let's cut the shit, I'll read anything Roxane recommends.
- How to Escape From a Leper Colony by Tiphanie Yanique - See above.
- Cut Through the Bone by Ethel Rohan - I love love love The Lit Pub. I haven't been able to comment as much I did when I was unemployed, but I still read there frequently. One of the first books they discussed there was Rohan's. I ordered it then, but am just now getting to it. I'm really excited about it.
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott - It seems this is required reading for the kind of writing I want to do. So, I'll read it.
- On Writing by Stephen King - See above.
- The Comeback Season by Cathy Day - The Circus in Winter was amazing and after having Cathy as a professor, I have no idea how she even finds the time to write books so well. The Comeback Season is a little lighter (I hear) and I'm ready to dig into it. Especially, since nonfiction is what I'm most focused on writing right now.
- The Fullness of Everything by Tyler Gobble and Christopher Newgent and Brian Oliu - Confession: I know all of these men. Gobble and Newgent are two of my closest friends and Oliu is more of a faraway writing/music hero who I only met once. These guys are all amazing writers. Just amazing. There are many times when I don't know how I made friends with such amazingly talented people. Somehow I have. I can't wait to read their words. Also, check out that badass cover!
- Wind in a Box by Terrance Hayes - I hadn't heard of Terrance Hayes until my friend Tyler Gobble took me to a reading he had at Butler University. I was absolutely blown away by him. Absolutely. I've since bought and read "Lighthead" but I've heard this one is even better. I'll find out for myself.
- Room by Emma Donoghue - This book sounds gut-wrenching. I need something to wrench my gut.
See you soon.