Writers on Reading
It could have been the summer doldrums…it could have been that we were all especially busy…it could have been that we were avoiding writing. Who knows? But as the July meeting of our writers’ group loomed, no one had submitted any new writing for the group to review.
This lack of writing was not a new phenomenon, but when it happened I liked to think of things we could do instead; anything to advance our writing. I began thinking about writing in general. I knew that even if no one was writing anything, we were all reading. So from Bee Season to World Without End we talked books…what we liked to read and why.
What did the author do to make us keep reading? What books would we read again? We by no means agreed on all of them, but we were willing to keep an open mind.
We were supposed to think of four or five books each but, as anyone who remembers his or her multiplication tables can see, we didn’t quite follow the rules. That wasn’t new either.
Our daily lives had gotten in the way. I figured that, at the very least, we would all have some new authors to consider, and I’m always looking for new authors. This is not one of those stuffy literary-ish lists of books that no one really likes. And because there are four “varietals” in our group, it gives a whole new meaning to eclectic.
These are our favorites. What are some of yours?
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology by Cheikh Anta Diop
Dave Barry Turns 40 by Dave Barry
Hanta Yo by Ruth Beebe Hill
Happenstance: Two Novels in One About a Marriage in Transition by Carol Shields
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Hero with an African Face by Clyde W. Ford
The Hunger Games trilogy (especially books one and two) by Suzanne Collins
Just Kids by Patti Smith
King Lear by William Shakespeare
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Living Blood by Tananarive Due
Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
World Without End by Ken Follett