Writers on Reading

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?

                                                                                –John Kavouras

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

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About John Kav

I have always enjoyed humorous writing, but in college I learned to admire and appreciate creative non-fiction and its many forms. I liked the idea of writing that is entertaining or, even better, humorous but also tells a true story about someone’s everyday life, so that’s usually what I write. Enjoy! I hope you'll leave me comments and come back to this site often.
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2 Responses to Writers on Reading

  1. run4joy59 says:

    For the first time since high school, I re-read To Kill A Mockingbird…what an amazing book! I don’t think I had the same appreciation of it when I was a kid, but when you’re forced to read something, I don’t think you have the same experience as when you read simply for the pleasure of reading.

    A small writers group? Hmm…I should see if there’s anything like that here that I can take part in…

    • johnkrab says:

      Thanks for writing. I had a similar experience with _To Kill a Mockingbird_. It remains one of my all time favorites. In the method of one novel capturing a period in history so well, Steinbeck’s _The Graps of Wrath_ is another excellent example.

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