Friday, March 16, 2007

Reading into It

Poet with a Day Job tagged me with this challenge -- to create a list of 35 books that anyone could read to get to know me.

This is a great and difficult challenge, because I think of my library as a chronicle of who I've been. Each book I've read has nudged me into who I am now; every book creates a movement in some new and unforseen way. So here, in no particular order, is my list of 35 books. Warning -- ask me again on a different day, and this list might change.

Top 35 Books I would recommend to a friend or enemy to get to know me -- I also put, in parentheses, the time in my life when I first read the book.

Weetzie Bat Francesca Lia Block (college)
Tropic of Capricorn Henry Miller (college)
Inspiration Sandwich SARK (high school)
Mother Love Rita Dove (grad school)
Tender Buttons Gertrude Stein (grad school)
Collected Poems Emily Dickisnon (grad school)
The Lives of the Muses Francine Prose (a year ago)
On Lies, Secrets, and Silence Adrienne Rich (college)
Loose Woman Sandra Cisneros (college)
To the Lighthouse Virgina Woolf (grad school, faked reading it in college)
Go Ask Alice Anonymous (grade school -- freaked me out)
On Writing Stephen King (in between college and grad school)
Nickel and Dimed Barbara Ehrenreich (grad school)
Race Studs Terkel (college)
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison (high school)
Fear of Flying Erica Jong (middle school -- yikes)
Memoirs of a Beatnik Diane DiPrima (in between college and grad school)
Ishmael Daniel Quinn (college and grad school)
Einstein's Dreams Alan Lightman (college)
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller (college and once every 12 weeks now, b/c I teach it)
Wild Iris Louise Gluck (grad school)
Firebird Mark Doty (grad school)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl (grade school)
Ariel Sylvia Plath (college and grad school)
Collected Poems Elizabeth Bishop (grad school 3 semesters in a row)
Sweet Valley High Series Francine Pascal (grade school)
The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty Marilyn Chin (in between college and grad school)
The Life of Poetry Muriel Rukeyser (grad school)
You Just Don't Understand Deborah Tannen (high school)
American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis (high school -- was told by a dumb jock that I wouldn't be able to read the whole thing. I did and he didn't.)
Aurora Leigh Elizabeth Barrett Browning (grad school)
The Hot Zone Richard Preston (college)
The Language of Life Bill Moyers (college)
The Oddyssey Homer (faked it in high school, read it in college)
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Audre Lorde (grad school)

I'll be tagging a couple of people with this, but if you want to add your own, please do!


LB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
twilightspider said...

Wow - this is quite the challenge you've tagged me with. I hope that I can come up with 35 titles - you are so obviously far better read than I am... but I will accept the challenge, perhaps later today...

Sorry for the deleted comment - I was signed in under the wrong name!

SLP said...

This was really hard for me, but sort of fun in the end...35 + 1 = ?