Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Ann Lamott
“Bird by Bird is a writing reference book that also functions as generally inspiring for whatever you want to do. It has been such an inspiration to me – I’m writing more now than over the past few years. The most important aspect of the book is its humor; it’s not a dry account. Lamott encourages just getting everything down, and emphasizes that your first draft will always be crappy. The book highlights that the focus can’t be on perfection, or else, you’re never write anything to start with.” Bird by Bird is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
“To soothe myself during the upheaval of SXSW and to extract inspiration for the novel I’m working on now, I’ve been re-reading my favorites. Olive Kitteridge sets the standard for writing in omniscient third person. Strout’s ability to draw out each character’s angst and desire in so few words, and so skillfully, makes Olive Kitteridge one of those books that is painful to finish. I just started watching the HBO miniseries, which is beautifully shot, and the actors do a good job with their Maine accents.” Olive Kitteridge is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Euphoria by Lily King
“Inspired by the real life of legendary (and controversial) anthropologist Margaret Mead, this is a serious, fast-paced story of three anthropologists in 1930s Papua New Guinea competing for fame, glory, and each other’s hearts. King researched deeply for this book, so fiction and social science fans alike won’t be able to put it down.” Euphoria is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Joyland by Stephen King
“My last attempt at reading a Stephen King book was in my sophomore year in college (the fourth book in his Dark Tower series) and it ended in failure – I found it tedious and mediocre. But one lousy (IMHO) outing, or even a few, shouldn’t define an author as prolific as Stephen King. I, on a whim, picked up Joyland because I was in the mood for a pulpy, fun and easy to read, thriller. I’m a little more than halfway through and I’m enthralled. It’s written in the same vein as his classic short story, “The Body” (the story Hollywood adapted “Stand by Me” from) and anyone whose read that gem knows that this is a good thing.” Joyland is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster
“This is my first Paul Auster book – I didn’t know what to expect, but it is so far a refreshing change from all the contemporary fiction I’ve been reading lately. The story chronicles the endearing and sassy pipsqueak Walter Rawley as he’s rescued from the streets of St. Louis by Master Yehudi, a strange gentleman who promises to teach him how to fly. The story is told from the perspective of a narrator looking back on his life, and the book not only tells the narrator’s tale, but also the story of the roaring 20s through the eyes of a little boy. I recommend this book to those who like magical realism – even those who might not know that about themselves yet, like me.” Mr. Vertigo is available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.