The new students in my graduate writing program at PSU are being presented with a Reading List upon acceptance into the program. They are expected to read all of the books during the time they are in the program, even though most of them will not be required course reading.
Because I started the program eons ago, I don't have to meet this requirement. But it does look like a good list. I've read 11 of the 31 books on the list already. (Although I think I should be able to count John McPhee, because I've read 4 or 5 other books by him.) I've marked the ones I've read in red (haha - word play!) with a comment or two.
Have you read any of them? Any favorites? Recommendations?
Baldwin always seems deep and dark to me. Am I smart enough to be a good Baldwin reader? Not sure...
Read this last year, just as Kendra was getting ready to move to Kansas (where the story is set). It kept my interest better than I thought it would, and there was less blood and gore than I thought there would be...although there was still plenty...
I thought this was a fascinating book. Ehrenreich tries an experiment to see if she can live on minimum wage for several months. Of course, she still had her "real" life to go back to after the experiment, unlike people who have to live on that kind of income all the time.
I may have read this, but I'm not sure. I've heard about it a lot. It's definitely on my "must read" (re-read?) list. A solid, thoughtful book for writers.
I've read Hiroshima several times. I used to teach it in freshman English. Moving. It looks deceptively easy...it's short, the language isn't deep, but the content shakes me every time I re-read it.
I read Lopate's "how to" essay book several years ago. Probably time to read it again.
This was a fascinating memoir of growing up in Africa. Markham was a bush pilot at a time when few women were flying. It was really interesting to read.
Like I said, I've read a lot of McPhee, but I don't think I've read this one. I like his writing. He explains complicated-but-interesting things, like geology, in an accessible way.
Orwell seemed to drag on and on in this book. I read it because it was assigned, but I don't think I'll go back to it.
I've heard a lot about Skloot's book, too, and I'd like to read it. I wonder if she is related to the Oregon writer, Floyd Skloot?
Thoreau does tend to go on and on, and I couldn't help but be irritated by the artificial construct of his life at Walden - he couldn't have lived there without the help of the people in town - and yet, that ideal of simplicity, of a turning away from superfluous trappings, is so enticing...
I enjoyed this Twain book much more than I expected to. He is such an engaging liar, but even then he's telling about places in the West with such beauty and reality. I would gladly re-read Roughing It.