1 Feb

Books have offered me an escape, enjoyment, relaxation and laughter my entire life.  Never much for TV, I have always had a book or two going.  It is fun to think of the periods of my life and the books that appealed to me at different stages.  SirSkatesAlot is on his fifth or sixth Steinbeck novel recently and suggested I read his latest pick, The Wayward Bus.  I giggled and offhandedly replied, “I did Steinbeck in high school, I don’t need to revist him now.”  SirSkatesAlot was surprisingly offended.  He thought I was being patronizing, as in, “I read that when I was young and stupid.”

However, I did not mean it like that at all.  This is where hindsight is fascinating.  As I think back on the authors I have been attracted to during different periods of my life, it seems to make sense.  The authors I chose to read in my teens are so very different than those that have appealed to me in my…ahem, I’d rather not say.

Since I have had lots of time to perfect my flabby ass and to sit and read lately, I have composed a timeline of authors that have affected me deeply (and more recently, not so deeply) during my life.  Take a look, revisit a few, try out a new one, send me a note to say I am illiterate and have missed the most important ones.  Whatever, just check it out and be stimulated to think of your own attraction to authors through the years and why that has changed.

Teens (after reading all one hundred and something Sweet Valley High books):

Harper Lee


Irving (specifically A Prayer for Owen Meaney and Cider House Rules)


William Styron (Sophie’s Choice is one of my all-time favorites)

Stephen King (he really is a brilliant author…if you don’t like scary try his memoir On Writing…amazing!)

Isabel Allende

Carlos Fuentes

Christina Garcia

Julia Alves

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Manuel Puig

Can you tell Latin American Studies was one of my undergrad majors? I could not get enough of Magic Realism.

Amy Tan

Victor Villasenor

Twenties/early motherhood/grad school:

Kurt Vonnegut

Marilyn French

Erica Jong

Toni Morrison (Life changing)

Gish Jen

Johnathan Kellerman (no, not literature, but an easy, satisfying read while nursing day and night)

Barbara Kingsolver

Anna Quindlen


Ann Patchett (all but Run, BelCanto is my fave of hers)

Anne Lamott

Anita Shreve (esp The Weight of Water)

Jodi Picoult (first few books)

Andrew Sean Greer (The Story of a Marriage)

Stieg Larsson

Lisa See

Chris Cleave


50 Shades (seriously only made it through the first book)

Gone Girl (talk to me about the ending!!!)

Steve Lopez (The Soloist)

Patti Smith (Just Kids)

Carlos Eire (Waiting for Snow in Havana)

Kim Edwards

Ira Wagler

Jamie Ford


5 Responses to “Books”

  1. jenmaaninamman February 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    No David Sedaris on the list? Ask Nicole to bring over Naked immediately!

  2. bossybostwick February 2, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Ah, you got me! Almost sacrilegious that I left him out. Naked is a fabulous, but Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim is my favorite of his.

  3. jenmaaninamman February 3, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    Yes, that too is a great book; it was the first of his that I read. In fact, I stole that book from the Embassy ‘loaning’ library and gave it to my sister, but she never gave it back to me. You probably don’t do things lie that, do you? If my sister ever came to visit me, I’d write her a bad Karma check for borrowing books and never returning them. It’s not the first time this has happened.

  4. NTP February 3, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    Oh please, your favorite book is not fit for Jenn’s list, it would be Christopher Lowell’s Seven Layers of Design, it set you on your course of exellentism didn’t it? BTW I still have the book if you need it and now that you are being mean I am not sending you Paris Baby. Sorry, I’m giving it to Jenn instead and I won’t have to pay shipping and she is nice to me and maybe you want to consider adding an extra “n” to your name because it’s cool. If you recall, I named you Jen, prior to that you were always Jenny. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

  5. NTP February 3, 2013 at 3:26 am #

    Sorry Jenn for the next episode of the Hatfields vs the McCoys. we really do love each other.

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