I got tagged on Facebook to share some of the tomes that have spoken to me over the years. But since the finger-wagging marketing experts decree a weekly blog post by debut novelists (like yours truly), I’m doing it here instead.
(So many venues, so little time.)
Anyway, in case anybody –besides Noelle– is interested in my list, here are some of the authors (excluding family, friends, former teachers et al) whose boundless talent seems a tad unfair.
Scottish crime writer Denise Mina is wickedly funny and smart. Her life-sized, irreverent characters knock me out. Mary Karr’s memoirs and song lyrics are magic. In the song Sister Oh Sister (from the kickass album Kin written with Rodney Crowell) she has a line about being twelve dancing across the oyster shells in a honky-tonk parking lot. I swear it’s like you’re sitting in a car watching these two little girls sashaying in the moonlight.
John Irving is the master of story –which means his people do things on the pages that make sense. Also, his foreshadowing is unreal. (There’s a joke early in The World According to Garp that has a punchline about the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital that will come roaring back to you by the end of the book.)
And Anne Lamott. I read her writings the way other people might read recipes or road maps. She talks about writing and motherhood and faith. Without being preachy. She writes about being grateful. And really pissed. And trying to love anyway. One of her titles, Help, Thanks, Wow explains a lot. (Though I’d start with Bird by Bird or Traveling Mercies.)
So there’s the tip of my list.
Also, if you get sick of reading, I’m crazy about the British Netflix series Happy Valley.
ps. Share the wealth — who are your faves?