For more recommended reading and a place to get the books click here. 
Works I'm currently reading or have read: 

The Diary of Anais Nin, Volume One 1931-1934. Edited by Gunther Stuhlmann. Her writing reminds me of my own journal writing (which I have in all reality stopped keeping over the last several years after a lifetime of scrawlings). I'm enjoying this much more than her short stories. I'm going to have to buy every volume.  

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx. Haven't started it yet, but am reading on suggestion from one of you!!  

Selected Poems by Mark Strand. Re-reading some of the work of my favorite poet.  

Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C. Davis. This one is to jog my "memory" a bit.  

The Recently Devoured:  

The Joke by Milan Kundera. Speaking of a memory jolt--I  
began to read this only to realize that I've already read it--in Spanish a couple of years ago. I lived in Madrid and my Spanish was getting pretty good by that time, but it will be interesting to see how much I missed or how the translations differ. My favorites of his are The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, which my husband and I read outloud to each other in some plaza in Barcelona on a pauper's vacation not so long ago and The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  

The Brothers K. by David James Duncan (I read The River Why a few years ago and found it hilarious. It is taking me a while to warm up to this one, but I think it is beginning to suck me in even though I am completely disinterested in sports.)  

Trying To Save Piggy Sneed by John Irving. Yes! I've found something else of John Irving's that I haven't read yet. It is a collection of all kinds of goodies--"memoirs", essays, short stories. Neat little odd-sized hardcover book.  

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey. This Australian author should not be ignored. I can't believe I'd never heard of him and only picked up his book at the suggestion of an Australian who came to my page to discuss a book we'd both read. (You know who you are--no need to change that email address just yet!) Now I see his books popping out at me everywhere and I've already picked up The Fat Man in History (a collection of stories) to sample next.  

Being Digital by Nicholas Negropante.  

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach  

After the First Death by Robert Cormier (he wrote The Chocolate War, The Bumblebee Flies Away and a slew of other books which made a profound impact on me when I read them about 10 years ago).  

Beneath the Wheel by Hermann Hesse  

Works that have given me a new perspective:  

Beloved -- Toni Morrison  

All The King's Men -- Robert Penn Warren  

Fear of Flying -- Erica Jong  

The World According to Garp and A Prayer for Owen Meany--John Irving  

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner  


The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. See above.  

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.  

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. Anything by Chaim Potok.  

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.  

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller  

some of Madeleine d'Engle's grown-up stuff that I can't remember the name of at the moment (she wrote A Wrinkle in Time, a book I read when I was  

The books that keep getting usurped by others and are on the perpetual reading list:  

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. OK, I will be the  
first to admit I have an "ISSUE" with this book. Someday, I am going  
to read it for the second time in my life to hopefully purge it from my world forever. In a high school English class I wrote a paper on it which my teacher thought was so off the mark that he gave me no grade on it and was going to make me rewrite it. Being a LITTLE sensitive at the time, I had a crying fit, ignored him, and went on to score a 5 on the AP exam. Needless to say, I got an A in the class but any mention of Steinbeck has made me cringe ever since. I can't remember what I said last week, but I remember one       lousy piece of criticism that is 10 years old! Who cares? I  
certainly don't. I'm going to reread the book, reread the paper, and determine for myself if it sucked or not and get on with it. Am I pathetic or what?  

Cathedral (short story collection) by Raymond Carver  

The Devil at Large by Erica Jong (on Henry Miller). I think I've read most of this. Told me just as much about Erica Jong as it did Henry Miller, which is what made it most interesting.  

Moloch by Henry Miller. What can I say, other things keep grabbing my attention. It's pretty rough and I'm really just reading it out of curiosity, after having read Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.  
One shared experience. That is what has brought many of you to this page. A book we both have read is a place we both have been. Books have always been my escape, my fantasy. I read fiction to capture a mood--or to destroy one.  
I read in bed, before work in the morning, instead of watching TV, in the tub, on the toilet...(my husband, somehow, does not understand this last habit). Why does reading bring me such satisfaction? Maybe it is that feeling I get when I read thoughts and words that I assumed were my own secret or my own shame, or an old assumption of mine is challenged in a completely logical and compelling way. When I am not reading, (or writing for that matter) I feel out of touch with myself, like I'm not examining my actions, as if I'm just plodding along. 
questions ? 
© Barbara J. Troyer-Turvey 1997