“In your status line, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10 friends, including me, so I’ll see your list.”
Tagged by the awesome Miss Ayun Halliday!
1) “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” by Judy Blume
2) “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeline L’Engle
3) “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes
4) “The Chronicles of Narnia” by CS Lewis
5) “The Catcher In The Rye” by JD Salinger
6) “Valley of the Dolls” by Jacqueline Susann
7) “The Collected Works of Ted Hughes”, along with “Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet” by Elaine Feinstein
8) “The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton”, along with “Anne Sexton: A Biography” by Diane Wood Middlebrook
9) “The Collected Works of Sylvia Plath”, along with “The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath”
10) “The Portable Dorothy Parker”, along with her biography, “Dorothy Parker: What Fresh Hell Is This?” By Marion Meade
11) “Everybody Was So Young” by Amanda Vaill
12) “Capote” by Gerald Clarke
13) “Zelda: The Tragic, Meticulously Researched Biography of the Jazz Age’s High Priestess” by Sally Cline
I fully realize that there are far more than ten books listed here…but what can I say? FATTIE LIKES FLAVOR — and a LOT OF IT. Frankly, I count The Chronicles of Narnia as merely one epic story with seven distinctive parts, anyway, so FUCK OFF. Also, for the record, the first time I read them all the way through at age 10, I had the very good fortune of having done it PURE — with absolutely NO awareness of the Christian theological concepts woven throughout. THANK CHRIST. In addition, for me, there is no separating a writer/poet from their life…hence, the collected works are listed WITH either their biography, memoir, diary, or letters. Also, I am WELL AWARE that, for a writer of my generation, including “The Catcher in the Rye” in the top ten most influential books of one’s life is UTTERLY CLICHE…but I DON’T GIVE A FUCK. It’s the TRUTH. When I first read it as a rapt teenage girl from a working class family in Fresno, California…the earth shifted on its axis. For the first time ever, I read the work of a writer whose voice on the page matched, EXACTLY, the voice inside of my head. After meeting Holden, nothing was ever quite the same for me. Holden is one of the reasons I am a writer. Many of my other reasons are included in the list above. Parse it down…and YOU GOT ME.
PS) Though I had already read pretty much every word previously written about Zelda, #13 COMPLETELY DESTROYED ME. I read it in an airplane hurtling through the air high above the Pacific Ocean…and then proceeded to have a MOTHERFUCKING FULL ON NERVOUS BREAKDOWN AT 35,000 FEET. Gregory had to talk me down. I was inconsolable. If #5 gave me my voice…#13 shattered my heart. Forever.
Anyway, my fatass don’t tag. So, you know the drill. Either do it…or FUCK OFF, LADY.