[learn_more caption=”2010 Reading List”]

Sense & Sensibility

Jane Austin

It took me a while to get through this, but it was a good read and I enjoyed it. Elinor (the sense in the story) was much more appealing to me than Marianne (the sensibility in the story.

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald
A great story and Fitzgerald’s lovely prose was perfect.

A Moveable Feast

Ernest Hemingway
Recommended by a speaker at the Writer’s Loft, this memoir showcased Hemingway’s experiences as an expatriate in post war Paris, France. His comments about other writers are quite interesting.

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens
This was a heavy story and I couldn’t see how all the threads would fit together until the end. I guess this is the sign of good writing, but at times it was rather frustrating. At the end, though, it was a story of redemption and the power of love during the French Revolution.

The Moviegoer

Walker Percy
A great book written in first person. I was studying POV.

The Unvanquished

Originally published as short stories, we would call them linked stories now. Tale of a southern family in the Civil War. My son had to read this for 10th grade honors English class.

Tender is the Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald
This one was a bit slow to me.


Eric Nelson
My teacher at the John C. Campbell Folk School who teaches at Georgia Southern University.

The Twins

Eric Nelson
The title poem is a masterpiece.

Teaching the Robins

Janice Moore
A new friend I met at the Folk School. Her writing is finely crafted and has a lovely balance and beauty to it that I cannot praise enough.

Shew Bird Mountain

Brenda Kay Ledford
She read to us at the Folk School as part of the North Carolina Writer’s Network.

Haiku Mind

Patricia Donegan, editor
A book of haikus from poets of many different nationalities. There is great commentary about each poem that teaches the reader to pay attention, to become aware of the nuances and sensory detail within the poem and to connect our own hearts to the natural world.

Trick Pear

Suzanne Cleary
This book has the poem “Anyways” in it – most wonderful.

The Unraveling Strangeness

Bruce Weigl
Definitely a new voice for me, and an interesting one.

Black Zodiac

Charles Wright
Pulitzer Prize winner

Late Wife

Claudia Emerson
Pulitzer Prize Winner

Window Poems

Wendell Berry
I loved this book. Every poem was conceived as he looked out his big multi-paned window in his cabin on the banks of the Kentucky River.


Mary Oliver
Her latest book.

Writing Begins with the Breath

Lorraine Herring
I loved this book which incorporated “body breaks” within several of the chapters. It teaches you to become aware of your breathing and your body as you write. As writing can be a physical outlet as much as a mental one, we write to be more fully ourselves. True connection to our writing is created through the mind : body connection.

A Poets’ Companion

Kim Addonizio
I’ve been reading this book for 2 years and still haven’t managed to finish it. But it’s not because it isn’t a good book.
2011 – got fascinated with history books this year!

History of Ireland

Malachy McCourt
A presentation of the sinners and saints of Irish history. McCourt is a native of County Limerick, Ireland and now lives in New York City. A very readable history book told in story form.

When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

John Ortberg
A book that makes you think about what’s really important in life.

What the Stones Remember: A Life Rediscovered

Patrick Lane
A beautiful book by a poet starting life over after a long struggle with addiction. Lane’s recovery involves working in his British Columbia garden and discovering new life within the flora and fauna and well as within himself.

The Illustrated History of Scotland

Chris Tabraham
Yes, it has pictures, but the writing was quite detailed. For a light history book in preparation for my trip to the UK, this was perfect.

The Illustrated History of England

Henry Weisser

The Illustrated History of Wales

Henry Weisser

Experiencing God’s Peace, A Study on Philippians

Read this during my great experiment to see if I could memorize the whole book of Philippians. I did it!

Heaven Was the Moon

Kory Wells
My friend and fellow poet’s first book. Kory is a wonderful talent with enough control in her writing to make you feel like you are in the arms of a master when you read her poems. She recites some of these poems while her daughter plays bluegrass and old-time fiddle. Their act is not to be missed!

2012 Reading List

The Undertaking, Life Studies from the Dismal Trade

Thomas Lynch
A book of essays from a poet and mortician. A life-affirming and entertaining book, it gives a sense of what it means to be human. Lynch was born in Ireland but now spends his time as funeral director in a small Michigan town.

Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany

Martin Kitchen
Read in preparation for my Germany trip.

Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger
Can’t believe I never read this.

Utopia Minus

Susan Briante
Her “Memoranda” sections are fabulous.

The Collected Poems

Sara Teasdale
Studying love poems . . . beautiful!

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