Lists, Lists, and More Lists!

'Tis the season of the Summer Reading List! There are a jillion lists floating around; most major newspapers feature a summer reading list and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Stephen King have lists as well. Over a year ago, I inherited books from two separate friends who both happened to be moving to new places and didn't want to ship old books. I haven't read all of them yet, but I'm setting a goal of getting through the ones that remain by the end of the year.

Once I've made it through the books in my house, I'll consider the 2009 summer lists. Right now, I like NPRs 10 Best Cookbooks of Summer 2009. Tacos by Mark Miller seems especially promising.

And let's not forget chapbooks or books on independent presses. Buying these books are a great way to directly support a writer and/or small presses.

List of Books on My Shelf to Read by December 31, 2009:

American Woman by Susan Choi
Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coetzee
The Holder of the World by Bharati Mukherjee
Love by Toni Morrison
The Final Passage by Caryl Phillips
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez by Richard Rodriguez

List of Self-Published Books or Books on Small Presses I Recently Obtained or Will Obtain:

Blood Dazzler by Patricia Smith (Coffee House Press)
The Life Effect by Kayla Miller (available on
The Date Fruit Elegies by John Olivares Espinoza (Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue)
Teeth by Aracelis Girmay (Curbstone Press)
Peggy Shumaker: Greatest Hits 1974-2005 by Peggy Shumaker (Pudding House Publications)
Perspective: Four Poems by Lita Hooper (available on
Psalm of the Sunflower by Antoinette Brim (Aquarius Press/Willow Books)


  1. No matter what you're in the midst of reading now, Renee (it seems it's poetry, which makes this even easier), go ahead and start "Bird By Bird." It is my favorite writing book of all time, next to "Wild Mind" by Natalie Goldberg. It's easy to do a chapter a day, alongside whatever else you may be reading at the moment(poetry, fiction), etc. I found that it helps ground me and inspire me to write. Hilarious, helpful, and all too true. (That's my review)!

  2. Bird by Bird is a great book. Anne Lamott is funny.