THE BOOKSHELF I CLEARED a few months ago is refilling.
It began after I listened to Mary Karr’s The Art of Memoir while driving back and forth to ESL classes and I realized that’s what I was writing. It hadn’t occurred to me until then that I was writing memoir. I was just telling my story.
Karr’s examples energized me and I recalled a piece of writing advice I heard years ago: Writers should have broad exposure to the genre in which they are writing. Soon, email notifications from the library tripled – “Items you requested are ready for pickup” – and I was clicking the Amazon “Proceed to Checkout” button way more frequently. I’ve surrounded myself with memoir, just to see the various ways it’s being done. The shelf is refilling and my Kindle library could see me through a lengthy confinement, if one should befall me.
Here’s what I’m currently reading:
Megan Willome’s The Joy of Poetry. Yes, it’s memoir! And I’m moved beyond words. I’m intentionally not rushing through it, but keeping pace with the book club going on at TSPoetry.
Seth Haines’ Coming Clean. A fabulous account of one man’s attempt at life free from addiction. “I suppose we’re all drunk on something” he writes. I’ve gifted several copies already, making sure to include a note saying, “No, I don’t think you have a drinking problem.”
If you have any books to recommend, please do. I’d love to hear.