Tell about your favorite book, why it is your favorite, and how it has influenced you.

Books, Music, Art, Movies


Breakfast of Champions


I quoted Kurt Vonnegut in a post from a couple of weeks ago. Here, I’ll just post it again (’cause it’s awesome):


“The arts are not a way of making a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”


Kurt Vonnegut holds a special place in my heart. And not just because he says really awesome things. He also writes really awesome books. While I can’t choose a favorite out of all the books I have ever read, I can tell you that Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions changed my life.


I read it when my husband and I were dating. He was an English Major and very well read and I was totally enthralled with his knowledge of books. He loaned me Breakfast of Champions to read one day and I ate it up. This was THE book in which I had that “aha” moment of realizing that the narrator was NOT the author of the story. I was discussing the book with Raf and mentioned something like, “I can’t believe Vonnegut’s mother committed suicide by drinking Draino!” Raf responded with, “Monica, the narrator of the story is not the author.” It was like a bowling ball hit me in the head. I went from  dumb girl to  smart girl in a matter of seconds.


Looking back, I feel like an idiot for being such and avid reader and not realizing this sooner. For some silly reason I assumed the author and the narrator were the same. Do other readers think this? Maybe I had crappy English teachers in High School. When I was a TA in college I pointed this out to a few of my students and I could tell that they had the same aha moment that I had, so maybe it is something some people assume when they read.


Anyway, Breakfast of Champions made me see this truth and it did several things. I became  a critical thinker. It caused me to question. It also pointed me toward to a greater love of reading and literature and it was the catalyst that made me become a literature major in college. To this day one of my favorite things is a good, smart, book discussion.


The Sliding Glass Door

Books, Music, Art, Movies
There I am in print!

There I am in Black and White. woohoo!

The sliding Glass Door by Scott Poole.R and I received in the mail yesterday a book that we both had a hand in the development of. The Sliding Glass Door by Scott Poole. R designed the cover of the book and I took the author’s photo. I wrote a little bit about it, vaguely, in April when I went to Live Wire. It’s crazy to see it in the flesh! To pick it up and hold it. To turn to the verso and see my name right there! To see the photo that I took on page 67. It’s all very, very exciting!

This is my second photo credit for a book. The first was for a book called, The Real Work: essential slight of hand for street operators by Paul Price. I took some photos of hands demonstrating some of the tricks. I didn’t use my first name though. I am credited as M. Smith. I really regret that. I should’ve just used my full name.

But the past is the past and the present is here and presently, I am holding this fantastic book of poetry in my hands. R did a beautiful job on the cover. I’m so proud of him! And of myself. This is a day to remember.

What’s Going On

Untamed Love 01a

Image via Wikipedia

This is a really sad local story. It especially hits home for me since the man who hit me was also an elderly person. And while I have forgiven the person who hit me (I know he didn’t mean to do it and I’m sure he feels awful) I do feel that he should not be driving. He is lucky that I wasn’t hurt worse than I was. I walked away with a few scratches but I easily could have been killed, especially if I was a little kid. The sad thing is that the man is a patron at the library I work at. He comes into the library and I kind of go hide because I can’t face him. I noticed last winter, when the roads were really icy, that he was here alone. I deduced that he drove here. By himself. On the icy roads. That frightens me. My thought is that they should have taken his license away. Frankly, I don’t care how old you are, if you fucking hit someone while they are crossing the street should shouldn’t be allowed to drive. If you can’t fucking handle your vehicle then you shouldn’t drive.

O.k. this is not cool at all.

I thought this blog post was fascinating! I am one of those who does judge a book by the cover. I am attracted to book covers. What can I say? (Pretty! Shiny!) I loved  Story of a Girl and I loved the story behind the cover.  Melissa Walker posted stories of other YA book covers this past week, so go check it out :)!

My favorite books

Books, Music, Art, Movies
Anne Sexton, A Biography by Diane Middlebrook

Image via Wikipedia

At the library in which I work we have a “staff favorites” display. Each month a new staff person is featured, and this month I am the lucky one.

And so I’ve been thinking about my favorite books. I feel very scatterbrained about the whole thing. So I am going to just list them here and add to the list as I think of something. Since I can access this site from anywhere this is the perfect medium for this sort of thing. So you can either ignore or enjoy :).

Anderson, M.T. Feed.
Austen, Jane. Emma.
Cervantes. Don Quijote
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening.
Dante. The Inferno of Dante. Robert Pinsky translation.
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities.
Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex.
Homer. The Oyssey. Stanley Lombardo Translation.
Kesey, Ken. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest.
Lewis, C.S. The Chronicles of Narnia.
McEwan, Ian. Amsterdam.
Norris, Frank. The Octopus.
O’Connor, Flannery. Complete Short Stories.
Pullman, Phillip. The His Dark Materials trilogy.
Rowling, J.K. Any Harry Potter Book.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Wharton, Edith. The House of Mirth.

Albert, Judith & Stewart Edward Albert. The Sixties Papers.
Bryson, Bill. A short history of nearly everything.
Franken, Al. Lies and the lying liars who tell them: a fair and balanced look at the Right.
Frasier, Antonia. Marie Antionette.
Keillor, Garrison. Good Poems.
Middlebrook, Diane Wood. Suits Me: the double life of Billy Tipton.
Middlebrook, Diane Wood. Anne Sexton: a biography.
Sexton, Anne. The complete poems of Anne Sexton.
Starr, Kevin. Embattled Dreams: California in war and peace, 1940-1950.
Stevenson, Anne. Bitter Fame: a life of Silvia Plath.

Picture Books
Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline.
Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George!
Keillor, Garrison. The Old Man who loved Cheese.
Plourde. Wild Child.
Schneider. Chewy Louie.
Skorpen. We were tired of living in a house.