Just a quick list of some of the books that are a constant inspiration to me. Because I love to read. Always. And interestingly, most of these inspire me to write:
Lolita is hands-down my favorite novel (aside from the Anne of Green Gables series). I’ve read it probably 4 or 5 times, including for a college class. I have 3 copies of this novel too – an old, tattered version that was originally Andrew’s, a newer version all notated with orange pen from my college class, and a still newer, professionally annotated version.
I fully recognize that the surface subject matter of Lolita is a turn-off for some people. That said, I love love reading this novel if only for the amazing use of language and writing style from Nabokov. *Especially* remarkable if you remember that this novel was originally written in English – Nabokov’s third language! Incredible.
I actually want to read ALL of Nabokov’s work – because I think he’s brilliant – and while I’ve read maybe 4 or 5 of his novels, Lolita is still my favorite. This book inspires me to write myself, and sets an incredibly high standard that I can’t imagine ever being able to meet.
Bird by Bird is a memoir by a professional writer. We got this book from the library, and as soon as I had finished reading it, I ordered myself a copy and can’t wait to re-read it!
I don’t know what it is about writers’ memoirs and stories…. I love the idea of writing, I love the struggle that writers deal with on a daily basis. I know I’m probably romanticizing the whole profession, but I really enjoy reading about writing.
This book really inspires me to write, as well. Something about this memoir helps strengthen my belief that I COULD write a novel – if I were ever to start.
It’s a quick, entertaining read and I would definitely recommend it – especially if you have any interest in writing.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is also a memoir by a professional writer. It is (roughly) about what Miller learned about story-telling while helping to write the movie based on one of his other memoirs. But rather than be about writing itself, this book is more about living a life worthy of story-telling.
I love the constant reminder of living great stories. This book fully reminds me to get out of the house, not sit at home watching TV and continue to do great work.
This book is on the list, because this is the most recent book I’ve read, but really I just love the whole writing career of Michael Lewis. I’ve read The Big Short and I can’t wait to read Liar’s Poker, and The Blind Side and all of them. All are a kind of investigative, long-term journalistic writing pieces.
I now find myself paying even more attention to the people and stories all around me, searching out for that story to investigate and write myself. For example, my husband’s boss is actually kind of a prodigy and outlier in his industry. I think his story is fascinating.
If you’re a non-fiction fan at all, you should definitely check out one or more of Michael Lewis’s books.
I’ve only read this book once, but as soon as I finished it I immediately placed this book right back on my to-read pile. I loved it that much.
This is a pretty comprehensive biography of the band – with *some* background in each of the guys’ childhoods. But for the most part, I am really inspired by the music and the creative process and the art that makes up the history of The Beatles. I love the reminder of the creative side of such a popular band. Especially The Beatles.
For whatever reason, when I was reading this book I just felt inspired to MAKE art … art journal or paint or something. I don’t really know where that connection comes in, but this book was super inspiring to me. The stories behind it just make the art of that music that much more personal and real for me. Ex: The Beatles’ recording of ‘Twist and Shout’ was recorded last in the day because John Lennon had a cold and that song shredded his voice. He did it in one take and you can absolutely hear that in the recording. Fascinating….
Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorite inspiring books?
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