HAPPINESS CLASS: "My Journal Saved Me My Freshman Year of College!"...:
By Carrie Holmes
via the BLOG of:
Blog, Articles, Essays, Interviews & Entries on, of, or, about Personal Narratives
By Joshua Bodwell
If you’re anything like me, when those ubiquitous lists of “The Year’s Notable Books” arrive every December, you read them with a mixture of excitement and guilt. The lists are rarely short, and often stretch as long as the “Top 100 Book.”
“Oh, god,” I find myself thinking, “look at all these great books I didn’t have time to read this year!”
So why, you might ask, did I find myself adding to this madness by creating my own list of notable books this year? Well, the answer is simple: connection.
I am the sort of person who distractedly steals glances at the bookshelves in the homes of people I’ve just met. I believe I can get a sense of the person by surveying the spines of their books, and with that sense make a potentially deeper connection. Books offer us, perfect strangers, some sense of a shared history, a common ground. So, it felt appropriate to me to share my imperfect little list of books on my bookshelf.
I hope there’s something here of interest.
LINK: CLICK HERE
PS: Here’s a tease for a book already sure to appear on my 2010 Baker’s Dozen: for Christmas I received Carol Sklenicka's fine biography Raymond Carver: A Writer's Life and plowed right through it. The book, of course, has its faults and does, as the Christian Science Monitor pointed out, focus “more closely on his self-destructive nature than on his talents.” Yet, I found the narrative style compelling. Though, during the last quarter of the book I found the information lacking at times. It was, I suppose, because many of Carver’s closest friends from that time period (including Richard Ford, Tobias Wolff, and his editor, Gary Fisketjon) had opted not to be interviewed for or take part in the biography. I can’t say I blame them. But the contextualization they’d have likely added is sorely missing. Yet, in the end, this is a biography of one of the most important writers of his generation. That alone is cause for celebration.