Thursday, April 10, 2014

What I'm Lugging Around, April Edition (Sydney Salter)

I've always thought of myself as a monogamous reader. If you were to ask me what I'm currently reading, I would answer without hesitation, "Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant."

Ms. Gallant passed away a few weeks ago, and I heard a lovely remembrance on NPR during my carpool drive (the part before the teen changes the radio station). I bought the book using my phone. I am really loving these stories about ordinary people in a quiet historic time--post World War II--in Europe. As a writer, I love to capture contemporary life (sorry vampires), so Gallant inspires me.

But here's my dirty little secret: I'm cheating on Paris Stories.

I recently found myself in a college bookstore. Oh, how I adore college bookstores. I picked up a copy of David W. Galenson's Old Masters and Young Geniuses: The Two Life Cycles of Artistic Creativity.

Galenson is an economist and approaches the creative life in a way I've never thought about before--lots of charts in this book! I'm reading a chapter a day before getting to my regular work.

If I feel like playing some more, I do the next page of Lee Crutchley's The Art of Getting Started.

I might have to eat cookies at some point during the next exercise. You can see why this book is appealing!

Research is probably my favorite aspect of writing. To prep for a story, I'm reading Stacy London's The Truth About Style. I discovered this one while watching Rachel Ray during my lunch break.

I love London's approach to accepting our own unique bodies. I've already made my teenage daughters read several sections. Research is good for a number of reasons.

Finally, I'm terrible at reading in bed at night. I'm a morning person. But I am trying to appreciate poetry, so I read a few poems each night before zonking-out. Right now I'm halfway through Wistawa Szymborska's Poems New and Collected.  Oh, how I love the poems about paintings!

Would you believe that I heard about Szymborska while listening to NPR on my way to carpool? Maybe I should listen to Bruno Mars both ways…


(If you'd like to see what I read next, or what I've read in the past, please find me on Goodreads!


  1. Sounds like you have a great variety going! I, too, was always a monogamous reader and have become polygamous!