My college writing partner challenged me to make this list…
1. The Hotel New Hampshire—I never looked at bears (or lots of other things … ) the same way again.
2. The Great Gatsby—The literary love of my life.
3. The Hours—A small gem that catches the light as you turn the pages.
4. Diet for a Small Planet—The impetus for a lifetime of vegetarianism and conscious choices.
5. The Letters of Emily Dickinson—I coveted this three-volume collection at Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard Square for a year before I received it as a gift. Anyone who thinks Emily Dickinson is boring is sadly mistaken; the ordinary never looked so extraordinary.
6. Cat’s Cradle—Kurt Vonnegut. Need I say more?
7. The Prince of Tides—How can a book be so gorgeous and so horrific at the same time? Unforgettable.
8. The Tao of Physics—This one rocked my world.
9. The Paper Bag Princess—My oldest friend, Sheila, introduced me to the work of children’s book author Robert Munsch (her uncle) when she and I were teens. This turned out to be the best relationship guide a girl could ask for.
10. The Bible—What can I say? I was a Sunday School girl. The verses and the rhythm of the language are still with me. (See my Huffington Post piece Finding Faith for more on that…)
11. Now We are Six—Sometimes I think my writing is most influenced by the poetry of A.A. Milne, of Pooh fame. I memorized all of these when I was growing up and I can still feel them in my body and hear them in my head.
Make that, Eleven. Eleven Books that Influenced Me or Stuck with Me.