Books I Love
Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison I read this when it was first published in ’92. It seemed as though the young protagonist of this semi-autobiographical novel was speaking for me. The power of story, written in such a masterly style, helped show me how I wanted to write my own stories.
The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World, by Lewis Hyde This book was part of the reason I decided to get a PhD, conducting deep research into the psychology of creativity.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien Devoured them for the first time in middle school; read them 5-6 times since.
Sex, Death, Enlightenment, and The Boy He Left Behind: A Man’s Search For His Lost Father, by Mark Matousek Mark showed me how to write the truth in these two searing memoirs, and taught me that nothing less than that — absolute truth — will do.
SoulCraft: Crossing Into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche, by Bill Plotkin PhD This book was a game changer, both personally and in my work as a psychologist-trained psychotherapist. I went on two vision quests, started incorporating earth-based practices in my writing and work with others, discovered David Whyte, among many other wonderful things.
Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, PhD Another game-changing book, and what a storyteller she is!
A few more …
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers; Bel Canto, Ann Patchett; Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese; Great Expectations, Charles Dickens; Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri; Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie; The Liar’s Club, Mary Karr; The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan; The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver; The Road, Cormac McCarthy; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien; Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak; The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abrams.
Honestly, if I listed each one of my favorite books, it would take page after page after page … each book mentioned, each description written with such love and awe that the whole world would be overflowing with my gratitude and admiration.
Videos That Rock
Stunning example of innovative communication and creativity in action! Shane Koyczan and his incredible spoken-word poem.
This is what it’s all about … Simon Sinek and the Why’s. Because why you’re writing determines how you’ll write.
Love her, love this … Brene Brown, Ph.D. on vulnerability. Writing insists on a certain level of vulnerability, whether it’s a back-of-the-room business book or a deeply intimate spiritual memoir. The more vulnerable you’re willing to be, the better your writing will be.
A Cool, Fun Way to Tell a Story
It’s digital storytelling … here’s my own 4-minute piece. It’s personal, it’s rough, it was super-fun creating and producing it. And believe me, I’m no techy.