My cold has returned and the wicked thing has left me bereft of a voice. So here I am, at home again, trying to make the best of things. The meowfia has decided that their job is to ensure I move as little as possible, and have pitched their little bodies on to my favourite polar fleece blanket, effectively pinning me in place. What better way than to visit the pile of books waiting patiently for me to finish reading them?
Anne Lamont's Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
I picked this up at the local used bookstore after seeing her book mentioned a handful of time in interviews with mystery and memoir authors. The copy I have has been obviously been read a few times (previous readers have underlined phrases here and there) yet the spine is not cracked, nor the pages dog-eared.
Eugene Atget: Unknown Paris by David Harris
Many years ago I bought a copy of Taschen's "Atget's Paris", and fell madly, deeply, and completely in love. Narrow streets, cobbled lanes, ornate carvings, iron railings - these were just some of the elements he captured.
This relatively new book was published in 1999 and attracted my attention because many of its photographs were previously unpublished, and because it promised to detail Atget's equipment, technique and explorations of a city he obviously loved.
I have no idea how I first found Kim Stafford's The Muses Among Us: Eloquent Listening and Other Pleasures of the Writer's Craft. I may have been searching for another book entirely, and had this one catch my eye when the other one proved unavailable. This happens quite often. I've borrowed it from the library at least twice, dipping into it whenever the language of my day is a little too harsh and direct. His premise is a simple one - writers should keep a notebook at all times and listen, for people are saying interesting things all the time, if we'd only take the time to hear it. I'm not good at that, but I'm working on it.