What I've Been Reading While I've Been Writing My Book

I have always loved to read the stories of real people, especially those who broke the rules and succeeded wildly by doing so. I came to this genre years ago inspired by books like Richard Branson's Losing my Virginity and Levon Helm's This Wheel's on Fire without realizing they were all written by men, because back then, almost all stories were told by men.

A few years ago it occurred to me I might enjoy reading the stories of women. What a wild concept! Since then, that's mostly what I've read, and I've joined the contingent emphasizing how important it is for women to share their stories. What a skewed existence to only hear from one gender!

As best I can remember, in close to chronological order, here are the books I was reading while I was writing the first draft of my book (yes, some of them are written by men). Some moved me more than others and a handful I suffered through for research purposes (ahem, Scrappy), but each one helped me to unlock a piece of my puzzle.  All of them have given me the confidence I needed to put those pieces together and the courage to (eventually) share them with you.

Books I read while writing my first draft:

Boys in the Trees Carly Simon
Jim Henson: The Biography Brian Jay Jones
Wild Cheryl Strayed
Bedwetter Sarah Silverman
Attempting Normal Marc Maron
Some Girls Jillian Lauren
Kasher in the Rye Moshe Kasher
Theft by Finding David Sedaris
Scrappy Brandi Temple
What I was Doing While You Were Breeding Kristen Newman (for the 3rd time)
Humboldt Emily Brady
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
The Awakening Kate Chopin (for the 3rd time)
A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway (for at least the 3rd time)
Swell Liz Clark
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? Allyssa Mastromonaco

Books I've read while continuing to write and edit:

On Writing Stephen King 
Hippie Paulo Coehlo
The Liars Club Mary Karr
When You Find Out The World is Against You Kelly Oxford
Motherhood Shelia Heti
Unwifeable Mandy Stadtmiller
Tenamental Vikki Warner
Girl in a Band Kim Gordon
Driven Melissa Stephenson
Educated Tara Westover
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone Lori Gottleib
Everything You Ever Wanted Jillian Lauren
The Summer Book Tova Jorgenson
Quit Like a Woman Holly Whitaker

Honorable mention to Shoe Dog by Phil Knight which I read the summer before I started writing as I was collecting my thoughts about how to tell my own story, and also to Roger McNamee’s The New Normal which, although I read a while ago, I owe a lot of gratitude for helping me understand the professional world in to which I graduated college.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published