Mark Terry

Sunday, August 16, 2009

What Are Your Keepers?

August 16, 2009
Lynn Viehl has a blog post asking what your "keepers" are. In other words, what 3 books do you carry around with you in your head and heart, that mean something important to you and you expect always will.

Mine are:

1. Bag of Bones by Stephen King. A novel about a novelist who has severe writer's block after his wife dies. It's been accurately described as a "haunted love story." In the end, oddly enough, when he is able to write, he gives it up, noting that there apparently are more important things in life.

2. To The Hilt by Dick Francis. About a painter who lives out in the Scottish countryside in a hut, but is called back to the world by the near-death of his stepfather. Things go rather awry after that, but I've always found this book about an artist who prefers his own company and art being drawn back by family to resonate within me.

3. The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman. I don't write the kinds of things he does, nor do I use the techniques he suggests to get writing gigs, but I picked up his attitude, and it allowed me to make a living as a writer. 'nuff said.

Bonus #4. "The Making Of A Brand Name" by Stephen King. This is an essay, rather than a book, but it inspired me to try my hand at writing, which changed my life.

What are yours? And if you don't want to explain why, that's cool.



Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

I suppose I can't say my Kindle, huh? Until a pipe burst in my basement, I lugged around Diary of a Blues Goddess by Erica everywhere.

I'd have to say:
Jane Eyre
A collection of Rumi poems
A lot of the keepers, I've read so many times that I could leave them and still have them with me, you know? So I suppose I'd pick a brand-new favorite: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Interesting list. For readers, it's sort of hard to stop at 3 (which is why I didn't, I suppose).

11:44 AM  
Blogger Erica Orloff said...

Hard to pick, of course. (And thanks, Natasha . . . that is SO cool.)

--Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. My copy literally has pages separating from the spine and is completely dog-eared, but the book saved my life.
--New one. Shantarum by Gregory David Roberts. Not sure why except a friend who is a Muslim recommended it after we discussed religion, and it reminded me there are some universal truths out there, I suppose.
--The Little Prince. Sigh. Just my fave.
--The Glass Blowers by Du Maurier. I couldn't stop at 3. I have it on my coffee table and I carry it everywhere because it was a gift, and when I received it, I was at a low point in my life, and it astounded me that someone was so thoughtful as to find it in a used bookstore and gift it to me simply because I had mentioned liking Du Maurier as a little girl. The gesture of giving a book to a book lover . . . it touched me. Still does. One of my prized possessions.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

it's definitely hard to stop at 3.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

There's no way I could stop at three, and maybe not at 30. At different times of my life different books have been tremendously important. I can, however, pick one that stands out above the rest -- Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. As I've said probably too often that was the book my grandmother read to me which I remember as revealing tome how magical words could be, how many exciting worlds they opened up. So in a way that book led to my lifelong preoccupation with the written words and to all the other books that came afterwards.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

You're leading nicely into the rest of this week's posts, which is going to be about books I read as a kid that have hung with me for 30-40 years.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Linda Pendleton said...

Number one for me would be "There is a River, the Story of Edgar Cayce" by Thomas Sugrue. I first read that in the mid 1960s and it is an important book for me as it has been for many people then and now. The ideas in the book have influenced my writing interests some.

Lawrence Saunders’ "The First Deadly Sin." A skillfully written suspense thriller.

Next is a toss up between "The Shellseekers" by Rosamunde Pilcher; "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks; and "Bridges of Madison County." I suppose I like those because they are well told stories of love and life. More a touch of reality than a lot of books might be.

5:51 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

Outsiders. Which helped, with my best friend, to give me the idea to write at all. I actually met SE Hinton as a fourth grader.

Write Away - Elizabeth George. Pure characterization, that one. Great writing book. The first that resonated with me.

The Twelve, by my friend Stuart Neville. It showed me what can be done.

And it's stupid, but the Dictionary. I love words. Oh, and wikipedia, which always inspires ideas.

Yup. Can't do just 3.

9:07 PM  

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