It may also have to do with my own writing and where I see it going in the not too distant future. You cannot be a good science fiction author without reading the likes of Asimov, Bradbury, and the like; so how do I expect to write my life well if I don’t do the same?
This downward spiral began a couple years ago when I discovered Augustan Burroughs, and found out Chuck Palahniuk did non-fiction as well. From there I went straight into biographies (usually boring and devoid of real “dishy” moments), then onto autobiographies. Michael Cain got nothing on nobody!! I suggest you check him out.
For the past few months, it’s been “chick lit”, a term I loathe almost as much as the books it describes. Most of them have nothing to do with me and were written by and for woman far older, more glamorous, or more deluded than myself.
Scrolling through http://www.goodreads.com/ today (the greatest website for bibliophiles), I decided to see just how many of these books I had read. I created a new bookshelf (a pretty big deal as I do not like to clutter even my virtual bookcase), and went through all the books I had listed as “read” to date. The number was higher than I anticipated, but still only accounted for 18% of my books. Then I got a little sad. Not to worry, there is plenty of time left this year to log more “learned” and “important” works in my catalog. Following are some suggestions:
It was on Goodreads that I discovered Sloane Crosley. She is witty, loves Jem and the Holigrams, and created a series of shadow boxes for each of her stories (you can see them here: http://www.sloanecrosley.com/). Needless to say, I developed a hetero-girl crush. Finally, someone who spoke my language!
Currently, I’m devouring Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro (I combine them both because I simply can’t keep them straight in my head). I was skeptical at first- they seemed like every other horrible female writer and one is even Republican, but they proved me wrong. Yes, they talk about “girly” things- boys, weight, shopping; but in a more bitter and bitchy way. Their love lives were footnotes (quite literally in Lancaster’s case as she loves this literary device)- the boyfriends, then fiancés, than husbands- casually mentioned or woven into the story, and rarely in a “boys drool” or “He’s so dreamy
For traveling see: Bill Bryson or Anthony Bourdain (bonus food gems!)
Religion: A.J. Jacobs “Year of Living Biblically”
Autobiography: all Michael Cain, Tony Curtis “American Prince”, and any Carrie Fisher
It’s no secret I love the movies: Robert Rodriguez “Rebel without a Crew”, Julia Phillips “You’ll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again”, and James Lipton “Inside Inside”- seriously.Hospitality: Amy Sedaris “I Like You”