Sunday, June 05, 2005

A writer defined by what she reads

What an honour to be tagged so early in my blogging career. Thanks so much to Herbinator for making me feel a real part of this community.

Number of Books that I own:

Me personally, about 1500 I’d guess, of which 80% are non-fiction. We’re a book family. (My 9-year old has over 300 age-appropriate books right now.)

Last Book I Bought:

Just yesterday I bought a book I’ve been wanting to read for months: The Truth About Drug Companies: How they deceive us and what to do about it by Marcia Angell, MD (and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine). I suspect I’ll be throwing stats and quotes from this book into my posts over the next weeks.

Last book(s) I read:

Last week I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon). Since the new year I’ve read lots of books, but these stand out: The Life of Pi (Yann Martel) … The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) … Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)… Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain)... and lots of chapters, here and there, in several books in A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket) .

Five Books that mean a lot to me:

Aristotle’s Poetics. I had to read this book and write an essay on an idea in it as part of the admission process to get into the Communications Department at Concordia University back in 1986. Best damned outcome from reading a book ever.

Toxic Sludge is Good For You, (John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton). I read this book while working for the David Suzuki Foundation in 1998/9. It introduced me to the power of the astroturf movement which really brought my inner activist to life.

Mamatoto: A Celebration of Birth, (Carroll Dunham). A lovely, educational and very un-British-stick-up-the-bum view of how cultures around the world celebrate birth. This book gave me enough info to have the courage to tell the hospital nurses to “piss off” and leave the blood and vernix on my newborn son and the blankets off him. It was also the impetus for my looking into the whole vaccination tradition.

Getting the Message Out: A Step-by-Step Communications Guide for Environmentalists by me. Several years ago I wrote a list of 100 things I want to do before I die. “Become a published author” was one goal. I wrote this book as a training manual several years ago and out-of-the-blue, an organization decided to publish it and provide copies to all Ontario-based environmental organizations. Not exactly what I had in mind when I conceived the “get published” goal, but it will do. And when I feel my writing sucks, I can call up this success as encouragement.

Spider and Dragonfly’s Mystery by my son. A 15-chapter novella he wrote and illustrated in Grade 3. It’s a page-turner, with lots of crazy secondary characters like Undead Rapper Dude and Slime Robot. The story ends with the two protagonists and all surviving antagonists deciding to be friends and have a big picnic together. Brings tears to my eyes.

People to tag:
Bastard of Art and Commerce
A Healthy Life
The Toad Report
Mad Dog Medic

3 Comments:

Blogger Crackpot Press said...

Wow.. good list... I got some catching up to do.

-Dave

June 06, 2005  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

My list is up. I get all lippy about, too.

June 06, 2005  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Ahh, so I guess I am supposed to post what I have been reading here.

Actually I don't read too many books or novels, mostly news magazines such as News Week, Time etc. The last book I was reading was actually the Bible, which is rather surprising if you have been to my blog. But I promise I wasn't reading it for guidance or to worship God, it was quite the opposite.

June 08, 2005  

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