Booking Through Thursday: Inspired Reading


This week’s Booking Through Thursday question:

Q: Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week . . . what is your reading inspired by?

A: For more than two years now, a large part of my reading has been inspired by Jane Smiley’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, which inspired my own 100-novels reading project.  Many of the novels I’ve been reading are ones that Smiley read for the book.

Other novels on that list have come from other reading lists. Still others, suggestions from readers, friends and colleagues (there are quite a few Texas writers on the list because of a friend and former colleague inspiring me to read the likes of Edwin “Bud” Shrake and Stephen Harrigan; of course, my favorite Texas writer is Larry McMurtry, and he’s on the list, too).

Some of the novels I’ve read — Karen Lee Boren‘s Girls in Peril,  for instance — were finds while browsing the bookstore.

Favorite recent reads — Evacuation Plan and Janeology — were blog surfing finds.

As for nonfiction, one of my favorite relative recent reads was Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife. I read Ackerman’s A Natural History of Love a few years ago while researching a feature on Valentine’s Day, and was inspired to read more of her work because of her combination of excellent prose and great research.

But my readings in nonfiction tend to follow the same inspiration as fiction: I’ve read about it, heard about it, or it just looked interesting.

So there it is . . . my inspiration.

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