In Progress #62 — Read 6 Books I Already Own, and 9 Auto/Biographies (6/15)

Feb 4, 2011 by

Where did all these books come from?  Why have I not read them?

I have a massive library.  I hate throwing out books even more than I hate throwing out clothing, knick-knacks, or jam jars that have a spoonful or two left.  But when I started this project, I realized how many of the books I already own I hadn’t read, and so I recorded 17 of their titles here in order to compel myself to read them.

And then I still didn’t.  I bought new books that interested me more.
Eventually I realized that reading the books wasn’t ever going to happen, because they were (for the most part) books I had been given or come in possession of accidentally.  And if I wasn’t excited about reading them when I acquired them, how likely was I to get excited months or years after the fact?  Not likely at all.

So I grudgingly gave away quite a few of the books on the original list, because I knew I’d never read them.
And now I’m going to revamp the task.

Read 6 books I already own, and 9 biographies/autobiographies.I tend to gravitate toward fiction in my reading life, but I always find the payoff of reading a memoir or biography to be immense.  These kinds of writing are just, usually, harder to pick up.  But as a person who writes an awful lot about herself on her blog, I could stand to glean a few tips about how to do that in a meaningful and interesting way.  And as a person who writes a lot about the human condition in her stage fiction, it could not but help to have more real life experiences to draw from than my own.Six Books I Already Own and Have Not Read:

  • The Great Modern Poets: The Best Poetry of Our Times (2006) — Edited by Michael Schmidt — Poetry Anthology
  • Samarkand and Other Markets I Have Known(2002) — by Wole Soyinka — Poetry — Autographed (and he’s a Nobel laureate)
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center(1984) — by bell hooks — Non-Fiction
  • Gulf Music (2007) — by Robert Pinsky — Poetry — Autographed (and he’s the former Poet Laureate of the US)
  • Sex, Time, and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution (2003) — by Leonard Shlain — Non-Fiction
  • :: READ :: You Are Here: Exposing The Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet (2008) — by Thomas M. Kostigen

Apparently, I enjoy acquiring autographed books and then letting them collect dust.
Now, for the second part.

Nine Memoirs/Auto/Biographies To Read:

  • :: READ :: Reviewed Gunn’s Golden Rules (2010) by Tim Gunn Autographed   
  • It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita (2009) by Heather Armstrong :: READ
  • :: READ :: (twice) Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography (2008) by Sebastian Horsely 
  • :: READ :: Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life (2007) by Steve Martin
  • :: READ :: A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipies from my Kitchen Table (2009) by Molly Wizenberg  
  • The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (2006) by Barack Obama
  • Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime (2010) by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
  • :: READ :: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000) by Anthony Bourdain

I gotta say, I’m pretty excited about my lineup here.
And the sad(dest?) part is, I already own 7 of those 9 auto/biographies…

Literature, away!


  1. Things to Do

    I hear the Steve Martin one is amazing! I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential, but anything with Anthony B is awesome!

  2. steve moore

    i second the bourdain book, good read. those books you haven't touched yet… get rid of them. they'll just keep nagging at you like a scab that keeps getting snagged.

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