Literature for Study and Pleasure
Beautiful piece about whether or not to cling to life by Ellen Bass.
Odd Girl Out by Anne Bannon
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Bertenz
The Savage Detectrives by Roberto Bolano
Exiles in America by Christopher Bram
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley
Pulp by Charles Bukowski
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connolly
The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
The Witch from Portobello by Paulo Coelho
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Drown Junot Diaz
Billy Bathgate E.L. Doctorow
Love Medicine by Lousie Erdrich
The Eyre Affair Jasper Fford
World Without End by Ken Follett
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
A Place of Hiding Elizabeth George
Three Junes Julia Glass
Lord of the Flies William Golding
Love the One You're With Emily Griffin
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night (" Great voice") Mark Haddon
Tinkers by Paul Harding
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle ( " Freedom to be Imaginative.") Murakami Haruki
Kite Runner by Khalid Hoseini
What I Loved by Siri Hustredt
Never Let Me Go by) Kazuo Ichiguro
Body of Lies by David Ignatious
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
100 Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin
The Road Cormac McCarthy
Atonement Ian McEwan
The Senator's Wife Sue Miller
Black Swan Green David Mitchell
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Time Travelers's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Northern Lights by Tim O Brien
Coming Up for Air George Orwell
Invisible Monsters Chuck Palahniuk
My Name is Red Orhan Pamuk
Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak
Vernon God Little D.B.C. Pierre
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marsha Pelils
Lush Life Richard Price
Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth
Harry Potter books J.K. Rowling
Push by Sapphire
Nine Stories J.D. Salinger
Blindness Jose Saramago
King Kong on East 4th St. by Jagna Wojcicka Sharff
On the Waterfront (Shooting Script) by Budd Schulberg
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
War and Peace by Tolstoy
The Secret History by Donna Tratt
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson
Man in Full by Tom Wolfe
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Orson Scott Card
Borges, "The Secret Miracle."
Buck, Pearl S., "Old Demon
Chekhov, "The Lady with the Lapdog"
"Desiree's Baby" by Kate Chopin
"The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant
Isak Dinesen "The Ring"
Susan Glaspell “A Jury of her Peers”
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs
"Bartleby the Scrivener" by Herman Melville
I.B. Singer, "The Brooch"
James Thurber " The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
”Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty
William Carlos Williams "The Use of Force" or here.
"Wants", "Goodbye and Good Luck," and "Mother" by Grace Paley.
Nonfiction piece from The New York Times' "Modern Love" series that uses fictional techniques
"Henosis" by N.K. Jemison
"Unprotected" by Simon Rich (life of a wallet condom)
"Happy Endings" by Margaret Atwood.
John Birch "We Are At War" (story of the beginning of a war and some of its unbloody but painful repercussions)
"Rite of Passage" by John Birch
Kate Blakinger "Living in Reverse" (story)
"The Keeper" by Krishan Coupland
Ashley Cowger "8 Stories I'll Never Tell"
Carol Emshwiller’s Chapter Two from The Mount (novel chapter)
"Dining Alone on Valentine's Day" by Susan Emshwiller
"Michael Ryan" by Joyce A. Griffin
"Pencils" by Tai Dong Huai
"Whale Migration" by Daniel Hudon
"She" by Charles Kaufmann
Edith Konecky ”Cocktail Hour" (novel part)
"Stone" by Miriam N. Kotzin
"Nine" by Aryn Kyle
"Sisters of Mercy" by Joan Leegant.
"The Heavenly Editorial Offices" by Suzanne McConnell
"Killing Rabbits" by Jen Michalski
Liliana by Maile Meloy
Joan Newburger "Death and Taxes" (story)
"Aperçus"by Charles Rammelkamp.
"The Dead Know Nothing," by Charles Rammelkamp.
Matt Schweiger A REALISTIC ASSESSMENT OF HOW MANY 12-YEAR-OLDS I COULD BEAT UP BEFORE THEY OVERTOOK ME" (story)\
"Reunion" by John Cheever
"Starving Makes It Fat" by Kay Sexton
"The Armoire" by Kathryn Shaver
Diane Simmons' "Ticket" (story)
"Color of Sky" by Grant Tracey
"Temptation" by Eva White
"1969" and "Evenings with Dotson" by Meredith Sue Willis , (Two stories that began with the same material)
"Tracks in the Snow" by Joyce Yarrow
Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer
Dickens Opening of Bleak House
George Eliot’s description of Hall Farm in Adam Bede
Gustave Flaubert's "Un Coeur Simple" (or, in English "A Simple Soul")
Henry James, opening of Portrait of a Lady
James Joyce “The Dead”
Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener" (long story)
Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych”
Some Poems I like:
A favorite Shakespeare monologue:
Clarence's speech from Richard III:
(not pleasant, but gorgeous for all that)
Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
And cited up a thousand fearful times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster
That had befall'n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
Beautiful audio version of Wordsworth's "Daffodils"
A poem of what a mirror sees and has seen by Gail Mazur.
Poem of comfort in desolation, by Ellen Bass
Here's a wonderfully heavy yet surprisingly uplifing poem by Emilia Phillips with lonely people in restaurants and a dead dream horse.
More poetry: a series of anti-Keystone pipeline poems by one of my favorite professors, Karl Patten. The poems are introduced by Cynthia Hogue.
Article (with links to some of her wonderful poems) about Naomi Replansky.
Poem about honoring the recently assassinated Americans.
A reading from 2001 by Crystal Wilkinson of her poem "Dear Johnny P."
Poem about an immigrant auntie who watches Professional Wrestling on t.v.
Charles Bukowski "So You Want to Be a Writer"
Pastoral by William Carlos Williams
A Bird Song
It's a year almost that I have not seen her:
Oh, last summer green things were greener,
Brambles fewer, the blue sky bluer.
It's surely summer, for there's a swallow:
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken.
Oh happy swallow whose mate will follow
O'er height, o'er hollow! I'd be a swallow,
To build this weather one nest together.
By Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892
Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.
To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?
-- From Poem-a-Day (Sign up for April, Poetry Month!)
Short stories, unless otherwise stated.
Abbott, Megan Bury Me Deep (Angela Laurio)
Andersen, Hans Christian "The Emperor's New Clothes" (Mercedes )
Atwood, Margaret "Happy Endings" (Caylin Harris)
Bukowski, Charles Factotum (novel) (Michael Conway)
"So You Want to be a Writer" (poem) (Rémy Renault)
Chandler, Raymond The Big Sleep (novel) (Angela Laurio)
Cheever, John "The Country Husband" (Liz Iannotti)
Chen, Denise "Data Ecosystem Products" (Diane Klein)
Diaz, Junot "Ysrael" (Mercedes )
Erdrich, Louise The Years of My Birth (Deb Gaisford)
Foer, Jonathan Safran New Collection (Mary Taylor)
Griffin, Joyce A. "Michael Ryan" (Angela Laurio)
Huai, Tai Dong "Pencils" (David Naistadt)
Ludlum, Robert The Bourne Ultimatum (novel) (David Naistadt)
Martin, Demitr Who Am I (Jason Borg)
Nabokov, Vladimir Invitation to a Beheading (Novella) (Daria Solovieva)
Poe, Edgar Allen "The Tell Tale Heart" (Neil James)
Shteyngart, Gary "Lenny Hearts Eunice" (Daria Solovieva)
Sorby, Angela "The Crimson Tree" (Neil James)
Tracey, Grant "Color of Sky" (Jenny Stahl)
(Traditonal) "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" (Diane Klein)
Varicella, Christopher "Weiner Roast" (Rémy Renault)