The pictures of my bookcases below are a bit of a cheat. Most of my bookshelves are truly overflowing. Books stacked upon books stacked upon books. My favorite books, however, are neatly displayed, so it was pretty easy for me to figure out what to snap photos of. I just went around the house and looked for the tidiest shelves and clicked away. Not shown here are my hundreds of writing reference books, my photography books, my young adult shelves, my old comic books, or my piles of other literary fiction including Hemingway, Richard Ford, Richard Yates, and Ian McEwan.
I have been a huge Richard Russo fan ever since I read The Risk Pool as part of a book club I belonged to when I lived in Los Angeles. It’s funny, because when the book was chosen by one of the group members and I read the back cover I thought that I wasn’t going to like it very much. Boy, was I wrong. I absolutely loved it and have read everything Richard Russo has ever written, from his novels, to his short story collection, to obscure essays on the internet and in writing books. I really enjoy how Russo develops his characters and his settings. In fact, each one of his settings becomes a character in his books. It’s quite remarkable. I also love how he injects humor into his stories. One of the funniest books I’ve ever read was Russo’s novel Straight Man.
Stephen King is a go to novelist for me whenever I want to be thoroughly entertained. I sometimes call him my guilty pleasure but really, he’s a fabulous writer. He’s wonderful with description and character development. He spends a lot of time getting you invested in his characters so when bad things happen you really care what the outcome is going to be. Some of my favorites are ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining, IT, and Pet Sematary. I’ve lifted quite a few writing “tricks of the trade” from Stephen King over the years. And his book On Writing is one I recommend to anyone who wants to write.
No proper bookcase would be complete without the entire works of Douglas Adams. He is one of the funniest authors I’ve ever read. There is really nothing more I can say except that the world has been deprived of many a laugh because of his passing.
I suppose my real guilty pleasure is probably ice hockey books. I am an insane fan of the game and I think maybe I was a hockey player in a former life (or will be in some future incarnation, you know, if you believe in that sort of thing). I thoroughly admit I read way too many hockey biographies for my own good.