1. Lack and Transcendence by David Loy
This is a terrifically dense book of which I savored nearly every word, with nearly every page demanding introspection. It’s a philosophical though fierce evaluation at our ideas of death and how it impacts the way we live. Bouncing the ideals of Buddhism, existentialism and psychoanalysis against each other, the book awakens an internal drive to realize the consequences of experiencing lack in daily life. It opened up a new world of experiencing transcendence.
2. A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
It’s difficult to describe substantially what makes this book so charming and hypnotic. As a memoir of Hemingway’s life as a young writer in Paris, I found I really did get swept away in the visualization of his life, naive and quixotic though it sounds. For anyone with fantasies (admitted or not) of being an artist and sitting in cafes with other writers and getting drunk with Fitzgerald, this is the ultimate escapist work, where even the difficulties are poetic. This book was heavily influential in my initial decision to
3. Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
This is the book that made me realize the importance of knowing what you’re eating — and lead me to believe that if corporations can create flavors that satisfy the tongue but leave the body wanting, I had the right and obligation to change my tastes. This book is a dark look into the ubiquitous fast food industry, and its harmful effects on food production, distribution and consumption. My eating habits and desires changed dramatically after reading it, as ignorance was no longer an option.
4. Banksy: Wall and Piece
It probably wasn’t simply the book itself that affected me, but rather, Banksy himself. However, this is such a in-depth view of his collection that it’s impressive to see all at once. His work is quite plainly profound in its messaging: clever, ironic, twisted, beautiful. It evokes an emotional reaction, and forced me to re-evaluate the imposition of commercial art versus the scorned dynamic of art scrawled on city streets. It changed the essence of my view on street-art, and in doing so, my view on art itself.
5. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
I never believed that a book could have such an immediate and direct impact on my writing, but indeed this one did. This is the book that finally got me to let go of my inner critic long enough to finish writing a novel. Enough said, I think.
Presented by ABC Customer and member Katherine Matthews
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