reading

Must Read Books that Have Made the Largest Impact

Photo by  Glen Noble  on  Unsplash

Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash

The right words ignite a spark for change. They lead movements, challenge societal norms, and question authority. And when a writer decides to pen their stimulating thoughts onto paper, people read them over and over. Their books spread throughout the world, inspiring people to take new paths and introducing them to their unique perspective.

The books that have made the largest impact throughout history date back to the early ages of 1000 C.E. up to the dynamic modern era of the early 2000s. And people still flip through their pages, craving to absorb the timeless knowledge from each writer.  

There are religious texts, like the Torah, the Quran and the Bible, then there are philosophical and political musings like The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Millions of people flock to grab a copy and align it with their values. Other books marked important steps towards international human rights, like Thomas Paine’s work of The Rights of Man.

Of course, the above mentioned are only a small sampling. Largest assembled this list of 25 powerful and influential books, so you can explore a host of other masterpieces that people still read today through their list.

https://largest.org/culture/books-largest-impact/

6 Literary Road Trips Across America You Can Actually Take

There are few things more quintessentially American than a road trip. The sheer size of the country, an abundance of connected highways, diverse regions and incredible landscapes of our national parks make a cross-country road trip the ultimate bucket-list experience. Discovery is ingrained in our culture. Recognizing that many Americans are descendants of immigrants who left their home countries, John Steinbeck wrote, “Every American hungers to move.”

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Naturally, it makes sense that so many of us yearn for the open road. One might even say it’s symbolic: the vehicle being the visual representation of freedom, a drivers license the ticket and the route the destination. Road trips go far deeper than simply a travel experience, which is why literary lions like Tom Wolfe, Jack Kerouac, and John Steinbeck documented their adventures by car in the form of novels. 

Inspired by some of the most popular travels in American literature. CarRentals created this guide to literary road trips. Only, instead of living these adventures through the pages of a book, they re-created the author’s routes to give us a list of road trips you can actually take.

https://www.carrentals.com/blog/your-guide-to-literary-road-trips-across-america-infographic/

 

Develop Your New Reading List!

It’s getting toward the end of 2017. December is an awesome time for readers – it’s late enough in the year that all of the “best books of the year” lists start to roll in. I use this time to scan through those lists for books I might find interesting. Then I compile a catalog of books to read in the next year.

Hands down the best list is from Largehearted Boy (David Gutowski). Annually he aggregates all the online year-end book lists and places them in a single post on his blog. As new lists appear, he adds them to this master list, updating it daily.

Add a little energy to your upcoming New Year’s Resolution to read more – survey these lists and develop your own personal list of new books to check out in 2018.

http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2017/11/online_best_of_75.html

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100 Books a Year? You Can Do It!

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I was proud that I’ve read 25 books so far this year. That was until I read Srinivas Rao’s article “How to Read 100 Books a Year.” Now I feel like an underachiever.

But seriously, this article does contain some solid strategies on how to hit the lofty goal of devouring 100 books in a year…and consequently reap the benefits of becoming a more interested, cultured person. For me, reading the work of others is key to me making strides in my own writing practice, so I will be employing these suggestions to step my reading game up in the future.

https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/12283-how-to-read-100-books-in-a-year

Suggested Reading.

In case you didn’t know, April is National Poetry Month. There are many ways to observe this celebration of verse, but the easiest thing you can do is simply read some poetry.

So this is the perfect time to add some new poetic titles to your “books to be read” list. Check out this diverse list of “15 New Poetry Collections To Read During National Poetry Month” as a starting point. Happy National Poetry Month!

https://www.bustle.com/p/15-new-poetry-collections-to-read-during-national-poetry-month-47908

Best of the Net.

I’m a firm believer of incremental improvement towards bigger goals. That said, the only ways I know to improve as a writer are by writing…and reading the work of others.

So I’ve been spending some time digesting the “Best of the Net 2016” as presented by Sundress Publications. Why not read and possibly learn from some of the best writing in the past year? My intentions are twofold…I want to read some great writing, but I also have a stretch goal of trying to make the Best of the Net list for 2017. Studying these works might give me the insight to make that goal reality.

There is some amazing work that may inspire you…and also is simply enjoyable to read! Check it out…

http://www.sundresspublications.com/bestof/

Breaking New Territory.

I found this article about nine women nonfiction pioneers, including Roxane Gay, Wendy C. Ortiz, and Eula Biss, to be inspirational. I’ve been experimenting with writing more nonfiction lately, especially as my personal muse has seemingly drifted from poetry towards more prose.

Not only did this article give me some candidates for my books to read list, it was also interesting to learn about women writers who are challenging convention and exploring new territory. I want to find my angle and do something unconventional like these authors have in order to find my niche in nonfiction. After all, we all have a story to tell…

http://www.bustle.com/articles/150778-9-women-writers-who-are-breaking-new-nonfiction-territory

Cult (Books) of Personality.

Cult books, as with films that are considered cult favorites, often contain elements of the extreme, bizarre, or subversive--their power to inspire and persuade seemingly just on the edge of propriety. That is why I thought it would be great to share this awesome top-fifty list of cult books. These books are great to put into your personal reading queue, and I bet some will spark some original ideas for your own writing. Happy reading!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/50-best-cult-books/

30 Non-Fiction Books a Well-Rounded Person Should Read

Bookmarked for future use: Paul Nowak from Iris Reading has compiled a great list of 30 Non-Fiction Books a Well-Rounded Person Should Read.

As a person who devours reading material, I sometimes wonder if there are books I’ve missed that can help in my never-ending quest to become better-rounded. At a glance, this list can be a great place to start. I was happy to see I’ve already read some of these. I see the value in spending some time with the others and maybe even revisiting ones that I studied previously. Happy reading!

http://www.irisreading.com/30-non-fiction-books-a-well-rounded-person-should-read/?utm_source=email_campaign&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=30books

Speed Reading.

The Wall Street Journal has a test to see how quickly you read. Find out your results, then use their helpful tips to become even quicker.

http://projects.wsj.com/speedread/

Then check out this article: Lifehacker’s Patrick Allan teaches how to read an entire book in one day.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-read-an-entire-book-in-a-single-day-1749070044

Hey, life is short. If you can read faster, then you can read more. And that is a very good thing.

The Talking Stick Volume 24

I wanted to mention that my poem "On the Occasion of My Untimely Demise" has been published in this year’s volume of The Talking Stick. I was also blessed that this piece won first prize in the poetry category this year. Many thanks to the staff of The Talking Stick and also to judge Laura Hansen for this treasured opportunity.

Published by The Jackpine Writers’ Bloc, The Talking Stick is a Minnesotan collaboration of poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction and awards a cash prize in each category. It is written and entirely produced by writers who at least have close ties to Minnesota.

Also included in this volume of The Talking Stick is my short story called "Brandy and Merlot." I'm proud of this piece because it's a big departure from what I usually do in fiction. The story is primarily dialogue driven and is much quirkier than my usual...especially since it features a talking pet as a major character.

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend The Talking Stick 24 book release party on September 19, 2015 near Park Rapids, MN. I enjoyed the energy of the sixty or so people there and the chance to read my prizewinning poem, as well as listen to all the great work of the diverse contributors to the journal.

It doesn’t look like Volume 24 is available yet for purchase online, but it will likely be soon. If you are looking for a good read, it would be worth checking out.

http://thetalkingstick.com/

http://www.jackpinewriters.com/

Spark: Getting Started on Your 2015 Reading List?

Maybe reading more is one of your new year’s resolutions.

If so, you should check out the link to Book Riot below. Liberty Hardy's "A Great Big Guide To 2014's Must-Read Books from Indie Presses" could jumpstart your personal 2015 reading list with some hidden gems.

Secondhand spark: from a writing standpoint, the article also links to some impressive indie presses, some of which may be open to manuscript submissions.

http://bookriot.com/2014/12/05/large-guide-2014s-must-read-books-indie-presses/