Acquiring new tastes

Until well into my thirties, I did not read nonfiction books. Or, at least, I did not read them unless they were about child development or teaching reading or something like that. Someday - perhaps in the next decade or so - I'll figure out what I was avoiding all those years. (I think it has something to do with a threatened life view -- "Hi. I'm Stephanie, and I'm a recovering fundamentalist.")

I have just noticed something. This going back to school thing - it's changing my tastes. It feels a bit like stretching out for a long hike after too long a time confined by illness or injury (in other words, it hurts, but it feels good). Here are some of the titles I currently have checked out from the library:
  • The writer's notebook : craft essays from Tin House
  • The farm to table cookbook : the art of eating locally
  • Fearless confessions : a writer's guide to memoir
  • Dancing in the streets : a history of collective joy
  • The Pushcart prize
  • Just a phrase I'm going through : my life in language
  • The electric meme : a new theory of how we think
  • How the wise decide : the lessons of 21 extraordinary leaders
  • Language and mind
  • The stuff of thought : language as a window into human nature
  • Kabbalah : an introduction to Jewish mysticism
  • Bodies in motion and at rest : essays
  • Five minds for the future
  • Why we make mistakes : how we look without seeing, forget things in seconds, and are all pretty sure we are way above average
  • Not becoming my mother : and other things she taught me along the way
  • The large, the small, and the human mind
  • Against happiness : in praise of melancholy
  • The kingdom of infinite space : a portrait of your head
The closest thing to novels in that list would be the short stories in the Pushcart Prize anthology, and the memoirs. By the way, Ruth Reichl's new book, Not Becoming My Mother, is a work of such love and is written so gorgeously in such a small format that it's like eating a perfectly prepared course at the best restaurant you've ever been to. Elegantly presented and not heaped in a pile, exquisite and multi-layered flavors calling and responding to the perfectly chosen wine, and so satisfying to the nose and eyes that slowing down to savor its flavors isn't something you have to choose to do. I'll be buying this one.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Well, I want to read "Not becoming my Mother". That is one of my goals in life. ( I don't mean this in a mean way) But, really, you must check out a little more non-fiction. I love biographies, or more correct, auto-biographies. They are so fun, and you learn history, and you learn about life, and people. I'm proud of you for expanding. Afterall, isn't that the very spice of life? Learning, loving, expanding yourself for the betterment for all humankind?!?!?
Just thinking . . . :)