>One Book

>A Friday meme (thanks to Emerging Writers Network):

One book that changed your life.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Not only did it excite me about fiction, it introduced me to Buddhism in a way that no comparative religion course could.

One book that you’ve read more than once.
The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner. Life is too short for reruns, mostly, and there are lots of books I want to read, so I rarely repeat myself (except where one of the readings was for grad school—Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, etc.). When I was a teenager I read all the Hermann Hesse books a couple of times, and I’ve been thinking of going back to them lately.

One book you’d want on a desert island.
The Collected Stories of Richard Yates. Actually The Collected Stories of Almost Anyone would do—Richard Bausch, Russell Banks, Alice Munro. Lots of small worlds to visit instead of one big one.

One book that made you laugh.
Catch-22. Or if that’s too obvious, then Moby Dick, although people who’ve read this only once usually fail to see the humor in it.

One book that made you cry.
None, but The Time Traveler’s Wife might have come close.

One book that you wish had been written.
Grace Paley says she once tried to write a novel but it didn’t work out. A Paley novel would be short, I imagine, but I’d love to read it.

One book that you wish had never been written.
The Da Vinci Code. Need I say more?

One book you’re currently reading.
John Casey’s The Half Life of Happiness

One book you’ve been meaning to read.
Gilead. It’s in one of these piles here somewhere.

And you?

About the author


  1. >I’m constantly amazed by how much and how broadly you’ve read, Cliff–novels, story collections, literary journals. It is truly amazing.

    Do you sleep?

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