The Readings Bucket List

Yesterday, I wrote about why I go to authors’ readings, which made me wonder who are the authors I still very much want to see in person. Many music fans have bucket lists of performers they want to see. (So do I: Sting is number 1 on that list. Bruce Springsteen was number 1 until Clarence Clemons died. Then he moved down one notch.) 

I’m not sure avid readers keep a list of authors they want to see in person. But maybe it’s time to start. My list is pretty short. Fortunately, I live in Nashville with the great Southern Festival of Books each year, and I’ve managed to see many great authors there,  as well as at Parnassus Books and Salon 615. Also, my field of study is Victorian literature, and those folks are dead and can only be reached by Ouija Board.

These are five that are currently on my list in no particular order:

  1. Mary Oliver. “The Journey” is one of my all-time favorite poems and seems to be speaking to me personally each time I read it.
  2. Kate Atkinson. I can’t say enough about this wonderful English author who can have you laughing, crying, hoping, and despairing–all on one page. She can write such a witty sentence that you find yourself reading it over and over and then quoting it to everyone you meet for the next several days. 
  3. Cormac McCarthy. McCarthy has a way of looking at the world that often frightens me, so does his skill as a writer.
  4. Richard Wiseman is a psychologist, and he takes a scientific and decidedly British (read witty) approach to many self-help topics.
  5. Marge Piercy is an acclaimed writer in several genres, and she is one of my favorite poets. 

Such a list is oddly personal. What make a “must see” for one person will leave another cold. Still, I’d love to know who’s on your readings bucket list.



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