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Old 11-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
kennyc
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Your Favorite Essay, Memoir, and/or Creative Non-Fiction

Here's my current list!
(I'll try to add some links if they are online)


The Brown Wasps - Lauren Eiseley
The Dream Animal - Lauren Eiseley
The Slit - Lauren Eiseley
The Judgment of the Birds - Lauren Eiseley
The Star Thrower - Lauren Eiseley
Lives of a Cell - Lewis Thomas
Suspended - Joy Harjo -
The Deck - Yusef Komunyakaa
The Fourth State of Matter - Jo Ann Beard
Three Spheres - Lauren Slater
The White Album - Joan Didion
Moving Water, Tucson - Peggy Shumaker
Heaven and Nature - Edward Hoagland
Embalming Mom - Janet Burroway
Visitor - Michael W. Cox
Leap - Brian Doyle
Small Rooms in Time - Ted Kooser
Enough Jam for a Lifetime - Maxine Kumin
Remembering I was not there - Anne Panning
Fury and Grace - Pattiann Rogers
The Indian Dog - N. Scott Momaday
Dogged - Barrie Jean Borich
Work - Kim Barnes

What are your favorite Essays, Memoirs, or Creative Non-Fiction?

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Old 11-13-2013, 10:52 PM   #2
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What writing isn't "creative"? But anyway...

Some of Joan Didion's images from the White Album have stuck with me through the years: Jim Morrison in vinyl pants. Yikes. And Joan herself doing her grocery shopping in a bikini.

To add to your list:

Stephen J Gould's collections of essays on natural history are fun and enlightening

Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia

Levi-Strauss' Tristes Tropiques

Alice Kaplan's French Lessons
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Old 11-13-2013, 10:56 PM   #3
kennyc
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Reporting, is not generally creative.

and thanks for those!

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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I recently read Ugly, by Robert Hoge. It is well worth a read.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:10 AM   #5
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I recently read Ugly, by Robert Hoge. It is well worth a read.
Sounds like a tough life!

Thanks for the recommendation!
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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Some of George Orwell's work comes under this heading. Those that stick in my mind include Shooting an Elephant, Decline of the English Murder, and In Defence of P.G. Wodehouse.

Perhaps also Alistaire Cook's Letters from America. They were written as radio broadcasts, but many of them have been re-published in book form.

Mike
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #7
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Thanks Mike!

And most of the late Christopher Hitchens of course. He wrote most notably for Vanity Fair and some of his work is here:

http://www.vanityfair.com/contributo...opher-hitchens
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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I recently picked up an interesting book as an Amazon UK Kindle Daily Deal: "The World As I See It", by Albert Einstein:

Quote:
In the aftermath of the First World War, Einstein writes about his hopes for the League of Nations, his feelings as a German citizen about the growing anti-Semitism and nationalism of his country, and his myriad opinions about the current affairs of his day. In addition to these political perspectives, The World As I See It reveals the idealistic, spiritual, and witty side of this great intellectual as he approaches topics including “Good and Evil,” “Religion and Science,” “Active Pacifism,” “Christianity and Judaism,” and “Minorities.”

Including letters, speeches, articles, and essays written before 1935, this collection offers a complete portrait of Einstein as a humanitarian and as a human being trying to make sense of the changing world around him.
An eclectic and fascinating collection. Well worth reading.

Amazon UK US

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #9
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Thanks Harry, that does sound interesting.
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #10
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I'm sure you'd enjoy it, Kenny. Right up your street.
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #11
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Mike L mentioned some of Orwell's excellent essays. I'd like to add some of his literary criticism, such as his essays on Rudyard Kipling and Swift, and in particular, his essay on Dickens.

Many of Camus's essays are excellent, especially "The Myth of Sisyphus"; also his autobiography The First Man (Le Premier Homme)

William Hazzlit's essays, especially The Round Table and Characters of Shakespear's Plays.

Paul Theroux's travel books.

Gerald Durrell's Corfu books (My Family and Other Animals, Birds, Beasts and Relatives, and The Garden of the Gods)

Jan Morris's travel books and essays (esp. Coronation Everest)
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #12
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"Memoirs of W. T. Sherman" by William T. Sherman

An interesting, intriguing life and an interesting look at a time period, especially the time prior to the Civil War.

------------

"The Old Patagonian Express" by Paul Theroux

I read that when it came out in 1979 and mental images I created from his words have stuck in my brain ever since.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:05 PM   #13
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My favourite of Theroux's books; love the title.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:09 AM   #14
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My favourite of Theroux's books; love the title.
I like that one as well, but I'm not sure if it comes under the heading of essays / memoir. Should we include travel books in that category? (If so, I could nominate all of Bill Bryson's travel works.)

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Old 11-15-2013, 08:10 AM   #15
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I only recently (well, two years ago now) found this collection of essays: Not that it Matters by A. A. Milne (1920). I love his whimsical way of speaking/writing.

For a totally different mood I'd add my support for some of Orwell's essays, though I can't give you titles right now, it's been a while.

Charles Dickens has some good ones too (see for example The Uncommercial Traveller).

To try and get a bit more modern (and, as it happens, biographical), I loved A Man's Got to Have a Hobby by William McInnes. Also Stargazing: Memoirs Of A Young Lighthouse Keeper by Peter Hill.
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