Ok, I've been thinking more about the list of my favorite books from each year (sometimes more than one). I think I almost have my timeline correct. I have to start work in 10 minutes so excuse the mispellings, no time.
8th Grade: Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby, Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hughes' The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes (I think this means I was a nerd/dork)
9th Grade: Mann's Death in Venice, Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener
(Thank you to my English teacher- these two short pieces totally changed my perception of literature).
Oh, and I totally fell for Love in the Time of Cholera. I haven't re-read it since then.
10th Grade: Leonard Cohen's Stranger Music: Selected Poems and Songs (thank you Dad for buying this for me), Neruda's Selected Poems (thank you Mom)
11th Grade: Neruda (still) (I forget who else)
12th Grade: Plath (I forget who else)
Freshman year: Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, Meville's Moby Dick (I can't remember what poetry but I took a great poetry class with Maggie Nelson so this frustates me)
Sophomore year: Berrigan's The Sonnets, Ashbery (anything I read by Ashbery), Berryman's The Dream Songs, Bidart's chapbook Music Like Dirty, JACK SPICER (can you tell that I took a contemporary poetry class?! Thank you Professor John Vincent)
Junior year: First semester was a lot of Charles Olson and a lot of William Burroughs, Second Semester: Carson's Autobiography of Red and also Beauty of the Husand. Jack Spicer.
Senior year: Lauterbach's If In Time (thank you Danielle for lending me this and then letting me steal it). Jack Spicer.
Ford Fellowship: Morrison's Beloved, Isben's When We Dead Awaken (this made me not want to get out of bed for a week), Butler's Excitable Speech, Benjamin's On the Concept of History / Theses on the Philosophy of History and also The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (can you tell I was taking lit theory?)
Lauterbach and Jack Spicer.
'06: I think I just really enjoyed reading Elizabeth Willis's books last year. Lauterbach and Jack Spicer.
'07: Sebald's The Rings of Saturn. Lauterbach, Jack Spicer. (So far)
What I gather from this list is that I'm indebted to my english teachers/professors, my parents, and a few close friends. Sadly, I have a huge list of books I'm pretty sure I'd love and that I should find and love on my own, but of course, somehow I never quite get to it. If I could rearrange my life in priorities that were not career or financially based, these books would be close to the top of my list.
Please also note that between 8th grade and 12th grade I was still reading 17 Magazine. Oh wait, and in 8th grade I totally liked Catcher in the Rye. Ahh, teenage angst.
This is a real ad for the benefits of sugar. I think this is from the early 60s. Man, we Americans have no idea what we're talking about: