Another retreat started yesterday and here are the great books people donated to our living library after crepes this morning:
Tracy Marchini from New York who is here working on her YA novel donated Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan as it reflects the genre she's working in.
Tracy also donated Gare Thompson's Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt? about her "home town" and the Roosevelt estate.
The Londoner Tanya Byrne was up next with her "desert island books," the first being the "first book I read for school that I really loved": To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The novel expressed "racial tension" for the first time for Tanya as a child, as opposed to the "Pride and Prejudice genre of novels I read before it." She especially loves "the strong male role model of Atticus."
Tanya's other selection was Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House Five, quoting the first line as one of the best she's every came across.
Next up was Dennis Lewis who lives and teaches in Qatar and is here working on his first collection of poetry. Dennis donated The Triggering Town by the Montana poet Richard Hugo which he called "an honest and very helpful book on writing."
Dennis' other book was W.G. Sebald's The Emigrants, a book he said that repeats many of things from Sebald's other works, "all of his books being a combination of different forms and all of them dealing with memory and loss."
New Zealander Jenny Simpson, who is here working on short stories, gave the library Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones as her first contribution. She describes Jones as a very different writer from other writers in New Zealand as he writes about things set elsewhere.
Jenny's other book was the poet Bill Manhire's most recent work of stories and poems, Lifted. For the 25th anniversary of the Erebus air disaster, Manhire composed the poem "Erebus Voices", which Sir Edmund Hillary read at the commemorative service at Scott Base, Antarctica.
An American Story, a collection of Barack Obama's speeches, reflecting where she's originally from, the US.
Natalie's second choice was The Other Side of the Bridge by the Canadian writer Mary Lawson. Natalie chose Lawson's book because she is working on a novel herself away from her home country.
Last to speak was another London writer, Martha Close, who is here working on a novel much like the first book she donated, Grahame Greene's The Quiet American which she has "kept on her desk while writing my novel based in Cambodia" because of its' "meeting of East and West" but mainly because it is so beautifully written.
Martha's other book was How Not to Write a Novel by Sandra Newman and Howard Mittelmark. She cited specifically page 28's title: Why Your Job is Harder than God."
Thanks again to everyone who donated books!