A Book Timeline Pictorial, Of Sorts

The other day I looked over at my burgeoning bookcases. And I noticed how each shelf held a different literary vibe from a different part of my life. My constantly changing tastes in books run an eclectic gamut…from thrillers (high school) to historical chick lit (college) to literary fiction, true crime and biographies (now). I look back on my choices and though I am never embarrassed about what I’ve read… I know I probably wouldn’t read that particular book today. But still I keep it, I hold onto it, because each and every readerly phase I’ve been in has shaped me into the writer I am today.

So I thought I’d share the literary timeline of a range of books that have impacted my writer-life in some way, shape or form.

Obviously, this is no way a comprehensive list, but it’s interesting to see the variety…


As a kid, I toyed between the sugar-coated fun of the Sweet Valley High series and the demented twists of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. You bet your ass I’d read any of those today. In fact, I blame my warped imagination on these two writers alone. I pilfered books from my mother’s old library, gorgeous 60s reads like Rosemary’s Baby and The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane. Also, not included in the photo pictorial are good old chick lit like Bridget Jones and Mr. Maybe by Jane Green.

From there I bounced to paperback thrillers and true crime like John Grisham and James Patterson and Lorenzo Carcaterra. Good lord, I read the shit out of some James Patterson.

Then college, I started getting into the whimsical and spooky and magical realism of Stephen King and Ronlyn Domingue. There’s a lovely little book called Threads about reincarnation that totally sent me off on the historical fiction path of those oh-so-naughty Phillipa Gregory tales, and eventually I read scores of non-fiction about one of my still favorite women: Anne Boleyn.


Mid/late-20s, brought me into non-fiction writers such as Mary Roach, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and bios by Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze. Also, I did tap Twilight, but never 50 Shades of Grey. Then, came tales from writers like Hunter S. Thompson, Cormac McCarthy, David Wong and Neil Gaiman. After that, a bit of mystery and lit—popular, yet well-written reads from Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott and Lauren Beukes, Soon, I was into the true literary fiction zone (Roxane Gay, Emma Cline, David Sedaris), peppered with biographies about musicians.

Now, most recently, I have been devouring true crime non-fiction and some amazing YA reads.

And I gotta say…I can’t wait to see where my future to-be-read pile takes me.

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