Hey Rena J. Mosteirin, what are you reading?

15 Feb

Rena J. Mosteirin’s novella “Nick Trail’s Thumb” was chosen by Lydia Davis as the winner of the 2008 Kore Press Fiction Chapbook contest and her chapbook Girls of Gorgeous was a semi-finalist  in the 2011 Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Awards.   Davis writes:  “What a fresh and engaging story Mosteirin has written–with it’s unusual setting, interesting form, arresting specifics, captivating insights, strong dialogue, and rhythmic prose. The writing and the vision alike are utterly persuasive.”

Mosteirin is a graduate of Dartmouth College where she majored in Creative Writing and won the Sydney Cox Memorial Award (2005, 2007), the Grimes Prize (2007), and the Class of 1954 Award (2007).  Her current use of the internet — how she incorporates her writing into the digital space– is inspired and intriguing–  from her blog White Whale Crossing where she regularly posts new work to her Twitter project which she describes as “an attempt to build a line-a-day relationship with the Great American Novel: Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. This project is estimated to take somewhere between twenty and thirty years, most likely outlasting the popularity of Twitter itself.”

When I asked Rena what she was reading, she kind of blew my mind with this list that puts my 2011 to shame:

“This is a good idea. I love to know what other writers are reading. I love to keep track of what I am reading, otherwise it might just sort of slip by. I kept track of what I read from Jan 2011 to Dec 2011.  This sort of list is a good tool for me because I might have some  theme or idea of phrase lingering around for a while and I want to be able to go back to the text itself, but not remember what it’s called or where it came from or where it went. I love to re-read and have some books I re-read annually. In my mind, writing and reading are
essentially the same thing.

Books of 2011:

Montgomery, L.M. Tales of Achievement (ed. Rhea Wilmhurst)
Montgomery, L.M. Tales of Marriage (ed. Rhea Wilmhurst)
Babbitt, Natalie The Eyes of the Amaryllis
Forster, E.M. A Room With A View
James, Henry The Wings of the Dove
Freed, Lynn The Curse of the Appropriate Man
Freed, Lynn House of Women
Montgomery, L.M. Mistress Pat
Yanique, Tiphanie How To Escape From A Leper Colony
Montgomery, L.M. Jane of Lantern Hill
Erdrich, Louise The Master Butchers Singing Club
Freed, Lynn The Servant’s Quarters
Neill, Peter American Sea Writing: An Anthology
Freed, Lynn The Mirror
Gruen, Sara Ape House
Li, Yiyun Gold Boy, Emerald Girl
Schama, Simon Landscape and Memory
Hamby, Barbra Lester Higata’s 20th Century
Ganek, Danielle The Summer We Read Gatsby
Du Maurier, Daphne Mary Anne
Hall, Tina May The Physics of Imaginary Objects
Hartley, L.P. The Go-Between
D’erasmo, Stacey The Sky Below
Ephron, Nora Heartburn
Erdrich, Louise Four Souls
Wharton, Edith The Custom of the Country
Waters, M. & Poulin, Jr., Al (eds.) Contemporary American Poetry
de Balzac, Honore Eugenie Grandet
Erdrich, Louise Shadow Tag
Paasilinna, Arto The Year of the Hare
Schine, Cathleen The Three Weissmanns of Westport
Lovelace, Jane Eccentric Lady
Wasserstein, Wendy The Sisters Rosenzweig
Wasserstein, Wendy Bachelor Girls
Mayle, Peter A Year In Provence
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan The Hound of the Baskervilles
Waterfield, Giles The Hound in the Left-Hand Corner
Wasserstein, Wendy Old Money
Wasserstein, Wendy The Elements of Style
Fagerholm, Monika Wonderful Woman By The Sea
Bowen, Elizabeth The Death of the Heart
Wasserstein, Wendy An American Daughter
Wasserstein, Wendy The Heidi Chronicles and Other Plays
Szymborska, Wislawa Here
Le Tellier, Herve Enough About Love
Parini, Jay The Passages of H.M.
Bohjalian, Chris Midwives
Ephron, Nora I Remember Nothing
Erdrich, Louise Tales of Burning Love
Erdrich, Louise The Antelope Wife
Erdrich, Louise The Last Report On The Miracles at Little No Horse
Kuipers, Keetje Beautiful In The Mouth
Cox, Sidney Indirections for those who wish to write
Follain, Jean Transparence of the World
Favorite, Eileen The Heroines
Marai, Sandor Portraits of a Marriage
Tolstoy, Leo The Kreutzer Sonata
Marai, Sandor Esther’s Inheritance
Martin, Steve An Object of Beauty
Jones, Tayari Silver Sparrow
Barry, Lynda One! Hundred! Demons!
Williams, John Stoner
Watts, Simon Sailing for Everyone
Erdrich, Louise The Bluejay’s Dance
Arkin, Alan An Improvised Life
Cooke, Carolyn Daughters of the Revolution
Hijuelos, Oscar Thoughts Without Cigarettes
Weszterman, Rachel Silver Roses
Sarton, May The Small Room
Lightman, Alan Einstein’s Dreams
Roach, Michael (Gesne) & McNally, Christine How Yoga Works
Markham, Beryl West With The Night
Barrett, Andrea Servants of the Map
French, Tana In The Woods
Vonnegut, Kurt A Man Without A Country
Crane, Hart Complete Poems of Hart Crane
Santiago, Esmeralda Conquistadora
Anderson, Sherwood Winesburg, Ohio
Yourcenar, Marguerite Memiors of Hadrian
Wharton, Edith Twlight Sleep
Borges, Jorge Louis Selected Poems
Alcott, Louisa May The Quiet Little Woman
Mathis, Cleopatra Guardian
Larsen, Reif The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
Sullivan, J. Courtney Commencement
Senna, Danzy You Are Free
Pratchett, Sir Terry Lords and Ladies
Stein, J. Hope The Inventor’s Last Breath
Pascal, Francine Sweet Valley Confidential
O’Hehir, Diana The Bride Who Ran Away
Hardwick, Elizabeth Sleepless Nights
O’Connor McNees, Kelly The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott
Agus, Milena From the Land of the Moon
Towles, Amor Rules of Civility
Hong Kingston, Maxine I Love a Broad Margin to My Life
Thoreau, Henry David Walden
Melville, Herman Moby-Dick
Alcott, Louisa May Work
Napolitano, Ann A Good Hard Look
Lawrenson, Deborah The Lantern
Sullivan, J. Courtney Maine
Borges, Jorge Luis This Craft of Verse
Swann, Maxine The Foreigners
Salamon, Julie Wendy and the Lost Boys
Fellowes, Julian Snobs
Abramson, Seth Northerners
Wilde, Oscar The Complete Short Stories
Howe, Fanny Come and See
Thoreau, Henry David The Maine Woods
Abu-Jaber, Diana Birds of Paradise
Butler, Robert Olen A Small Hotel
Cary, Joyce Herself Surprised
Ali, Monica Untold Story
Gavalda, Anna French Leave
Mayle, Peter Anything Considered
Frayn, Michael Copenhagen
Cassidy, David C. Beyond Uncertainty
Transtromer, Tomas (trans. Robert Bly) The Half-Finished Heaven
Joyce, James A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man
Enright, Anne The Forgotten Waltz
Alvarez, Julia Saving the World
Braddon, Mary Elizabeth Lady Audley’s Secret
Enright, Anne The Pleasures of Eliza Lynch
Wilson, Kevin The Family Fang
Schappell, Elissa Blueprints For Building Better Girls
Mersal, Iman Those Are Not Oranges, My Love
Fitch, Janet Paint It Black
Moore, Lori Birds of America
Holmes, A.M. In A Country of Mothers
Riley, Judith Merkle The Serpent Garden
Tolle, Eckhart A New Earth
Doctrow, E.L. Lives of the Poets
Meitner, Erika ideal Cities
Joudah, Fady Earth in the Attic
Hopler, Jay Green Squall
Somerville, Patrick The Cradle
Houghteling, Sara Pictures From An Exhibition
Howe, Katherine The Physik Book of Deliverance Dane
Graber, Kathleen The Eternal City
Stein, Melissa Rough Honey
McLain, Paula The Paris Wife
Jonnes, Jill Eiffel’s Tower
Chateaubriand, F.A. Atala
Soseki, Natsume Kusamakura
Lauterbach, Anne Or To Begin Again
Nin, Anais Cities of the Interior
Alcott, Louisa May The Early Stories 1852-60
Melville, Herman Typee
Carson, Anne Glass, Irony and God
Carson, Anne If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho
Freeman, Mary Wilkins A New England Nun
Acimen, Andre Call Me By Your Name
Stafford, Jean The Mountain Lion

I also really enjoyed reading Olive Lykins’ unpublished manuscript The
Education of Olive Lykins, the first chapter of which is available on
his website: olivelykins.com.”


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