“The reason literacy is important is that literature is the operating instructions. The best manual we have. The most useful guide to the country we’re visiting, life.” – Ursula Le Guin
We all have stories–in books, and in our heads. Stories have the power to inspire us, and to guide us down certain paths of life. When I wrote The Little Black Book of Suicide Notes, I gave voice to the ways NOT to live, and unexpectedly created my owner’s manual for life. In the ever-true words of Madeline L’Engle, “Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.” I hope that it may help others as well, perhaps serve, as Le Guin says, as a “useful guide to the country we’re visiting, life.”
I stumbled upon MARIA POPOVA’s gorgeous blog on Brain Pickings about Le Guin’s book Words Are My Matter. It is about life, and imagination, and literature. It is about our very humanity. Read it. It’s deep and true, and has inspired me to share some of the books that have been my “guide to the country we’re visiting.” Here’s the first, and I’ll be sharing others over the course of the next few weeks.
Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast” (1964)
This glimpse into the lives of a lost generation had a profound effect on me. Hemingway spoke to me in pictures, the way he described the 1920s, the winding streets of Paris that always seem to go nowhere, “A Good Cafe on the Place St. Michel”. Finally, one day, I decided to spend an April in Paris to experience the place of the lost generation for myself.
Share in comments any books that have served as your guide to living.