WHO AM I? AND WHAT BOOK IS MY BIBLE?
A Look Back at Some of the Books People Consider Their “Bibles”
By The PMc Magazine Staff
July / August 2012
Need some Summer Reading suggestions? Well, here’s some help for our Summer Reading Issue compiled from all our previous issues…
Since the launch of PMc Magazine in January of 2011, we’ve been posting multiple Who Am I?s a week. One of our standard Who Am I? questions is “What book is your bible?” For our Literary Issue we thought we’d collect some of our favorite answers from the last year and a half, and share them with you again.
My personal library is my most prized possession, so that’s a bonafide toughie. It’s a tie. James Joyce’s Ulysses and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I have an original first edition, first print copy of the latter that my grandfather gave to me when I was sixteen.
Alok Joddha Hernandez:
My favorite novel is by far The Brothers Karamazov, by the mad Russian himself, Dostoevsky. I also love Moby Dick and The Sound and the Fury. In terms of books that guide me in a more spiritual sense, I would have to say almost anything written by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, whose basic teachings were that we exist both to liberate ourselves and to help empower others so that they can do the same. I try to take those ideas to heart every time I sit down to write.
The book I open most often and constantly return to is my old beat up high school art history book: Art History by Marilyn Stokstad. I know that answer seems geeky, but I am always looking back to what the brilliant minds before me have done and trying to learn from their techniques.
If they made Wayne’s World into a book that would be my bible, but until then I’d have to list these three:
The Drama of a Gifted Child by Alice Miller. I don’t necessarily live by it, but it has helped me understand myself, my habits, other people, and their habits a bit more. The second book would be Proverbs by King Solomon. I really enjoyed it growing up. I’ve always been drawn to wisdom. I admired how King Solomon pursued his hearts desires and came out the other side. It also has some beautiful parables, quotes, and life lessons. The last book is, of course, The Law of Attraction (as I want to attract either Kelly Brook, or Jennifer Esposito right now). I’ll put the book to work as soon as I can decide who I like more.
What a toughie! Two of my favorite books have castle-based titles: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson. Wonderful, loveable teenage girls narrate both, and both are infinitely re-readable. They are great books to get lost in on a rainy day.
Jaime Ryan Heintz:
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami changed everything. It was the first time I read something and thought an author was writing something for me (completely vain, I know, but I really can’t describe it any other way). It really gave me permission to follow my instincts, creatively. I’ve always been intrigued by the intersection of dreams and reality and that novel could not have come to me at a better time.
THE HOLY BIBLE. No, I’m kidding. I’d have to say Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. It’s an incredible story about a couple living in a Connecticut suburb in the mid 1950′s who yearn for a life outside of the conformity of the era but struggle to break out and in the process everything around them crumbles. It’s heart-wrenchingly sad, darkly funny and beautiful piece of literature. It made me never want to get married or squeeze out puppies, but it’s still my favorite book to date.
Favorite Books: Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Women by Charles Bukowski, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and the book that kept me in New York when I wanted to leave–because this place can be colder than a witch’s teet in a brass bra–was Here is New York by E.B. White.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy is pure perfection and Mrs. Bennett is obnoxious lunacy. I try to live my life emulating the former and avoiding all tendencies of the latter!
A book that I always go back to is Post Office by Charles Bukowski. I’ve also ardently read The Last Night of the Earth Poems. I am an avid reader of Bret Easton Ellis’ work as well. In French literature, Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant is hands-down my favorite novel. Otherwise, I read Georges Dandelot’s books, which relate to score-reading. Finally, I am reading the Set Lighting Technician’s Handbook by Harry C. Box.
I don’t think I have found that book yet. I like the writing of Paul Auster and how he deals with the theme of chance. I also like the writing of David Gilmour, who I used to follow as a film critic on television. The David Lynch book Catching The Big Fish was very inspiring to me. I read it in a few hours. I was absorbed and felt a real connection with it.
Both the Dictionary and Thesaurus! But for pretty pictures and endless inspiration, Ernst Haeckel’s Forms of Nature. While I’m gazing at his drawings, everything makes sense; intricate order applied to the chaos of all living things. Haeckel had some truly disturbing ideas on natural selection, but his drawings are sublime. Funny, it was William Blake who said “Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death,” which is rather ironic in Haeckel’s case.
I really love Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. The powers-that-be back in the 50s couldn’t see past the vulgarity of it, and missed the true human heart and soul that Miller wrote of again and again in this book. I’m about to re-read it, to see how my perspective has changed since the last time I read it. Sometimes I think that it’s important to do that, if only to find out how much you have, indeed, changed. Even if the words on the page haven’t.
…the most recent book that left an impression on me was The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I gleaned some nuggets, but when I am feeling that void and in need of inspiration, a book on quantum physics (that I can only half understand) is always on my nightstand. It makes me contemplate the macro and the micro, like string theory, and it is filled with possibilities. It gives me great hope and calms me when I am feeling futile.
Scott Michael Brandos:
The Giving Tree…even though the boy is kind of a greedy jerk and the tree is kind of spineless, you get a good moral. Moral–don’t be a total bastard to anyone, and stand up for yourself.
Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. So simple but what a beautiful story. To give and give of oneself for the completely unselfish betterment of another. Such a beautiful and rare thing. I would like to live that way more often.
Off the top of my head: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest; Dave Hickey, Air Guitar; Hollis Frampton, Circles of Confusion; Pam Rehm, The Larger Nature; R.B. Kitaj, First Diasporist Manifesto; William Bronk, The World, the Worldless; George Oppen, Collected Poems.
Compiled and Edited by Jillian Mercado, Tyler Malone, and Meaghan Coffey
Design by Jillian Mercado
Books, Design by Jillian Mercado