writing worth reading

Excellent writing -- I mean, really excellent writing -- slays me. I live for it. When I find myself in the midst of excellent writing, I stop -- I physically stop reading -- look up, and say it out loud: "Wow. This is good." It's so rare, that feeling. I immediately want to share it.

Here is a short essay by Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin. The essay grabbed me from the first sentence -- "We are built on the wounds and mercies of the past: everywhere we are is everywhere we have been."

Read it for the way it is put together, for the voice that is speaking with such authority, such clarity, such power and assurance, and even... such tenderness. It doesn't matter your politics. What matters is that the written word is alive and well and someone is nurturing it. What a writer!

Which brings me to Ellen Goodman. Her last column for the Boston Globe ran on January 1. Here it is. I loved what she had to say (and how she says it) about baby boomers aging and letting go. It's also worth a read, especially for a fellow baby boomer like me, who is not only facing her own (many) lettings go, but who is writing about the sixties as well.

I want to read excellent writing this year. I'm open to all suggestions: Books, articles, essays, online or in print, it doesn't matter -- I want to steep myself in writing that takes my breath away, surprises me, puts my mind to work and makes me think and change and grow. And laugh. And cry. And....

I know it's out there. Please share it with me this year as you find it; I'll do the same.


  1. I found that essay as it made the rounds earlier this week and it got under my skin in exactly the same way. I kept thinking, "Oh, that's the best line! No, wait, that is!" And I'll probably read his adult book now as a result, which I quite probably wouldn't have done without this essay.

    You can count on me sharing the good writing I find this year; glad you'll be doing the same.

  2. Thanks, Molly -- and that's exactly what I thought -- what a sentence! What a thought! How well said! etc. And I'll read the book now as well. :>


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