I’m taking a different approach to this topic by describing the two very pivotal books in my life. The first one introduced poetry to me and the second one rocketed me into adult reading.
My introduction to poetry began with the book Piper, Pipe that Song Again: Poems for Boys and Girls published by Random House in 1965. This collection of children’s poems included poets Margaret Wise Brown, Lewis Carroll, Carl Sandburg, Robert Louis Stevenson, Langston Hughes, and A.A. Milne among others. It whet my appetite for more and I’ve never looked back. My collection of poetry books grows every year, just recently adding a new book by William Trowbridge called Vanishing Point and one by Mary Oliver entitled Blue Horses.
When I was young and a beginning reader, Nancy Drew mysteries lined my bookcase. One afternoon while searching the basement for something else to read, I came across my father’s collection of James Michener novels. Most of them were hardback and rather heavy, and I was nine or ten at the time. So I settled on the only paperback I could find entitled The Drifters. What an adventure that was! I’d often wished that I could travel around Europe with four young people, exploring historic areas and having all kinds of adventures. From there, I probably read almost everything Michener has written, with Chesapeake Bay and Alaska among my personal favorites.
I can’t really say that I have a favorite author or single favorite book, but these two are the most pivotal for me, my personal literary crossroads.