i’ve been reading, as of late, about writing and inspiration and life. it’s a non-fiction time of my life, i suppose. for some reason this has compelled me to compile a list of my favorite givers of perspective. in no particular order, other than first-to-memory:

1. anne lamott. she made it first because she’s my current read (Bird by Bird)
2. lauren winner. somehow her memoir Girl Meets God met me at a time in my life when i was quite needy for meeting God. she also jumpstarted my fettish for loving jewish culture & practice.
3. michael pollen. he fuels my love for talking and writing about food almost as much as good friends fuel my love for eating it.
4. donald miller. i loved blue like jazz. i continue to be memorized by a million miles in a thousand years and it’s ability to refocus my life story.
5. rob bell. i think he’s probably a more powerful presenter than writer, but he still communicates perspective and ideas that don’t belong in a velveeta box, and i appreciate that from a pastor – profusely. his book sex god is a must-read for anyone with a heart or a functioning sexual organ.
6. mark steele. i have read his first book flashbang: how i got over myself, repeatedly and still laugh aloud. it’s not just his way of seeing things, but his way of telling the story in a self-deprecating manner that i really appreciate.

well, those are my top. i’m sure some professional would tell me that lists need be an odd number much like elements of a centerpiece, but i’ll go with the “empty chair” approach and leave that 7th spot up for discussion so that i can be convinced otherwise. they say that 7 is a biblical number of “completion” and if my list were complete then i’d stop reading good books. may it never be! so that 7th spot will remain yet another quest in my life to fill. just another way i can invite conflict into my life and so tell a better story (more on that subject in a later post).

i’m also trying to come up with the criteria in which this list was composed. there was nothing standardized, but these authors / books frequently:
1. have been cited on this blog. multiple times.
2. were my offered solution to a friend’s problem (such as, “i was just reading about this the other day….”)
3. were purchased by yours truly (sometimes repeatedly), but none of the copies are currently on my shelves as they’ve been loaned out. because i keep recommending them. see #2.
4. were read more than once or i got it from the library only to purchase it later
5. causes me to exclaim with glee when i hear that s/he has something new out or, if i’m so lucky, when s/he is presenting within a 2 hour drive of my current location, i find a way to make myself a part of that situation.

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