Reading and Writing

Reading and writing are passions that have consumed a significant part of my life. First, it was the technical writing associated with two academic careers, laboratory medicine and marine biology. This included appointments at City College, the American Museum of Natural History, University of Mississippi, University of South Alabama, Crater Lake National Park, and the Oregon Institute of Technology. Fieldwork occurred in Texas, South Carolina, Oregon, and Bermuda. In 1999-2000, I received a nine-month Fulbright Fellowship to Russia. After many years of teaching and technical writing, I retired in 2013. Finally, I acquired the time to create what I had always enjoyed reading—fiction. I hope to continue with the joys and frustrations of literary production for the duration, whatever that may be. 

Here are a few of my favorite books

  • Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck. Perhaps not his best or most-noted, but I consider them his most delightful.

  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. This has everything: mystery, puzzle, unforgettable characters, and my favorite setting. His follow-up book, Sourdough, is just as delightful.

  • Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood. I like all of her fiction, but these nine short stories are marvelous, precise, unnerving.

  • On Writing by Stephen King. One of the best books on how to, and how not to, write. He also includes some biographical tidbits, but it is the humor and the down-to-earth advice that sells this. You could do a lot worse.

  • Fantasyland by Kurt Andersen. No, this is not fiction, but it should be. Subtitled How America Went Haywire, a Five-Hundred Year History, this is packed with information they won't give you in most history books. Well-researched and thought provoking.

  • The Boat of a Million Years by Poul Anderson. I could have listed hundreds of favorite in the science fiction genre, one of my first loves, but this one represents the sheer audacity, scope and inventiveness of a great and epic story. Also check out Brian Aldiss, Orson Scott Card, and, of course, Isaac Asimov. Old school, yeah, but still the best.

© 2019 by Lawrence W. Powers. Website Design by Melissa K. Thomas at Luminare Press