Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts

List #8 – Other than books, what do you read?

~Inspired by a conversation with Michael Martone




FROM Heidi W. Durrowthe author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, The New York Times Bestseller, chosen by Barbara Kingsolver for the winner of the Bellwether Prize.

Other than books, she reads:

Catalogs: Especially the airplane catalog SkyMall–I wonder how many people really do succumb and buy the Big Foot yard sculpture or the new and improved marshmallow blaster. Also, Ikea, Athleta, Fountain Pen Hospital, Title 9, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Lucy’s, Harry’s Shoes.


FROM Dave Malonea poet, playwright, and fiction writer from the Missouri Ozarks. Dave is the author of three poetry volumes. His most recent Twitter poem aired on the “Muses and Metaphor” series from NPR’s Tell Me More.

Other than books, he reads:

Elder Mountain: Journal of Ozark Studies

The West Plains Daily Quill

Labels of description on small batch bourbon bottles

A plethora of online media, email, and social networking stuffs

My grandmother Hollis’s handwritten notes

That multitude of flyers on Jason the barber’s window at his shop on the town square

Over and over the items “To Do” on my yellow legal pad

The ever-evolving Movie Must See List I created that is posted on the wall above my PC

Golf card from last season, with the birdies circled, taped to my fridge

My friends’ and clients’ manuscripts

My lover’s post-it notes that show up in curious places like in the folds of my flannel pajamas

Paddy Creek Wilderness Brochure about once a month

“Shakespeare Is My Homeboy” postcard on my desk because ‘Sblood, it’s true


FROM Dinty W. Moore, the author of numerous books, including The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide for Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfictionand the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize.

Other than books, he reads:

Wine Labels
A hint of honeydew melon, a touch of oak, a fair amount of grape.  Excellent with cheese or Oreos.

Student papers
In his story “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” Flannery O’Connor is arguing in favor of capital punishment.

Slush Piles
I think my essay “A Dribble of Spit” is uniquely suited for the discerning readers of your stellar publication.

Bug Spray
Do not use near children or pets, anywhere food is prepared, or in the vicinity of air circulation vents. In fact, just list the ten spots in your home you would least like to have large black ants covering the floor. Don’t use this product in any of those areas.

Recipes in Food Magazines
If you don’t have access to bitter melon, galangal, or tum leong, consider moving to Brooklyn.

Drug Warnings
Some who have taken Zytonnix report abnormal dreams; anxiety; decreased sexual desire or ability; increased sexual desire or ability; just weird overall sex stuff; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; abnormal dancing; loss of appetite; nausea; hoarding; whoring; watching “Hoarders”; difficulty breeding; tightness in the chest; ear lobe droop; excessive rhyming; unexplained obsession with underwear elastic; swelling of the mouth; aversion to guacamole; hostility; exaggerated feeling of well-being; trouble not urinating; giddiness; or inability to mount a horse. In many cases, the problems began shortly after starting the medication and ended when the medication was stopped. However, some people continued to have symptoms after stopping the medication. Also, in a few cases, the problems began even before taking the medication.


More Lists ….. Primary Sources

What Writers Write ….. How To Be a Writer

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika April 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

Love this concept, and the responses. I too read Sky Mall–I once ripped out pages of the most ridiculous items and sent them (the pages, not the items) to friends as fantasy Christmas presents. Also, I can’t wait to see “aversion to guacamole” as a side effect to my next prescription.


Kris Underwood April 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Good one. I read everything I can get my hands or eyes on. Recipes, magazines, news outlets, ads, poetry. I have to say I read drug warnings as well-it’s always disturbing. Online news, social media, email, stuff from my reader. I read a lot.


Cheryl Wright-Watkins May 8, 2012 at 3:40 pm

This is just what I needed to kick me upstairs to my room to write. Thank you, HM and Michael!


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