An exercise in connecting yourself to culture.
I have almost the same history with Bread as you! I still own The Best of Bread record, and indeed it was my first album. I still feel like “AM radio soft rock” is a better description than yacht rock which doesn’t really jive with my formative memories. But it’s definitely the ultimate nostalgia music of my childhood.
Luckily, Demon Copperhead has been selected for my book club so I will be reading it later this year. Interesting history on Adam Johnson! The Orphan Masters Son is an all time book for me.
I completely agree about encouraging creativity within some parameters because I've also seen how students respond to prompts that lead them to their area of expertise. Among the best writings I have seen from high school freshmen came as an introduction to reading "The Odyssey," letting them choose among 76 possible Ulysses-inspired first lines (from master storyteller Odds Bodkin). All begin with "I remember when I was..." and the prompts include: the exhausted fighter, the reluctant one, the one who warns, far from where I knew I should be, trapped and helpless, ill-treated by fate, trapped between two terrors, rowing endlessly, completely on my own, broken in spirit, saved by a miracle, forced to hide my identity, the returning hero. These, and your list of songs from the year you were born, make me want to start writing right now! --Vicky E.
Reading 43 is impressive...I think I've read 32. Some of the early ones don't look that tempting to read. It seems like they often used to give writers the Pulitzer for their lesser books--just look at Faulkner's two wins for his lesser-known titles, kind of the way Oscars seem to be given out for a body of work. Now it seems like they are better at zeroing in on a writer's masterwork. These writers are still working, so we can't say for certain, but it does seem like Kavalier and Clay, Gilead, Nickel Boys/Underground Railroad, and The Known World were awarded for these authors' very best work.
This was such a wonderful conversation.
Yeesh, Alice McDermott. 3 times nominated and never won. Now I feel I owe it to her to read her work.