Virginia Woolf – A Room of One’s Own
Because Virginia Woolf showed it was possible.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
It’s not just that Semple is funny; she’s clever. This book is a delicious satire of character types, from the queen bee and wannabe mommies at the school gates, to corporate culture and restaurant trends. She forces readers to confront their own values.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth
Lest it seem my choices are mostly tomes on feminist fulfillment, this one is an examination of the alleged socialist, egalitarian utopia of Scandinavia. I admire Booth’s sense of humour, his economy of words, his grasp of history, economics, and culture, which immerse me in the place. What my family mistakenly dismissed as perimenopausal distraction was in fact my mind being seven-thousand kilometres away in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, for weeks at a time. That’s good writing.
Because he exposes human nature, warts and all, with relatable tales so compelling you’re unable to look away. I tell my children that all you need to know about families you learn in King Lear. And I think Macbeth should be compulsory reading for MBA students everywhere.
Because as a lowly undergraduate, I cut my poetic teeth on Bushed and David, and still hold them close to my heart. Birney’s writing comprises part of my Canadian identity – the indifference of nature – and how we should be sufficiently awestruck to protect, respect, and find our rightful place in it.
Martha Warren is a writer and poet. Her subjects have ranged from fairy stories, to cooking, to aspects of law. Her work has appeared in The Canadian League of Poets’ Poetry Pause and Headline Press. She was shortlisted for the Federation of BC Writers Flash Prose Contest in 2018, and awarded Second Place Prize for Poetry by the North Shore Writers’ Association in 2018. A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, Martha was one of the featured poets in the recent photopoetry exhibition, Line & Lens. @m_warren_writer