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Orion Reading Lists

Amy Irvine’s Reading List

July 02, 2009

Amy Irvine’s list of books that have most influenced both my life, activism, and writing:

The Malady of Death, by Marguerite Duras

Mythologies, by Roland Barthes

Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy. The best American fiction ever
written, I think. Its lyricism alone is worth the read.

Women of Wisdom, by Tsultrim Allione. This book offers introductions and translations of the “sacred biographies” of six Tibetan Buddhist women: Namgsa Obum, Machig Lapdron (1055-1145), Jomo Memo (12th c.), Machig Ongjo (12th c.), Drenchen Rema and A-Yu Khadro. I especially like Machig Lapdron’s story—which is one of offering up oneself—of feeding the demons until they pledge to become your allies.

The Only World We’ve Got: A Paul Shepherd Reader, by Paul Shepherd

The Monkey Wrench Gang, by Edward Abbey

Aspects of the Feminine, by C.G. Jung

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, by Henry David Thoreau

The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair

Leap, by Terry Tempest Williams

The Deep Well Tapes: Volumes I-III, by Marc Bregman with Susan Marie Scavo

Loose Woman, poetry by Sandra Cisneros

Blue Desert, by Charles Bowden

Heidi, by Johanna Spyri. The most beloved book of my childhood—which probably explains why I now keep goats.

The Abstract Wild, by Jack Turner

Against the Grain: How Agriculture Hijacked Civilization, by Richard
Manning


Amy Irvine’s Trespass won the 2009 Orion Book Award and the Colorado Book Award for creative nonfiction. She lives in Norwood, Colorado.

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