While I love music, it’s the other things in my life that keep me sane and give me perspective.  One of those things is books.  I love books, the stories, the characters, the imaginary land that it all happens in.  Reading fiction is becoming a lost, what is the point of stories that aren’t even true?  All novels take place in another world, because they are all set in a world described through another’s eyes.  It’s a whole new take on our crazy world, that may or may not be radically different from your own.  I couldn’t grasp what slavery has meant in this country and it’s still enduring legacy until I read Beloved by Toni Morrison.  I realized that sometimes the smallest details are the most important when I read Sherlock Holmes.  I’ve explored different versions of Japanese culture through David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami.  I’m reminded constantly that not everything is as it seems, that there is still magic, and imagination is just as important as it used.

Reading books gives me inspiration to draw from when I play music.  Stories are the brief respite I need to work up the courage to dive off the deep end of being a musician in this day and age.  Novels remind me that art doesn’t care what my day job is, that I’m still a musician, an artist, even if I’m doing some other things at the moment.  Books are another way to get to the place that music takes people, a different way to experience other lives, joys, dreams, pains, and journeys.

What are your favorite books or authors? What have they taught you?

Here’s a short list of my favorite people:

Salman Rushdie

Jane Austen

Mark Twain

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Toni Morrison

J.R.R. Tolkein

Neil Gaiman

David Mitchell

Haruki Murakami

Azar Nafisi

Tamora Pierce

James Joyce

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Orhan Pamuk

J.K. Rowling

George Orwell

Robert Heinlein

Junot Diaz

This list of authors is in no way conclusive, there are hundreds of amazing writers, but these few have stuck with me.  Something they wrote made me think about something a little differently, or said something I needed to hear at that time.  Go discover your own list, finding the things you need through the books you read.