Indy Writes Books

A book lover’s anthology
Featuring John Green, Karen Kovacik, Ben H. Winters, Cathy Day, and more!

IndyReadsBooks

The great lesson reading good books teaches us is to acknowledge, celebrate, and learn to live with the fact that each of us lives in our own universe, with our own unique view of planet Earth.  What I see may be invisible to you.  But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.  Reading with an open heart, you might catch a glimpse of it and narrow the gap between us.

-Barbara Shoup, Black Like . . . Me?

Apparently, Indiana has a history of producing writers.  And not just any old writer, but specifically best-selling writers.  If you glance down a list of famous Indiana authors, you’ll see names like James Whitcomb Riley, Meg Cabot, Gene Stratton-Porter, Theodore Dreiser, Lew Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, and John Green.  And those are just the famous ones.  Many a writer toils away producing exquisite work without ever becoming a best-selling author or having her house turned into a museum.  And many of them live right here, in Indianapolis.

I’m embarrassed to admit that as an avid reader and writer who proudly calls Indiana my home and likes to support local endeavors and artists, I couldn’t name even 5 local authors.  I even knew about Indy Writes Books but had avoided purchasing it because 1) I had never read an anthology before and 2) Would it even be any good?  But sometimes my sister knows me better than even I do, and she bought me the book for Christmas.  Indy Writes Books contains the works of nearly 30 writers who are currently residing and writing in Indianapolis, and it is the first book to be published by Indy Reads Books, a delightful local bookstore in downtown Indianapolis whose profits go to an excellent adult literacy program here in Indy.  It became very clear very quickly that the doubts I had about reading the book were silly and unfounded.  Indianapolis has produced a plethora of excellent writers, and Indy Reads Books has done a great service to both them and us by publishing this anthology.

The stories range from Ben H. Winters’ suspenseful Between the Lines to Amy Sorrells’ sweetly sad Finding Eudora to Susan Neville’s thought-provoking The Dead.  Most of the stories revolve around literature, books, or libraries, and the subtitle rings true.  These are stories and poems written by book lovers for book lovers.  In a world where bookworms often feel out of place or can’t discuss their latest musings and author addictions with peers, this book offers solace and understanding.  And for this particular Hoosier who one day hopes to be an author, it offers a lot of encouragement and inspiration.

As 2014 wraps up, it was a perfect way to end my first year with this blog, and it has given me a goal for next year: Read more Indiana authors!  From classics that are centuries old to current authors who are redefining what it means to be an author in this technological age, Indiana is a treasure trove of literature, and as a fellow Hoosier, it’s time for me to get out there and discover it.

So Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read the musings of a tiny, insignificant Indiana writer.  Here’s to many more years of reading and writing.  And I’ll leave you with a favorite poem of mine from Indy Writes Books – Norbert Krapf’s The Secret Society of Book Lovers.

To love a book
is to leave your
public self behind
and enter into
the multiple selves
of another who
gives you the capacity
to see, feel, and touch
the lives of others

and become one
with strangers as
they journey forth
into a territory where
sunshine and shadow
kiss at the crossroads

and come back
to your old self
enlarged in a way
not visible to passersby
who have never left
where they’ve lived

but noticeable to
other lovers who
smile knowingly
when they read
hints of where
you have been
in your latest affair
of head and heart

and nod in silent
approval as they
yearn for the renewal
you have brought back
from that other country
to your known address.

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