A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
This is one of the only books on the list that is more of a “classic” a.k.a. something we would find on a high school or college reading list. But, I chose to write about it because it is one of my favorite books. The reason I love it so much is not so much for its subject matter–important as that is. Instead, my love for this book arises out of my complete regard for Woolf’s style of writing. She covers an academic and political subject not through the use of a cold, factual academic prose, but rather through a blending of the personal and the political. It is this kind of writing that not only is a pleasure for me to read but is also a more true reflection of what I think writing should be: an emulation of our experience as we move between the personal to the public. It is something I strive to emulate in my own writing. Indeed, Woolf’s book was empowering to me as a writer because it showed me that I too could strive to accomplish this melding of the personal and the public, the historical and artistic, the confessional with the expository. I love the way Woolf’s prose seems to meander–in an almost casual, stream of consciousness style, when, really, she is completely measuredly making her point. She simply finds that stream of consciousness or diary-like style to be her best way of conveying that point. And of course, what better way for her to forge new ground in the way people thinking about women’s roles than by forging new ground in her writing style.