The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.
This month: Seattle (and international) rock icon Nancy Wilson, founding member of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Heart, whose latest album is her forthcoming solo debut, “You and Me,” expected May 7 via Carry On Music.
What book are you reading now?
I just barely started a book that was sent to me by a really cool fan [and author] named Dan Flockhart. It’s a book called “Me, A Piece of Wood, and Six Strings: How Guitar and Music Changed a Man’s Life.” How could I not read that? [Laughs]. I’m loving it so far, because I can’t help but love talking about how music and artists, how they craft and mold your life. And this guy’s a really cool writer. It’s all about songs, all about experiences and learning how to play guitar, though he’s got some issues — his physical body doesn’t work very well. So any kind of music he can pull off on guitar is like a major victory for him.
What book have you reread the most times?
What I read over and over is poetry more than anything. Mary Oliver is one of my favorites. David Whyte. I love the Hafiz poetry, from ancient poetry. Especially the one “Cast All Your Votes for Dancing,” that poem in particular, because it’s really good advice, like don’t drag yourself behind a farting camel through the desert for the rest of your life. [Laughs.] Choose better. I always go back to it. I have a book of those kind of poems, if I’m doing yoga or meditating — stretching or breathing at the end of a session — I’ll just open that, give myself … the ultimate sort of loving, caressing moment.
What book would you recommend everyone read and why?
One that really stuck to my ribs was “Little Altars Everywhere,” Rebecca Wells. She also did the “[Divine Secrets of the] Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” But I think “Little Altars Everywhere” is my favorite one of hers. It’s got this beautiful interior dialogue that speaks to me, the detail of being a young girl of color. There’s a chapter or a whole part where they get to go see The Beatles play in their hometown. They get in the car and it’s all this excitement about getting to a Beatles concert, and the radio, and the shower you took that morning of, stuff like that.
— compiled by Michael Rietmulder