by Judy Blume | August 25, 2016

Plume: Judy Blume’s Life of Books

A prolific reader and novelist for kids, teens and adults shares the books that shaped her story.

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Judy Blume, a bike-riding, beach-walking, art-loving Key West resident, has penned 29 books that have sold more than 85 million copies worldwide. While her latest novel, In The Unlikely Event, just came out in paperback, she’s rolled up her sleeves to co-launch a local indie spine-seller, Books & Books at The Studios of Key West. This bookshop carries on the island’s rich literary tradition and is part of the adjacent nonprofit arts center, where creatives can enjoy residencies and long-term studio spaces and the public can view exhibits and performances. Enjoy Blume’s annotated list of books that fed her writer’s soul through the years.

Photography By Jessie Preza

Photography By Jessie Preza

  1. Eligible
    by Curtis Sittenfeld
    “Am head over heels in love with this book. Thanks for hours of pleasure. Will be hand-selling.” (Random House, 2016)
  2. A Heart-breaking Work of Staggering Genius
    by Dave Eggers
    “And it is just that. I laughed through tears. I’ve never forgotten those boys or their story.” (Vintage, 2001)
  3. Them
    by Joyce Carol Oates
    “I could not put down this book. It was unlike anything I’d ever read. When my then-husband came home and found me reading and the children still playing outside, he was not happy. But I was.” (Modern Library, 2000)
  4. The Adventures of Augie March
    by Saul Bellow
    “One of the books I found in the bookshelves flanking the fireplace in our living room. I was 12 and interested in the world of adults and the secrets they kept from children.” (Viking, 2003)
  5. The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth J. Church
    “Finding it hard to put it down.” (Algonquin Books, 2016)
  6. American Pastoral
    by Philip Roth
    “One of my go-to novels for inspiration as a writer. It never fails to amaze me.” (Vintage, 1998)
  7. Martha Quest
    by Doris Lessing
    “This remains my favorite in a series of five novels. I was swept into another world by them; I went from reading one to another to another. My husband, George, introduced me to them.” (Harper Perennial Classics, 2001)

 


Photography by Elena Seibert

Photography by Elena Seibert

What’s the first book Blume fell in love with?

Madeline (by Ludwig Bemelmans), which I found at the Elizabeth, N.J., public library. It’s the first book I bought for my daughter’s library when she was born,” she says.

 

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