5 Things to Read Long Before You Die

by a contributor

from Yve Miller, author of Molting and When I Was a Train Passenger:

  1. Dear Sugar’s column post, “Tiny, Beautiful Things”:
  2. Kevin Wilson’s “No Joke, This is Going to be Painful” – Tin House, Issue #38, 2008:
  3. Chloe Cooper Jones’ “What Can Be Learned,” Black Warrior Review:
  4. Read this: http://www.thesunmagazine.org/archives/2192
  5. Read the ingredients on the back of your oatmeal, your butter substitute, and your snack from the vending machine. Read the label on your shampoo. Imagine that you yourself wrote it, wanting someone to buy a promise of a better life via shinier, stronger hair. Read your own palm. Translate the lines with what you already know but are afraid to say aloud – that your teeth are rotting. That your parents are dying. That you love the person you complain about constantly. That you are afraid of success, not failure. Stop reading between the lines – it only leads to stale unhappiness. Read your friend’s fortune cookie instead of your own. Read Lolita. Read under the covers, and read to experience, don’t read to check things off your list. Read Spoon Fed. Read Alan Ball’s script of American Beauty. Always read the fine print.