The books on my shelves feel like old friends. I remember what my life was like, the people I cared about and what was happening in the world as I read each one. The associations, once vivid, develop a soft patina as I grow older.
Centennial spent a week with me on a private beach in Florida. Moby Dick and I visited the Taft Art Gallery in Cincinnati to see the Turner display, and I imagined what it might be like to live and swim in all those beautiful blue and green hues. My father was very ill during my time with Papillion, and the Watergate Hearings were underway. To Kill a Mockingbird was with me just before we learned of my mother’s breast cancer. We spent precious time in her garden that summer.
Perhaps more importantly, each book planted some seed deep within me and contributed to who I have become. Each one left me with a greater sense of self-assuredness, a stronger curiosity, a little more compassion.
Today I write—about anything and everything–but mostly about what my editors tell me they can sell. It runs the gamut from arranging china cabinets, so your teapots appear float in mid-air, to how the deregulation of banks contributed to the Great Recession.
I don’t know if you will find anything in the pages of The Yates Factor worthy of contributing to who you become, but I can dream.