Books Read in 2007
My Favorite Video Blogs
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Jihad, the Musical
Dick Cheney was Right!
Ordination of Women Priests
Sideshow Bob sings HMS Pinafore
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CURLED UP WITH A GOOD BOOK
5 September 2007
There was a time when I always had my nose in a book. Marta often reminds me of myself when I was younger. No matter where we go, no matter what family event is taking place, sooner or later you'll find Marta off in a corner with her nose in a book. I give her a lot of the books that I finish.
I am very fortunate to come from a long line of readers (and writers). My mother instilled a love of reading in me from an early age. She still reads a lot, and gets books from the Hospice of Marin Thrift Store, where she volunteers once a week.
I did a lot of reading at my mother's during her convalescence and I realized how much I miss reading. When we started Cousins' Days, both Kathy and Peach are big readers and we would usually discuss books. That helped to keep me reading.
A couple of years ago, I started keeping a database of books I read. I had begun to realize that I don't read as much as I should, so each year I've been able to up the number of pages/books read. (As of today, I have already read nearly 2,000 pages more than what I had read by the end of December of last year. Of course I read a lot when I was at my mother's in February!)
Missbhavens recently introduced me to Shelfari, which I suggest that any reader who likes to discuss books check out. It's easy to use, a place to record the books you've read (or books you own), and a place to meet other readers and get some suggestions for new things to read (like that is something I need to do!). I can be very competitive, and I suspect that this site is encouraging me to read more (for example, I just joined the "50 Books" group, which pledges to read at least 50 books a year--it's already September and I've only read slightly more than half that many so far!) I've also started a Flickr album of books I've read in 2007, trying to find interesting ways to photograph a book once I've finished it.
There was a list of discussion topics on Facebook, each of which made me think about what books I would put in each category. How about you?
1 - Last Books on Earth - This kind of ranks up there with what you'd take to a deserted island. I always choose the Bible, not for any religious reason, but because it is a BIG book of lots of stories, and lots of variety. Also the collected works of William Shakespeare (because it would take me a LONG time to get through it), and the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe to give me something easy to read!
2- Books to Read To a Lover - Probably a book of poetry. I'm not heavily into poetry, but I would choose "Sliding Down Rainbows" by Claire Amy Atkins, a favorite of mine.
3- Books to Read on a Train - Well, that would be the kind of thing I always take on planes -- any book by James Patterson, Tess Gerritsen, Robin Cook, or others of that ilk. Anything that is light reading and which I classify as a page-turner.
4- Books that Make You Laugh Out Loud - I don't usually read comedy, but Bill Bryson's books always make me laugh out loud.
5- Books That Scared The Bejeezus Outta You - Hmmm...I don't generally read books that are overtly scary. Some of Patterson's have scared me. Probably the last time I got creeped out by a book was "Pet Sematary"
6- Admit it, You Cried - Oh hell, that's easy. I cry at the drop of a hat. I cry in mysteries, in suspense stories, in travelogues, in any sort of "tender" scene. But the last book that made me cry was one I finished this afternoon: Jon Katz's "A Good Dog: Orson, the Dog Who Changed My Life."
7- Mindbenders - Hmmm...how do you define a mind bender. I would have to choose David Gerrold's "The Man Who Folded Himself," sometimes called "the ultimate time travel book." After I finished it, I told David that it gave me a headache. His response: "Think how I felt writing it!"
8- Tomes I love (aka: worth the shlep) - I always come back to Steinbeck and Pat Conroy. "East of Eden" and "Prince of Tides."
9- Worst Books EVER - That's very easy. I just tried looking it up on Amazon and it's not there, so perhaps it's out of print. We can only hope. It was a romance novel called "The White Rose," which everyone in my office was reading and raving about some 15 years ago. It was the biggest piece of crap ever. Well, until I tried to read the first book in the "Left Behind" series, which I threw across the room in disgust 1/3 of the way through it!
10- Books You Loved as a Teen - Anything having to do with dogs or horses, especially the Black Stallion series and any book by Albert Payson Terhune.
11- BIG Disappointments - "Left Behind," only because my cousin was positively ga-ga over the series and told me to buy the first two because if I finished the first one in the middle of the night, I was going to want to start the second one immediately and not wait until the book stores opened. She was sooo wrong!
12- Bend Down the Corners: Best Sex Scenes - It's been so long since I've read a book with a steamy sex scene that I can't even remember.
13- Books you keep re-reading - "East of Eden." I've read it several times, including the best reading, in conjunction with "Journal of a Novel," Steinbeck's letters written while writing the book.
14- A Story of Your Own - "The Lamplighters, 1976-1986," the sequel to "The Lamplighters: Twenty Five Years of Gilbert & Sullivan in San Francisco." I didn't write the first book, but I wrote most of the second book. You can look me up at the Library of Congress (or on Amazon).
15- What I'm Reading Now - "The Myth of You and Me," the story of the lifelong friendship between two girls, who met at age 14; and Bill Bryson's "Thunderbolt Kid" (I usually read at least two books at the same time, one of which has to be small enough to fit into my purse so I can read in the car and at intermissions of plays.)
16- Books you've really been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to yet - "Here's Johnny," Ed McMahon's biography of Johnny Carson. And about 500 other books. I keep looking at McMahon's book, but I have to be in the right mood for a celebrity biography and haven't been in that mood in awhile. I also have to put "Catcher in the Rye" on that list because I never ever read it.
17- Fave Second Hand Bookstores - Bogey's Books here in Davis is a neat little store. Powell's in Portland is a great used book store. The Tattered Cover in Denver is fun. And I love wandering around the used book stores on Charing Cross Rd. in London.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the
kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough
bookshelves. ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7
PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is entry #2717