Friday, June 10, 2005

Books

Picking up a meme from Up the Down Staircase:

Number of books I own: I have no idea. Several hundred, at least. I brought a lot of my childhood books to my old school for the kids to read, keeping only the most important to me for my (hypothetical) future children to read. My college books are mostly in boxes at my parents' house... and I sold back most of the books I got in college, again, I only kept the most important to me. I try to use the library whenever possible, as I'm not a re-reader... lately, I've been buying a lot of used books. And I'll be volunteering at Housing Works this summer, so my shelves are going to fill.

Last book I bought: Accordion Crimes, by Annie Proulx

Last book I read: I'm in the middle of Smilla's Sense of Snow, by Peter Hoeg, and I recently finished The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love, by Oscar Hijuelos.

Five books that are important to me:

1. Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott. This book has gotten me through the most difficult times. It can still make me cry.

2. D'Aulaires Book of Greek Mythology. I knew this book forwards and backwards when I was a kid. In second grade, when we were asked to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up, I did my best to recreate this book's illustration of Aphrodite (yes, I wanted to be the goddess of love... I was seven, fer chrissakes!). Problem was, I couldn't remember (or pronounce) her name, and my teacher (my least favorite teacher) couldn't make head or tail of my drawing. She described my version of the three muses waiting with a chariot pulled by doves as, "a wagon pulled by ducks." Later, I discovered that most of my closest friends were also obsessed with this book as children.

3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, Twelve Pilgrims, all by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. I would say these books marked my transition into grown-up reading. At the end of my senior year in high school, we had to do an independent project, responding to five books. You could choose an author, theme, time period, basically anything that connected the books. I had read a short story by Garcia-Marquez in Spanish class, and I chose to read more of his work in English. It got me seriously hooked on his books, and from there, I discovered others.

4. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. Another book that I have found many of my friends have also loved. It's simply a beautiful book, and a heartbreaking story.

5. There ought to be a book of poetry in here somewhere, but I can't think of one particular book, so instead, another work of fiction: The Hours, by Michael Cunningham. I identified so strongly with so many of the emotions expressed in this book - even though my experience of life is very different.

If you want the meme, it's yours: take it.

*****

On an unrelated note, good news about my injured colleague: he has moved at least a little on both sides of his body, a serious improvement given the probability that he will end up at least partially paralyzed. He opens his eyes and squeezes your hand when you talk to him. I feel like a huge weight is slowly lifting off my shoulders: he has a long way to go, but today brought really good news.

1 Comments:

Blogger bill naka said...

I've stumbled across your blog when I done some college book research in Google. You're doing a pretty nice job
here, keep up the good work! check out college book

6:30 AM  

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