Friday, October 12, 2007
Rebecca at Rebecca James has tagged me with a Book Meme.
I love books. I am a veritable bookaholic with absolutely no plans to change anytime soon. In many ways, books raised me, for I spent much of my childhood buried in them, learning about people and the world and imagining myself in other cultures.
I wanted to be Pocahontas, Maggie in "Mill on the Floss", and Joan of Arc. I yearned to come of age in Samoa, thanks to Margaret Mead. In my imagination, I was a delicate geisha in training when I wasn't Atalanta or Athena. I was a pirate lass, and Becky in"Tom Sawyer." I was Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen, and Anne Frank of the beautiful soul.
Books furnished me with many lives besides my own small one, and I treasure the chair side travels they provided.
1. How many books do I own?
Dunno. Many. Hundreds of them. I can't count that high.
2. What was the last book read?
"The Penelopiad" by Margaret Atwood. Very short, quite charming. It took only a few hours to read, which is quite a lot of bang for ones buck.
3. What was the last book I bought?
Several. The annual Friends of the San Francisco Library Book Sale was a few weeks ago. Some of the newbies are: "Salt Dancers," Ursula Hegi; "Do the Windows Open?" Julie Hecht; "The Memoirs of Helen of Troy," Amanda Elyot; "The Law of Love," Laura Esquivel; "The God of Animals," Aryn Kyle; "The Strangeness of Beauty," Lydia Minatoya; "The Professor's Daughter," Emily Raboteau; "Voodoo Dreams," Jewell Parker Rhodes; "Deception," Philip Roth; "Tell Me Everything," Sarah Salway; "The Snow Fox," Susan Fromberg Shaeffer; "The Writing on the Wall," Lynne Sharon Schwartz; "Peony in Love," Lisa See; "Gardens in the Dunes," Leslie Marmon Silko; "The Notebook," Nicholas Sparks; "Frangipani," Celestine Vaite; "One Hundred and One Ways," Mako Yoshikawa; "Driving with Dead People," Monica Holloway; "The Joy of Living," Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, "Waiting for Snow in Havana," Carlos Eire; "The End of the World as We Know It," Robert Goolrick; "Little Edens," Barbara Klein Moss; "The Ten Bamboo Studio;" and extra copies of "Their Eyes Were Watching God," Zora Neal Hurston and "Tatterhood," (feminist fairy tales) for gifts.
4. Five meaningful books that I've read:
1. "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. I had never had any interest in cooking, or even eating, as a child, but when I was first married and expected to provide meals, I bought this book and taught myself to cook.
I have been a vegetarian for many years now and am also health conscious enough not to use huge amounts of butter and cream, but learning to cook French recipes gave me confidence that I was a fairly competent adult who could take care of my family.
2. The poetry collections of Paul Engle, no longer in print. He later founded the Iowa Writer's Workshop, which is my idea of Mecca, Due North, and the Holy Grail.
"Verse is not written, it is bled;
Out of the poet's abstract head.
Words drip the poem on the page;
Out of his grief, delight and rage.”
3. "The Pearl" by John Steinbeck. A small masterpiece. I have loved it forever.
4. "The Smile at the Foot of the Ladder" by Henry Miller. Yes, that Henry Miller. "Tropic of Cancer," etc. This is a tiny but gemlike book about an august clown.
5. "Mama Day" by Gloria Naylor. A little old lady with supernatural powers fights the forces of evil on a tiny island off the Georgia coast. Beautiful.
I am supposed to choose others to do this exercise, but I'm not going to tag anyone. If you feel inclined, please do it and let me know so I can read your selections. Thank you.