Friday, July 08, 2005

Meepers tagged me some time ago for the Book Meme:

Total books owned, ever: I have no idea. It's a lot. I have boxes upon boxes of books in my attic, I give boxes of books away every year, and I have them stacked up all over my house and stuffed into every bare spot in my three big bookcases. I'd guess I've gone through enough books to have endowed a library by now. A really big one.

Last book I bought: 1602 (Marvel, Neil Gaiman). Imagine Marvel comic book characters in Queen Elizabeth I's reign. Now add in a dash of dark and inscrutable Neil Gaiman and incredible artwork. And then go read it.

Five books that mean a lot to me:

1. The Watchers at the Pond.
This was the first "adult" book I ever read, and I read it when I was in the second grade. It was a Reader's Digest Condensed book, and Mom gave it to me when I told her I had read everything I had and wanted something new to read. (After that, I plowed through every condensed book we had...we had a lot...and sometimes I'd even hide the new one from her so I could read it FIRST.) Having read it, that gave me the courage to approach the scary looking lady at the library desk to ask if I could look at the adult books -- which were in a different part of the library than the children's books (and seemed prohibited for that reason)...and not only did she turn out to be absolutely lovely, but she took me by the hand and gave me a tour of the nonfiction and fiction sections, and even helped me choose my first ever "adult" selections. Thank you Mom, and thank you Mrs. Dixon...and thank you to the author of Watchers at the Pond, whoever that may be.

2. My Father's Dragon.
I love the luminous pictures. I love the adventure. I love the way seemingly insoluble problems were solved and seemingly endless cruelty rectified by a very young child and a cat. If a child and a cat can do it, so can I.

3. A Dram of Poison.
Actually, this is a novella, and I read it during a very difficult part of my adolescence. It helped me to believe that no matter how bad things were, maybe it was enough to simply be able to sit in the sun. An "Aha!" moment for me -- yes, it's dated, but worth reading.

4. Alice in Wonderland/Pride and Prejudice.
I have read each of these books in excess of 20 times (probably a low estimate). If I were stranded on a desert island and only allowed one book, I would find it very hard to choose between these two. I often feel like Alice -- wandering in a strange and incomprehensible place which is constantly changing (although not particularly scary); I often also feel like Elizabeth Bennet, finding fun in everything, yet often have to examine my prejudices and really look beyond the surface (I get better at this all the time). Besides the wonderful writing, it is probably the identification with the protagonists which really adds to my enjoyment.

5. Les Jeux Sont Faits.
Another "Aha!" moment. I read this in college (in French), years ago. My entire class loved it so much that if the instructor didn't show up for class, we'd hunt him down and make him come in (any other class and we'd have left after the obligatory 10 minute wait). What this book said to me was that sometimes people will just do what they're going to do, mistake or no, and nothing one can do will change that. Basically, we are powerless to change someone else; only they can change themselves. Seems easy now, but it was a revelation then...and it has saved me from much guilt. I have no clue if that's what Sartre wanted his readers to get, but that's what I got.

Wow -- 2 posts in one day. And probably two tomorrow as well. I'm tagging Glod here -- and Anonymous, my backtacker friend...


Glod said...

I suppose tagging me means I have to read this post. Why can't people be concise? Why?
Fine, I'll do it, but I'll have to think about it.

Glod said...

I love Marvel, I think I'll have to add Marvel 1602 to my wishlist, bout time I had some big people comics.

Anonymous said...

You're tagging me?? Well I guess you'll just have to catch me first...find my blog and tag me there. It won't be too hard - start at the bottom of the backtack list (or the top) it won't take long. :)

Jodie said...

It's OK, Glod, you can do the meme without reading mine. Promise!

Rhodester said...

Jodie- how good are you at template changes? I mean, just go to your sidebar section and change "Journal of the Journey" to "The Chronicles of Rhodester", because I changed that blog name a long time ago.

Thanks for even having it listed by the way, that's very nice of you :-)

Meepers said...

Jodie - totally loved 1602. I love how Gaiman is really good at incorporating medieval England into his comic work. The Sandman series did some great stuff with Shakespeare, did you ever see it?

Glod said...

I've thought of two books that mean a lot, so now I'm trying to remember my childhood. Well, the early bits anyway. I can remember the late bits, that's easy: Today I had a huge bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes for breakfast. See?

Jay said...

Woohoo. Gawd I love books.

Keeefer said...

ahhhhh the Nurse has returned!

Glad you are back, i was beginning to think your private zoo collection had turned on you and that we would be reading headlines along the lines of 'Gekkover and out for local Nurse'

Anonymous Midwest Girl said...

Yay, new book suggestions for me to go read! If I don't love them, can I come back and razz you? :)

Jodie said...

Meeps, I loved Sandman, which is why I bought 1602.

Got it fixed, Dave! Yay!

Jay, I love books, too -- can't get enough.

Keeef, the Gecko's been stalking me, so it could STILL happen. Luckily, the dogs are too dumb to figure out that humans are edible (a good thing for my son, who's turned into Couch Potato this summer).

And yes, if you don't like my books, come back and razz me and I'll suggest some more!

kitty said...

hi thanks for stopping by my blog and giving encouragement! i enjoyed reading your blog. will be visiting often. ^_^