Tuesday, May 17, 2005

That Book Meme...

UPDATE: I wrote this entry back on May 17th, before I read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I read all seven DT books over a 12-day period in May, my mania enabled by the Sasquatch, bless him. And I was moved. I cried so many times during the final book that I think I may have dehydrated myself. So, good people, regardless of what I say below, the Dark Tower series is moved to the top of the list of 5 books (or series) that mean a lot to me. If you haven't taken the Gunslinger's journey, you should. Roland and his ka-tet wait for you. And, remember, there are other worlds than these.

Ladies and gentlemen: meet Roland Deschain.
He kills with his heart...

Original post begins below:

I responded to Chaodai putting this on his LiveJournal. I don't do many of these things, but I liked this one, and figured it was a fun way to share some reading ideas with people. So, here goes. Feel free to snarf the meme and use on your blog, or give your own answers in the comments. Lord knows, I'm always looking for a good read...

1) Total number of books owned?
Difficult to say. I have a few hundred, but am constantly trying to cull the herd and donate a pile. Lots of funkadelic fiction and history, plus a gazillion glossy art books from Russia.

2) The last book I bought?
”The Nanny Diaries” – I’m finally reading some popular literature to see what I’ve been missing.

3) The last book I read?
My 'Dam Life: Three Years in Holland by Sean Condon. (I totally dig travel writing, a personal ambition of my own.)

4) Five books that mean a lot to me:

The books that mean the most to me are books that I read and re-read in my childhood and have gladly read again as an adult. All of these are series:

1. The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Science fiction, fantasy, romance, and melodrama… everything that a geeklette teenage girl is looking for. Read the original books, “Dragonflight”, “Dragonquest”, and “The White Dragon” and the Harper Hall trilogy, “Dragonsong”, “Dragonsinger”, and “Dragondrums”. I cannot speak to the books that follow. I lost interest when some of the original characters died. It’s like “old Star Wars” vs. “new Star Wars”. You grow up with The Real Thing – everything else pales in comparison. Would actually like to go to DragonCon and meet Anne McC. (But I’ve only been to one sci-fi convention and caused problems by laughing my ass off at an “alien contact” workshop…)

2. The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. Brilliant British kid lit that harkens back to the richest of English folklore and mythic traditions.

3. The old Darkover books by Marion Zimmer Bradley – the ones before Marion really got heavily into the whole lesbian Amazon warrior thingie. Not my bag.

4. The Wizard of Oz books by L. Frank Baum with the classic illustrations by John R. Neill. Lots of whimsy and adventure, and - if you believe all the hype - political analysis, early feminism, and an interesting picture of America at the time of Baum’s writing. (Personally, I just dug the stories and the cool pictures. I buy illustrations from early editions at a local secondhand bookstore - when I can afford them – as gifts for one of my sisters.)

5. The “Colors” Fairy Books – a series of fairy tale books (The Green Fairy Book, The Red Fairy Book, The Blue Fairy Book, etc.) edited by Andrew Lang, with amazing old illustrations and really wicked stories from all around the world. First published in the late 1800’s, it includes all the classics and many you will never have heard. The books are not candy-coated for the modern child - lots of loss, decapitation and gore.

Just a really good book:
Summer’s coming. If you haven’t read “The Stand” by Stephen King, you really should. It’s the first enormous book I read as a teenager – and the first book to give me a black eye from its sheer weight when it hit me in the face as I fell asleep reading it in bed. Great summer read.

Like I said, summer is coming – time for oooold-school sci-fi, horror, and mystery reading: “Who Fears the Devil?” (the Silver John/John the Balladeer tales) by Manly Wade Wellman, “The Witches of Karres” by James Schmitz, “The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volumes I & II” (if you haven’t read Tom Godwin’s 1954 story “The Cold Equations”, you really, really should), “Night Shift” by Stephen King, and any dusty copy of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine you happen to find on someone’s shelf. (I dream to have a story published there someday…)

5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal:
I don’t know that many people with journals or blogs, but the ones I do are all huge readers. They might actually do this…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can't choose favorite books - my favorites change day to day, just like my moods.