Sunday, February 15, 2009

Book Meme for a Sunday

A quick meme, via the lovely Litlove at Tales From the Reading Room:

The book that’s been on your shelves the longest.

That's a tough one. I have a bunch of books on my shelf that I got when I was in college, and some from my early childhood. Plus there are a whole bunch of books my husband had in college and they are indistinguishable from my college books. I'm not sure what's what any more.

I also have a battered 1942 hardcover copy of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' memoir Cross Creek on my bookshelf that I believe used to sit on my grandmother's bookshelf. I don't know if it is technically the book that's been on my shelf the longest, but it's been on my family's shelf for a long time. And I love the book. It takes place near where my grandmother lived and my mother grew up in Florida, and it is a really great memoir.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time).

There are so many of these that it's difficult to pick. Almost every book I've read reminds me of something specific in my life. But I have a few books on my shelf from my childhood, that represent some of the earliest and best memories I have of reading, and of being immersed in a story: Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie.

A book you acquired in some interesting way.

I wrote about this in a Booking Through Thursday post, but I have a wonderful copy of Jane Eyre that my husband gave me as a gift. It is the 1847 "cheap" edition, in one volume, of Jane Eyre by "Currer Bell", Charlotte Bronte's pen name at the time. It's probably the only truly collectible book I have, and one of the best gifts I've ever gotten.

I wish I could say I'd acquired books through Bookcrossing, but that hasn't happened to me yet!

The book that’s been with you to the most places.

It would probably have to be Pride and Prejudice, as I've schlepped a copy of that most comforting read with me across many a mile.

Your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next.

My current reads are The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich, which I am reading for my book group, and Kate Atkinson's When Will There Be Good News?, which I am reading to keep up with a friend's book group. Not that I need any more incentive to read, but a good friend of mine dropped by a week ago and left a copy of Atkinson's book, and proposed that we swap books from our respective book groups. Since we belong to two different groups, that way we can double our reading pleasure--or so the theory goes.

My last read was The Last Days of Dogtown, by Anita Diamant. It's a historical novel set in a poor area of Cape Ann, Massachusetts in the nineteenth century, and I enjoyed Diamant's descriptions of the hardships of that life.

The book I'll read next is tougher to pin down. There are several titles vying for my attention at the moment. I have three memoirs on my shelf that I've been considering: Istanbul: Memories and the City, by Orhan Pamuk, Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived, by Penelope Lively, and Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali, by Kris Holloway. Oh, and the author Rosy Thornton just sent me her new book Crossed Wires, which I've been looking forward to. Hmmm...any advice?

And feel free to play along with this meme!


litlove said...

I love your answers! That family memoir sounds very special, and I've drooled over your Jane Eyre before. I keep meaning to try a Louise Erdrich novel, so I'm keen to know how you get along with it.

Dorothy W. said...

Fun answers! Louise Erdrich is something I really need to read. I'm familiar with one story of hers, which I teach regularly (The Red Convertible), but I need to read more!

Matt said...

Re: Musing Mondays comment. New York Review of Books is awesome! I still have to implement a plan to read some of the NYRB titles. Also I forgot to mention Guardian UK is another great resource of reviews.

The book that's been me with me to most places would be The Master and Margarita, which I read every year. The book that reminds me a specific time of my life is Giovanni's Room.

Gentle Reader said...

Litlove--I like Louise Erdrich, my favorite of her novels so far being The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. I'll let you know if I like The Plague of Doves!

Dorothy--I'll have to read The Red Convertible. Wish I could take your class!

matt--Ooh, I like The Guardian, too. I'm going to read The Master and Margarita this year, I swear!

Bookfool said...

I've just become a Louise Erdrich fan, after reading one of her YA novels. It was beautifully written.

I just remembered someone tagged me for this meme. Oopsy.

Gentle Reader said...

Bookfool--LOL, well, consider yourself tagged again! I'd love to read Louise Erdrich's YA fiction, too. Do you have a title to recommend?

Jodie said...

A plague of doves sounds fantastic - I really enjoyed 'The Master Butcher's Singing Club' but I hear the author excels when dealing more directly with Indian characters.

Gentle Reader said...

Jodie--I enjoyed The Master Butcher's Singing Club, but I think I liked The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse better. I never put it down to the fact that the Indian characters were better drawn, but there might be something to that...

lin said...


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