Book Meme.

I saw the book meme at Maria’s blog (a great blog, fantastic writer) Just Eat Your Cupcake. I said I would play, after all the foundation of my house is going to collapse under the weight of books which are everywhere. Remodeling at my house = getting more bookcases. If a book is not on a surface in the house, some music is…or a dog.

1. Name one book that changed your life.

Henry David Thoreau “Walden” I was at college for the summer taking a class I needed to enroll in the design program in the fall. I didn’t know many people on campus as my friends had all gone home. I spent a great deal of time alone, reading Thoreau…being taken with the quality of the writing, the isolation, the ideas and rugged individualism inspired by the text. Also the sense of simplicity and what matters in our lives. I have always wanted to live in the middle of nowhere – or go on a sabbatical in that manner. House on the pond, cabin in the wood etc.

2. One book you have read more than once.

I have read all of Mary Oliver’s and Galway Kinnell’s books of poetry more than once. Also love e.e. cummings.

3. One book you would want on a desert island.

Eergh one book — I would take Mary Oliver’s “Collected Poems” or perhaps an anthology of collected contemporary poetry.

4. Two books that made you laugh.

Well Maria mentioned David Sedaris who I adore. I’ll state that Augusten Burroughs is also terribly funny and I enjoy his writing. Currently I am reading “A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers – it’s very, very funny.

5. One book that made you cry.

Dan Chaon “You Remind Me of Me”.

From Publishers Weekly on “You Remind Me Of Me”
Three lives viewed through a kaleidoscope of memories and secret pain assume a kind of mythical dimension in Chaon’s piercingly poignant tale of fate, chance and search for redemption. As he demonstrated in his short story collection Among the Missing, Chaon has a sensitive radar for the daily routines of people striving to escape the margins of poverty and establish meaningful lives. Here, a woman’s unsuccessful effort to rise above the pain of giving away an illegitimate baby, and to fight against mental illness and offer love to a second child, blights all their lives. Living with his harsh and bitter mother, Norma, and his kindly grandfather in Little Bow, S.Dak., young Jonah Doyle is permanently scarred after the family’s Doberman attacks and maims him. The resulting livid ridges on his face are the outward manifestations of a deeper wound that will always haunt him. After his mother’s suicide, Jonah sets out to find the older brother he has never met, and in the process, brings them both to the verge of tragedy. Jonah’s older sibling is Troy Timmens, a well-meaning bartender and sometime drug dealer in St. Bonaventure, Nebr., who is devoted to his six-year-old son, Loomis. The boy will play a pivotal part in Jonah’s quixotic attempts to win Troy’s love. Chaon structures his plot in alternating flashbacks, and the fragmentary time structure forces the reader to puzzle out the relationships and contributes to rising dramatic tension. Chaon’s clarity of observation, expressed in restrained, nuanced prose, coupled with his compassion for his flawed characters, creates a heart-wrenching story of people searching for connection.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

6. One book you wish you’d written.

“Waltzing The Cat” Pam Houston. I love Pam Houston she’s a marvelous writer. When I read her work I want to go back, be 20 something, free spirited and adventurous. No commitments or attachments. Her books are all about relationships and love. They are full of interesting characters and thoughts. I first read her book “Sight Hound” which is my least favorite but once read – I had to have everything she has written. I also feel this way about Dorothy Allison, Jim Harrison and Joyce Carol Oates (but that is a lot of writing). Phew I need that cabin on the mountainside…

7.. One book you wish had never been written.

Rush Limbaugh “The Way Things Ought To Be”. Really nuf said eh?! I had a client with all of his books all over her home. I wanted to go around and leave post it notes …Buddhist was here, lesbian sat on your toilet! Flaming liberal sat on your lounger – and so on. I didn’t but it was tempting.

8.Two books you are currently reading.

Just two? I probably have twenty going. “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers — an exhaggerated, hysterical memoir and Pulitzer Prize Finalist. David Sedaris said this about it “the force and energy of this book could power a train”. And “Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution” – all stemming from my recent interest in slam poetry. I wanted a copy of Andrea Gibson’s poem “Andrew” so I wrote to her about her work, or a chapbook and she recommended it to me.

9. One book you have been meaning to read.

Joyce Carol Oates, “The Gravediggers Daughter”

I will not tag anyone either BUT if you decide to play let me know and I’ll share the link for all the readers.

I am waiting to be paid to read, I love, love it and often feel like I should have pursued a masters, PhD in literature. Would love to teach at a University level. I did spend a great deal of time in school waffling around, finally graduating with enough credits for a PhD but alas just the B.A. Part of my problem was I had no real support for pursuing any of my interests and parents that pushed the practical. They would not pay for a fine arts or english degree. I was not strong enough to pursue what I wanted — so my college education, final career choice and much of my life really, my sexuality probably (fuck where is the knife to fall on) were a sort of middle ground of passive/aggressive behavior. The burden of the oldest child in the conservative catholic family. And I am bright and the first person on either side of the family to go to college, no one knew what to do with me. But that is the stuff of another post or frankly dozens of them, I certainly don’t have time to delve into all of that now. And I am exhausted having left the house at 11am and returning here at 9:30 pm. Phew. And a beagle bit the cra!@#!! out of my hand in classes tonight – ouch and right after the rottweiler bruises finally cleared up.

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4 Responses to “Book Meme.”

  1. Love ALL your selections and have read most of them.

    I loved Walden when I first read it, too. And then I did a paper on Thoreau and really delved into his life. Discovered that while he was writing so lyrically about simplifying, he was living rent free in Emerson’s cabin on his land. He didn’t need to work or pay rent. After that I read the book like it was from a rich guy on vacation and liked it much less. But, when I re-read it about twenty years later, I realized that I had to put all that aside and center on his thoughts. And then, yeah, it worked for me a little better.

  2. Or a poor guy on vacation.

    Have you read Michael Cunningham – he wrote “The Hours”.

    “Chelsea Beach” is a beautiful book – the author also wrote Atonement (I know you liked that movie).

    Drowning Ruth?
    Housekeeping?
    My Year of Meats?
    Lolly Winston’s books are very good.

    End…I have to go to work now, the hounds from hell beckon me forth. I am probably the most overeducated dog walker on earth.

    Janet – ah it let’s me pipe music into my head all day long and I have given up on certain kinds of ambition.

  3. Grumpy Granny Says:

    Oh, Books! The very word sets me aquiver with lust! I’ve been reading almost as long as I’ve been walking. To those who share the passion, nothing needs to be said. To those who don’t, no amount of words can explain it.

    Loved the meme, and would happily share it!

    Thanks!

    GG

  4. I really liked the sound of the meme and have written about it on my blog. Thanks for the idea, and for giving me more names to add to the ever-growing To Read list.

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