Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bookish Meme

I was tagged by Wholly Burble to do an "8 random things about me" meme. In honor of Day to Read, January 10, 2008, I decided to choose 8 random books/authors that mean something to me, instead:

1. Age 4: The Little Engine That Could. I loved the old-fashioned illustrations from this book and even thought that milk might not be evil after seeing the happy children getting their bottles of milk. I also took the message to heart, and during various times in my life, thought of that little engine. I've been a lifelong fan of underdogs, and I think that started here.

2. Age 9: Harriet the Spy. She wrote everything down in a notebook. (So did I). She lived in New York City. (So did I). She spied on people from dumb waiters (I didn't, but I wished I could). She had social issues at school. (So did I). I loved Harriet for her flaws and her strengths, and I sympathized with her sometimes bizarre family life. And growing up in NYC can, indeed, be weird sometimes. And it was good to remember that writing can get you in trouble.

3. Ages 14 - 17: The Godfather and anything by Judith Krantz or Sidney Sheldon. They taught me about sex. (Or so I thought). Who needs bad info from friends when you can get it from 70s trash authors? 'Nuff said.

4. Age 15 - 18: Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare, D.H. Lawrence, Emile Zola, James Joyce, Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I discovered classics and fell deeply, deeply in love. While junk may have fed my loins, these writers (and others of their ilk) fed my heart and mind and soul.

5. Age 17: On the Road by Jack Kerouac. And, of course, I had to take a road trip myself. Which I did, crossing the country at age 19 to see what there was to see.

6. Age 33: ALL of Jane Austen. I became pregnant. I apparently craved Regency England. I read her books over and over through the pregnancy.

7. Age 33: Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. After giving birth, I took care of C and read this wonderful, tender book. And cried throughout both experiences with the joy and wonder and tragedy of life.

8. Age 37 (?): Discovering the Harry Potter series. J.K. Rowling brought sheer anticipation back to my reading. I was able to gobble up each and every book. And I still wonder whether she'll be seen as ground breaking 200 years from now.

12 comments:

Alex Elliot said...

I loved Harriet the Spy! How cool would it have been to be able to spy from a dumbwaiter?

Flower Child said...

I loved Harriet the Spy too!

And I learned about sex from Judy Blume. Classic.

So where are your other 5 books? Are you doing 8? Am I confused?

Leslie said...

I love The Little Engine That Could. I bought it for Julia over the summer.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I haven't read Harry Potter. I have the entire series sitting in my family room, but have yet to crack a volume open.

Jan said...

I remember The Little Engine That Could but don't remember Harriet the Spy. I have read and own all the Harry Potter books. I think one day they will be considered classics too.....

Jan

anno said...

Great books, every one! Harriet the Spy and anything by Jane Austen are definitely among my all-time favorite. Just seeing their names here makes me sigh.

soccer mom in denial said...

"I became pregnant. I apparently craved Regency England."

I just LOVED that line!!!!!!!!!!

Flower Child said...

let me amend my earlier post by saying that I've recently picked up Anne Lamott and am liking her. And I love Harry Potter - and I especially love discussing it with my nieces.

jennifer said...

Oh- The Godfather... I need to reread that!

Wholly Burble said...

Oh jen, I am SO tickled with how you completed the meme tag LOL--this was just wonderful!

I used to "listen" to the Little Engine that could--and I often thought of and used the phrase "I think I can, I think I can" etc., while I took on life tasks (so I hope that was the same as the book).

I applaud all your choices and their remembrances. And I have to admit (and Jan knows this is true LOL), much to my chagrin, I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. My bad, eh?

Wholly Burble said...

ANYONE: Just to ask this question, why do you think the Potter books will be considered "classic" in years to come? (Please don't throw things at your monitors--just a quick note will suffice LOL;-)

painted maypole said...

great list. i have yet to read a jane austen book. I think one will probably the book I curl up with on the 10th. ;)

Linda said...

My mother briefly taught a college level Children's Lit class (at Eastern Montana College)and one of the books that she and her students agreed should be offered (not required) reading for every child was Harriet the Spy. Because I am a bit of a twit at times, I therefore refused to read it until I was an adult and doubt that I ever told her that I read it. Darn it. It is a really good book--not as meaningful to a Montana farm girl as a New Yorker, perhaps, but still good. My mother also loved Austen so I still haven't read any Austen books nor have I read my mother's all time favorite--Little Women. What have my daughters refused to read because I became effusive over them?