Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Bookshelf Meme

I am so very excited, friends. I have been tagged with my first meme by C.B. James. Maybe now I am a veteran! Here are the musings for this meme:

1. What is the book that has been on my shelf the longest? I am going to be brutally honest on this one, even though it is a little embarassing. It is "Are You There God, Its Me Margaret" by Judy Blume. I've had this book since I was about twelve...the back cover is ripped off, the pages are yellow with dogears where Margaret and her friends do that famous exercise to make them more endowed. This is the timeless coming-of-age story for girls, that touches on everything from bras, boys, body odor, and making your own independent decisions. I've been hanging onto it to give to my daughter, someday. I just can't introduce her to the "two minutes in the closet" game yet.

2. What is a book that reminds me of something specific in my life? Pillars of the Earth was my first experience in Historical Fiction. I picked the book up in London while I was over there for a couple of months on an assignment for work, about 15 years ago. On the weekends, a colleague of mine and I traveled by train, bus and bicycle through the countryside of England, taking in the rolling hills, little bed and breakfasts, the friendly locals, and of course, the magnificent cathedrals that take away your breath and make you cry. It was surreal to be reading this book, which accounts the building of a cathedral, the development of Gothic architecture, the political power of the priory, the ambitions of the townsfolk involved in the construction, all taking place in the 12th century and interwoven with factual historical events. It was such an experience of immersion, and I will never forget it.

3. What is a book I acquired in an interesting way? This was a tough one. Most of my books have been acquired the normal, purchases, etc. Even buying a book on Ebay really isn't that interesting. After standing and staring at my bookshelf for awhile, I decided it must be "Night Over Water" by Ken Follett. This was a book I purchased for my bibliophile grandfather, in large print. Not long after he received the gift and read it, he passed away, and I got the book back. I put a rose from his funeral in the book and, to this day, still have not read it.

4. What is the book that has been with me the most places? As some of you may or may not know, my husband was born and raised in Poland. We travel there every other summer to see his family. Last year, I decided I needed to re-read all of the Harry Potter books in preparation for the release of the Deathly Hallows, which was coming out the evening we arrived back from our Polish trip. So, much to the dismay of my husband, and the dudes that weigh the luggage at the airport, I brought all six hardcover books with me. The books had a layover in Washington and Munich, spent some time in Wroclaw, went to the Baltic Sea and back home again.

5. What is a bonus book that I just want to talk about? I've given this one quite a bit of thought. Even though I reviewed this book fairly early in establishing this blog, many of you may not have seen it. So at the risk of being obnoxious, I'm going to mention it again. It is "Into That Darkness" by Gitta Sereny. I won't repeat my review, which you can read here, but it is one of those books you can't shake out of your head, in fact it haunts you. It is not lighthearted, and it is not easy to read, but can change the way you look at life. I would recommend it to everyone.
OK, now I think I have to tag a few other people with this meme:
My second tag will be


Brooklyn Bonny said...

How fun! I love reading your questions and answers! So do I answer these questions on my blog and tag three more people?

Sandy Nawrot said...

Yep! I am learning as I go, but I believe those are the rules. It doesn't take much to get me excited!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed you post. I say leave Margaret on the shelf. A high one that your daughter can see but can't reach until she is tall enough for it. It's the sort of book one should find on one's own, maybe read in secret. I had a few like that back in the day.

It's interesting how a book can become valuable as an object the way Follett's book did for you. I have one my mother left full of sticky notes and margin comments that I hang on to but will probably never read.

Melissa said...

Thanks for tagging me! My answers are up here.