Monday, February 20, 2006

a book worm

I have to admit that I didn't walk to get this picture! We can only see this particular view from the top of a hill and in a gap between the hedges. We always stop here when we are on our way out. Every day the view is different. On the island in the middle of the picture is a hotel. Agatha Christie's book 'And Then There Were None' (or '10 Little Indians' in the pre-PC days) was inspired by this island.

The reason I pointed out the island is because I have been inspired by Cate's post about books. This is probably a tag or something but I still started thinking about the books that I have loved and I wanted to make my own list. I wanted to remember some of my old friends. I have a lot of them all cuddled together on a shelf in my room in my parent's house. Over the years I have gotten rid of some of my old things but there are still piles and piles and piles and stacks of books taking up room that my poor parents could probably use. I've mentioned before how much I love books and how much I believe they wait for us, but I think some books take on a life of their own in our lives as well. There are some books that you can read again and again and still feel like you belong to them instead of the other way around.

There have been many times that I have gone into someone's house and wondered where all of the books were. I can't IMAGINE not having books around me. I think I dated one ex-boyfriend for longer than I would have normally because of his mother's library. She had shelves and shelves of books on woman's issues and creativity. I wasn't sure about him, but I knew I loved her!

A major turning point for me came one day when I was brave enough to go into my first women's bookstore. It was all purple and lovely and it had an intoxicating scent. It smelled like new books mixed with incense and candles and something I could never quite put my finger on. I was nervous and shy about being in there so I kind of lurked around a bit. But they had SARK cards in the window. I had seen her 'How to be an Artist' poster on a friend's wall and I knew I needed to see what else she had. I walked out of that bookstore with Sark's 'Living Juicy' that day and my life was forever altered. Writers could write books like that??!??!

So this is my list of books that I have and still do belong to. They have held me in their arms, cast their spells on me, and altered me forever. I will always be grateful.

Favorite Children's Books:

1. One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Seuss.
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. Dragon on Parade by Mary Alice Downie
4. The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Lawrence
5. The Way Christmas Came (I don't know who wrote it - oops!)

Slightly older children's books:

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
3. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery (I always loved Anne, but it was Emily that I really felt like I wanted to read again and again. There's more darkness and magic in the Emily books. I have read and reread all three several times.)
4. Shadow in Hawthorne Bay by Janet Lunn (I talk about it here. I wrote to her when I wrote this post and she was kind enough to write back! Now THAT was cool.)
5. The 'Little House' books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
6. The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkein (it was read to me but I've read it many times since.)
7. Are you there God, it's Me Margaret & anything else by Judy Blume
8. There's a Bat in Bunk Five & other books by Paula Danziger
9. The Tom Austin mysteries by Eric Wilson
10. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and anything else by Beverly Cleary
11. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye
12. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
13. This Can't be Happening at MacDonald Hall & No Coins Please by Gordon Korman
14. The Other Elizabeth (but I can't remember who wrote it.)

Children's Books I love NOW!

1. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
2. The Twits by Roald Dahl
3. Winnie the Pooh by A.A.Milne
4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
5. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
6. Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

I can't list my Grown-Up favorites because this post is already too long. I loved doing this - I'd love to know what your favorites were. I wish you a few moments of your own wrapped up in memories of old friends.

"You are the same today as you will be five years from now except for two things... the people you meet and the books you read." - Charles E. Jones


andrea said...

Thank you for the trip down memory lane. Many of your favourites were mine, too (though I was also totally into the whole horse/pony book thing as well). I look forward to your adult picks! BTW -- what it the island? The view is breathtaking.

megg said...

the island is called 'Burgh Island' and you have to take a huge sea tractor to get to it when the tide is in. If you go there for dinner it's black tie EVERY NIGHT!

Cate said...

Meg! I love your list! I love the quote! And the photograph! And your stories about your love of books through the years! What don't I love? :)

I get so excited when I recognize a book on another person's list as one that I love, too! I can't believe that I forgot Paula Danziger's books. And Beverly Cleary, also. Oh, and another of my favorite authors was (IS) Norma Klein--have you read her?

Thank you for this wonderful post!
P.S. I want to go to that store that sells the SARK stuff. I bet it's incredible!
P.P.S. Can't wait to read your adult list!

Blue Dog said...

megg, what a great list of books. i'm looking forward to making a list of my own. i remember when i was little, books were like magic--i couldn't wait to decipher their meaning. ha! now i'm 31 years old and nothing has changed!

lots of love to you--and thanks for such a great post! dang megg--i'm glad to have met you. i really love reading your blog. :)

Laini Taylor said...

Hey Meg! Gorgeous picture! and love your thoughts on books. I had the same reaction as you about SARK - I didn't think it was my cup of tea at first, but then her books became such a comfort during a particular time in my life and helped me grow and made me see the possibilities of books going outside the framework I'd previously thought books had to fit into. Also, I was CRAZY about the Emily of New Moon books (Anne, too, but especially Emily) as a kid -- I still want to go to Prince Edward Island one day. Have you been?

la vie en rose said...

i loved seeing your list. i'm a book lover too and i always love seeing what books other people love. i think i'm going to try to do something about children's books later in the week because this was just too much fun...and it brought back a lot of memories.

HoBess said...

Thanks for stopping by ... let me know how your calls go! I'm going to get busy on this book list as children's books are especially close to my heart. However, I must finish "Why New Orleans Matters" by Tom Piazza before I can do anything else (even catch up on everyone's blogs) because it must go back to the library for the next person on the list. I just love your Charles Jones quote ... It's headed for the fridge.

Connie and Rob said...

This was a very fun post!

When I was young I read everything by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume. I just loved those books.

My sister just gave me a copy of Anne of Green Gables for my birthday...I haven't ever read it. Looking forward to it.

Take care,

Caroline said...

You have to wear black tie on a tractor!

Frankie said...

Oh I LOVE this post!! You picked some really fantastic books; some of which I need to go read and some of which brought back such wonderful memories of my childhood for me. I love books. I love the way they look and feel and smell. I love what they mean to me, and what you wrote here about how it grows to feel more like they own you, is absolutely fabulous. That's the best I've ever heard it put. Thanks so much for this treasure of a post!