"The idea is to take a few books and physically sort them in such a way that the titles make some kind of sense … something that I’ve never quite gotten around to doing and photographing, but which fascinates me.
What title/combinations can you come up with? (Bonus points if you actually assemble the books and photograph them, like in the original post.)"
Booking Through Thursday today poses the question of whether or not we read science fiction and fantasy. I do not read science fiction, but I do love a good fantasy novel was my quick reaction. But then as I started to list out some favorites in my head, I realized that most of them were children's books. Could blame it on occupational hazard as I work in education, but the truth is, I just enjoy reading children's literature. So here are a few (OK, more than a few) of my favorite works of children's fantasy. Maybe your own wee folk might want to give one of these a try this summer?
What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Crossing the divide between reason and faith. Celebrating the love of the book. A mystery to unravel with echoes back to the grand master Holmes. Would relish the opportunity to read it all again for the first time for these reasons pulled from the text:
"How peaceful life would be without love, Adso. How safe, how tranquil... and how dull."
"Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry."
"For what I saw at the abbey then (and will now recount) caused me to think that often inquisitors create heretics. And not only in the sense that they imagine heretics where these do not exist, but also that inquisitors repress the heretical putrefaction so vehemently that many are driven to share in it, in their hatred for the judges. Truly, a circle conceived by the Devil. God preserve us."
"Then we are living in a place abandoned by God," I said, disheartened._ "Have you found any places where God would have felt at home?" William asked me, looking down from his great height."
"Legions of scholars have wondered whether Christ laughed. The question doesn't interest me much. I believe he never laughed, because, omniscient as the son of God had to be, he knew how we Christians would behave. . . ."
"I have never doubted the truth of signs, Adso; they are the only things man has with which to orient himself in the world. What I did not understand is the relation among signs . . . I behaved stubbornly, pursuing a semblance of order, when I should have known well that there is no order in the universe."_ "But in imagining an erroneous order you still found something. . . ."_ "What you say is very fine, Adso, and I thank you. The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless . . . The only truths that are useful are instruments to be thrown away."
"Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth."
"Yesterday, April 15th, was Tax Day here in the U.S., which means lots of lucky people will get refunds of over-paid taxes.
Whether you’re one of them or not, what would you spend an unexpected windfall on? Say … $50? How about $500?
(And, this is a reading meme, so by rights the answer should be book-related, but hey, feel free to go wild and splurge on anything you like.)"
Easy. Signed, first edition of The World According to Garp. Unlike large initial releases of subsequent Irving novels, there were (I think) only 35,000 first editions of Garp. Cost more than a few dollars. My ultimate object of book lust. Long story why. I'll spare you. This image courtesy of Parrish Books where you can pick up this lovely for $900. Ouch.
Hardcover. Both. First editions. Signed by the author. But I make exceptions for all attacks of whimsy. My most valued collectibles are books previously owned by my grandparents. I love the way they always signed their names into the inside front cover with the date and often the occasion. I would not trade these for anything including the collectible I most seriously covet - a first edition, signed of The World According to Garp. One day.
The lovely little chapbook of Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander from Graywolf Press is starting to pop up everywhere. Was getting around to picking one up when my friend, Martin, showed up with one this morning - for me and signed. This surprise made my day for several reasons - I would have picked this up for myself in an instant given the opportunity, it was totally out of the blue, and I love presents. Many do not like to admit this. Instead, people say "Oh, don't get me anything," You don't need to bring anything," "I have everything I need," etc. If we ever get to know each other personally, and you hear me say any of these things, you may feel one hundred percent certain that I AM LYING TO YOU. Bring the gift. I will love your for it.
So I do not collect books for their monetary value but for their personal importance to me. They belonged to people special to me, they reached me at some memorable part of my life, the content was especially meaningful to me, or a really nice friend just showed up with it one ordinary morning. Such a sap.
Since “Inspiration” is (or should be) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?
People have been known to white knuckle it while riding in a car that I am driving. I freely admit to arriving places that I have only faint recall about how I got there. My mind is always all over the place. And so is my reading. I simply arrive at some point or book or another, ready for the experience at hand. What inspires me to pick up a certain book? I could make something up, but truly, I do not have the foggiest most times. Just fly by the seat of my pants wherever the moment takes me. It is like being in the food hall at Harrods. How can one possibly choose? Appetite. Subjective.
On the other hand, I do find beautiful libraries to be inspirational places. Temples of knowledge, of belief. Always a bit awestruck at such assemblies of the written word. Trinity College Library in Dublin above. The Library of Congress reading room here in Washington DC below. Two personal favorites. Do you have a favorite library? Is it a source of inspiration for you?
"But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!
If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.
So, today’s question?
What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?"
My favorite album, without question or hesitation, is Elvis Costello and The Attraction's 1982 Imperial Bedroom. Yes, I know that it is now 27 years old. But I loooooove it! This love affair stems from the whole picture - the lyrics, the music, and the mood evoked by those outstanding (but not for everyone I've been told) vocals. These are the lyrics to my favorite track:
Man Out of Time
So this is where he came to hide
When he ran from you
In a private detective's overcoat
And dirty dead man's shoes
The pretty things of Knightsbridge
Lying for a minister of state
Is a far cry from the nod and wink
Here at traitor's gate
'Cause the high heel he used to be has been ground down
And he listens for the footsteps that would follow him around
To murder my love is a crime
But will you still love
A man out of time
There's a tuppeny hapenny millionaire
Looking for a fourpenny one
With a tight grip on the short hairs
Of the public imagination
But for his private wife and kids somehow
Real life becomes a rumour
Days of dutch courage
Just three French letters and a German sense of humour
He's got a mind like a sewer and a heart like a fridge
He stands to be insulted and he pays for the privilege
The biggest wheels of industry
Retire sharp and short
And the after dinner overtures
Are nothing but an after thought
Somebody's creeping in the kitchen
There's a reputation to be made
Whose nerves are always on a knife's edge
Who's up late polishing the blade
Love is always scarpering or cowering or fawning
You drink yourself insensitive and hate yourself in the morning
Happy New Year, everyone! So … any Reading Resolutions? Say,
specific books you plan to read? A plan to read more ____? Anything at all? Name
me at least ONE thing you’re looking forward to reading this year!
Reading resolutions, if too specific, can be indicators
of failure at year’s end rather than a celebration of all you did read, of all
the unexpected paths you turned down just flying by the seat of your pants. So…my
very general resolutions include reading much more nonfiction (do photography
books count?), and much, much more in translation. I feel as if a whole new
world has opened up for my reading life in researching for the reading
challenge I am hosting, Lost in Translation, and I cannot wait to see where I
land. And the ONE thing I am looking forward to reading? The next book of
course. Just finished Olive Kitteridge, and have my eye on The Elegance of the
Hedgehog at this very moment. Happy New Year everyone!