Friday, February 24, 2006

Book meme

OK, just when I was wondering what on earth I had to write about between now and April, I got tagged by Judith with a book meme. The categories at first seem rather repetitive, but not really when you think about them.

Here goes:

1. Name five of your favorite books

Pentimento – Lillian Hellman
Spartina – John Casey
Crossing to Safety – Wallace Stegner
Damage – Josephine Hart
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

2. What was the last book you bought (or brought home from the library)?

Gilead – Marilynne Robinson

3. What was the last book you read?

Old School – Tobias Wolff

4. List five books that have been particularly meaningful to you.

The Path Chet Raymo
I stumbled onto this book while on a web search tangent one day. It turns out that this Boston Globe Science writer moved to my hometown the same year I left it and began walking to work each morning through the woods I grew up in as a child. The path of which he writes and which he makes universal in these pages, is embedded in my bones. I adore this book.

Oxford History of the American People – Samuel Elliot Morrison
In my other life I was an American history teacher, and my Morrison was always within an arm’s reach of my lectern. He had such a gift for breathing life into the past with his prose.

All Aboard – a Golden Book
When I was three, my mother and I traveled by train from Boston to visit my grandmother in Oklahoma City. Each night before the trip, we would read this book together. I have a hard time separating the REAL trip from the one the girl in the book took with her mother. I am proud to say that All Aboard was my first Ebay purchase some 6 years ago. It felt so good to be reunited.

The Garden Primer – Barbara Damrosch
My paperback copy of this book meets the Velveteen Rabbit’s definition of being “real.” It has mold on the pages from where it dried out after I left it on the porch in the rain … it has swollen to the size of a watermelon, and the binding is curled back on itself. But every spring I bring it out find something new to focus my work with vegetables. It is my bible.

Seeing the Crab – Christina Middlebrook
On a more somber note, this book was suggested by a friend, now deceased, who said “If you want to know what it’s like to live with breast cancer, read this book.” I find it very difficult to enter the world of terror that my friends living with cancer live in, but this has helped. I want to be present, but appropriately so. To this I would add a book with stories of healing that I have passed on to many friends …
Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal – Rachel Naomi Remen
It reads in short 3-4 page stories of healing. It is a good read in times of wondering if you can trust your body, and reading the stories helps to focus on the fact that the body has the capacity to heal itself. I thank my friend, Mary Beth, for passing it on to me.

5. Name three books you’ve been dying to read, but haven’t gotten around to

1491 – Charles C. Mann
The Botany of Desire – Michael Pollan
(I started it last week and then lost it while I was traveling … it is a GREAT read)
More Vineyard Voices: Words, Faces and Voices of Island People - Linsey Lee

As for tagging, I shall tag ~ but respect their right to decline

Kerry - Kerry's Garden
Holly - WoollyMutts
Jessica - High School Unscripted


Judith said...

I couldn't wait to get over here to see your list. Everyone I have visited has had their own unique & wonderful book meme. Ah! Pentimento, Spartina, Damage, The Botany of Desire!!! What more can I say--great reads. I love your precious All Aboard memories. I will want to read Seeing the Crab & Kitchen Table Wisdom...thank you for listing them & I'll want to print out these book memes & take them with me when I want something new to read...(PS Forsyte Saga, nice connection.)

Leslie said...

Thanks, Judith. I have been getting book ideas from you ever since I started reading your blog, not to mention great ideas for music to listen to. Nice to be able to return the favor.

Becca said...

Loved your list of books. I also like Rachel Naomi Remen ... and for the rest - I will put them on a list to go out and find!