Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday Five: Read Any Good Books Lately?

RevHRod at RevGalBlogPals writes:
The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the world's most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.

Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?

1. What book have you read in the past six months that has really stayed with you? Why? I guess that would be The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam, a history of the Korean War that focusses mainly on the first year of the war. I picked it up while researching my father's life, but he was in Korea for the last six months of the war. Nevertheless, I learned a lot from the book and think about its lessons for us today. Just slightly more than six months ago I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver and that has been quite influential in my daily life.

2. What is one of your favorite childhood books? The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I recently got my original copy back from the cousin I'd passed it on to. It was the first of Wilder's books I read, an old edition (even in my childhood which was a while ago!) with the original, pre-Garth Williams illustrations. Something about the hardships and the ways they got around them -- and then the wonderful day when the train got through!

3, Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell! Well, each book has its times and seasons, but all in all, I sure like Genesis. Lots of stories.

4. What is one book you can read again and again? There are more than one, but today I'm going to say Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. I enjoyed the movie that was made from it a few years back, but the book is even better and I find new things to chuckle at each time I read it.

5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why? I used to just pick up a free one that would come as a sample when I worked as a church secretary. Probably this year I'll either read the RevGalBlogPals choice or do Daily Office from Phyllis Tickle's book. However, I would like to recommend Nikos Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ. Although some considered the film made from it blasphemous, it was really the book that brought me back to the fold.

Bonus question: if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent? My wish and goal is to publish a book (I have to write it first, and before that finish researching) on my mother's family, specifically her father's line which starts with a Devonshire fisherman coming to Maine in 1635, and a large part of which has remained in Maine ever since. For the jacket blurb I guess I've got to get Robert Fate, although he might not be that interested in most of the characters, since I've "blurbed" one of his Baby Shark books (mysteries set in 1950s Texas -- very reprehensible and very good).

By the way, about the shelf shown above. At first I thought they meant that the reclaimed wood was somehow made from pulverized books. I can think of a few fundamentalists in every religion who would have some issues with that. (Not to mention bibliofundamentalists who can't stand the thought of destroying, recycling or throwing away a book of any kind, no matter how tattered or outdated!) Then I realized that the description just means that the hollowed out spaces make each book's top level with the others, no matter what the size. However, there would be an easier way to accomplish this, by presenting the books themselves in a uniform edition, and indeed, I own such a set which I got from the Quality Paperback Book Club some years ago. So pish posh again!


Sally said...

That book is would be a fascinating one to write, would it take a lot of research?

Interesting take on that picture...

RevHRod said...

It took me a minute to figure out the picture as well. But I thought it was an interesting premise. I don't agree with it, but interesting. ;-)

Thanks for playing.

RevHRod said...

It took me a minute to figure out the picture as well. But I thought it was an interesting premise. I don't agree with it, but interesting. ;-)

Thanks for playing.

Auntie Knickers said...

I've already done some of the research, including finding out about the ancestor who got in trouble for selling a firkin of butter with a big rock inside it to make it weigh more...but more remains to be done. On the other hand, writing it is actually a bit harder for me than doing the research.

Diane said...

oh, I love all the Ingalls Wilder books, including The Long Winter. As a romantic, I loved Those Happy Golden Year, when Laura gets together with Almanzo.

Onkel Hankie Pants said...

Selling a bucket of butter with a rock inside reminds of the recent case in (Kentucky, West Virginia?). The woman who opened the convenience gas station early Sunday mornings would set the pump price at 1/10 of a cent and invite her relatives over to fill up before the regular customers started arriving. Don't these people even think about getting caught? Do they assume the rest of the world is as stupid as they are?