Sunday, January 18, 2009

MEME: The Bookshelf

laura at musings tagged me for the Bookshelf meme, originally created by Eva at A Striped Armchair.

The book that’s been on my shelf the longest:
I've got a lot of books saved from my childhood. This Christmas one of the books I took out of my Christmas boxes was of the nativity story, called When Joy Comes. Inscribed on the inside is "To Elizabeth, Christmas 1971, Love Mommy and Daddy"

It's a very simple story, with old illustrations, but covers the basics. Obviously, the story hasn't changed. My daughter in kindergarten performed the Nativity Story in her Christmas concert this year, she was the sheep with the curly horn, and she was quite fascinated by the Nativity Story.

A book that reminds me of something specific in my life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):

The Stand, by Stephen King. In university, I couldn't allow myself novels as I would stay up all night reading otherwise. During summer vacation of 2nd or 3rd year university, I was reading The Stand. I was a few hundred pages in as I went to bed one night. I kept reading and reading, and turning over to prevent bed sores, and around 6:00 am I heard a parent stirring. I quick turned out my light, embarrassed to have stayed up so late, and lo and behold, the sun had risen enough to keep reading. I finished the book after reading for ten straight hours.

A book I acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.):
I think the first book I got through the book blogging world, The Bone People really opened my eyes to the generous nature of so many people around the world. 3M posted at a yahoo group that she had an extra copy if someone wanted. I felt a bit bold, and waited for the more regular posters to offer for it. After a day or so, I figured it would be okay to ask, and Michelle sent it to me right away. Plus, it was an excellent book. thanks Michelle!

A book that’s been with me to the most places:
I haven't been a lot of places, however, on a trip to the Mediterranean, I carried and read The Voice of the Violin. I loved being able to read about Italy as I travelled through it. This book travelled the farthest with me and introduced me to the wonderful writing of Andrea Camilleri and the irascible Inspector Montalbano. It is representative of my love of mystery series. I've tried to introduce other readers to this great series when I can.

The most recent addition to my shelves:

I just picked up Bel Canto from the library today. This is not a book I had planned to read, but the wonderful ladies who are organizing the Orange January project are so enjoying their Orange books this month, I was feeling left out. They are a great group and they focus on Orange Prize reads, winners and short listed, in January and July. I scanned the lists and the books available easily at the library and decided to pick this one up. Plus, it is set in South America so it may count as a Latin America read...

A bonus book that I want to talk about but doesn’t fit into the other questions:
Instead of talking about Anne of Green Gables, like I usually do, I'll pick another book. I'm reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell right now. I read his Black Swan Green last year and loved it as a coming of age story set in the 1980s, a period I could really identify with. I'm almost halfway through Cloud Atlas, which is a huge turning point, more so than in most books. I'm more impressed with what the whole book is than the individual stories. Some I like better than others, but the way he interconnects the stories and characters is rather astounding. Until I understood that each story leads to the next in unexpected ways, I wasn't enjoying the book. I'm still withholding complete judgment, but it is a very amazing book in several respects.

I'll just pick a few people if you haven't already done this. How about

katrina at katrinareads
nan at lettersfromahillfarm
tinylittlelibrarian at tiny little reading room
chris at bookarama

And the rules for your posts:

  1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
  2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.
  3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.
  4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
  5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.


  1. Wow, that was quick! Great post!

  2. Wow, I'm impressed that you read The Stand that quickly.

    I think I'll have to pick it up sometime. I read Bel Canto a few years ago and really enjoyed it!

    Also, I've been meaning to read Cloud Atlas for YEARS. I've had the book on my shelf for too long, but it's never the right timing!

  3. Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite books, I'm glad you're enjoying it! Like you, I liked some stories more than others, but I really loved how everything fit together. You should read Ghostwritten too, it has some of the same charactares and other aspects fit in with Cloud Atlas too!

  4. Thanks for the tag! Ooo, these are a bit tricky, I'll have to put some thought into them.

  5. I'll have to remember to do this one (I'm getting forgetful). Btw, I just gave you an award. lol!

  6. Those can't put the book down reading experiences are wonderful, aren't they? King has been responsible for a few for me as well (Desperation, The Girl who loved Tom Gordon, The Shining).

    I'm also a huge fan of the Montalbano series, I can't wait until the next is translated.

    I really enoyed Black Swan Green when I read it, so will be interested to hear about Cloud Atlas. I've been meaning to read more by Mitchell, you've reminded me of that so I hope to get to it in '09.

  7. laura - I'm not a big editor, I write it and bam! hit publish.

    michelle - The Stand didn't feel so quickly read.
    I had Cloud Atlas for well over a year and it's 500 pages, so it's hard to pick up knowing it will take a while.

    kailana - eva thinks of the best questions.

    joanna - I do plan to read more David Mitchell. I really loved Black Swan Green last year.

    tinyll - that's why I picked you, I knew you'd put some thought into it.

    chris - thanks for the award, and answer the questions if you get a chance, I know things can get busy.
    Can you believe the mild weather today after last week? Crazy!

    sarah - sounds like we read a lot of the same books. I'm not caught up on Camilerri, which is good because that means I still have a few good books to look forward to.

  8. Cool Meme. I'll have to do this one soon too!

  9. David Mitchell is one of my favourite authors. I have read all of his books, and loved them all (although number9dream is a bit harder going)

    Bel Canto is in my TBR. I've heard great things about it, so will be interested to know what you think.

  10. Loved your meme. One of my earliest books was also a children's bible which is still lurking in my "childhood" books box.

    I have never actually read a Steven King novel simply because I am a big scardy cat which now I am older seems a stupid reason not to read a book and yet I have still failed to put a Stephan King in my book pile.

    I am excited about reading Dewey but it is my TBR after Orange January books. I still have a Sarah Waters to go.

    I thought this meme was lots of fun and really made me think about my books,and their "stories".


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