Monday, October 10, 2005

Rain, So to the Book Meme

A misty, cold rain is falling this morning. It's a good thing--there are still wells gone dry in the area as a result of the drought conditions of just a few weeks ago, but it makes it hard to walk with glasses on. I wonder about trying contacts again (and then reading glasses strong enough to compensate for them?). Meantime, I was tagged with the Book Meme by Cindy at Woodsong a few days ago:

TOTAL NUMBER OF BOOKS I OWN/OWNED: My books are in three places right now(four if you count the bag of paperbacks in the trunk of my car destined for a used bookstore): the shed at the back of the yard, my brother's ex-wife's basement, and with me. My guess is that the total is up around 1,000. Lifetime total is probably twice that, with all the comings and goings of me and of the books themselves.

FIVE BOOKS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED ME ALOT:
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods: both are examples (each in their own way) of the kind of writing I'd like to be able to do someday.

Hope Ryden, God's Dog, a field naturalist's adventures studying the coyote in Yellowstone (back when the coyote was top dog in the park, before the reintroduction of Canis lupus). This book influenced me both as a cautionary tale--the author's dedication to her study landed her in some very tricky situations: snow so deep she had to more or less swim out; elk herd so vast there was no possibility of swimming out--and simultaneously as an inspiration not to let a little risk keep me from getting out there (in my own small way).

Willard Van Orman Quine, From a Logical Point of View: This collection of essays was my first exposure to Quine, a great twentieth-century philosopher (though I don't always agree with him), and a great stylist--proving it is possible, and desirable to be both at once.

Lafcadio Hearn et al., Japanese Fairy Tales: I've had my copy of this book for more than forty years, and have never relegated it to the shed or someone's basement. I reread and tell these two stories most often: "The Boy Who Drew Cats" and "The Old Woman and Her Dumpling." Why? For the rules to live by. From "The Boy Who Drew Cats": "Avoid large places at night--keep to small." From "The Old Woman and Her Dumpling": Nothing so specific, but something along the lines of "laugh and the world laughs with you."

LAST BOOK I BOUGHT:
Some kind of genre fiction, of the murder and mayhem variety. I've passed it on and can't remember who the author was, or what the title was.

THE LAST BOOK I READ FOR THE FIRST TIME: Oh dear, as above, but borrowed, and not yet returned, so I have the author and title handy: Bartholomew Gill, The Death of an Irish Lass.


Tags: So many memes--I won't tag. But I will say this to encourage others to take this up if you haven't already: I wasn't looking forward to doing this, but when I started thinking about the books that have been important to me I started having fun.

1 comment:

Cindy M. said...

'Gods Dogs', now there's a great book. Enjoyed your post Pamela and I promise not to tag you for awhile- I'm a bit meme'd out myself ;)