Monday, December 8, 2008

I Love Books

Trish from Nana's Living the Dream challenged me a while back to post 7 interesting/quirky things about myself. I think I will write about my favorite fictional books since I spilled the beans about everything else of interest about myself here previously.

My night table

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (1984) is loosely based on the life of Ms. Burns grandfather, who was a Civil War veteran. If you read this Southern classic, you will feel as though you are right there in turn of 20th century Cold Sassy along with all of the Blakeslee family mourning the death of Granny Blakeslee and feeling the shame of Grandpa's remarriage three weeks later. (true story...on the way home from the Smokies 15 or so years ago ex husband and I were tired and stopped to spend the night in a motel right off the freeway in northern GA. Some vague thought nagged at me all night long. In the morning it came to me. We were in Commerce, the actual town that was the basis of Cold Sassy Tree. I was so excited. We drove all over town,which wasn't very large, so I could see the home of my favorite book close up)

The hall bookcase

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (1948) is set in South Africa and juxtapositions a humble black tribal pastor with a powerful rich white landowner. They are drawn together by a common tragedy. It is a powerful story of love and redemption and while apartheid is not a theme of the book, it does go far to explain the reasons and structures behind the practice. Recently, Robyn of Art Propelled mentioned that her paternal grandmother and the author were first cousins. I wonder how that figures into the six degrees of separation for me?

One of the downstairs bookcases

East Wind, West Wind by Pearl Buck (1930) is the story of a western educated Chinese doctor who is matched with a traditional Chinese woman in an arranged marriage. It's the story of east meet west told from the viewpoint of Kwei-lan, the wife. It is a simple and sweet story that I have loved since I first read it in the 70s or early 80s. I have read most of Ms. Buck's books and have enjoyed all of her tales of the east

Some of my art books and magazines

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg (1996) is the story of a middle aged woman who runs away from husband and home to find herself. The reader sees the progression of her thoughts in the things she records in her diary and in her letters to her husband. (I generally like all of Berg's books
Some more how-to books

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry is hands down the best western ever written in my humble opinion. And McMurtry is a genius at the art of writing dialogue. I loved this novel from start to finish. If you've never read it you owe it to yourself

Just a few of my Little Golden books

Papa's Daughter, Dear Papa, Papa's Wife, and This is My Life by Thyra Ferre Bjorn circa early 60s. These sweet books are a mixture of fact and fiction about a Swedish pastor who comes to America with his family. I found these books one by one at the thrift store. Everytime I chanced upon a new one I was delighted to be able to read more about this little family.

The bookcase in the den

Sorry Trish, I can't make it through all seven. I've got tons to do tonight and so I've got to cut my post short. Sufice it to say, I love books. Almost every room has either a bookcase or a pile of books or magazines in it. I have collected over 350 Little Golden books (bought 3 new ones today) and I still have all of my girlhood collection of mystery books too. I enjoy mystery, spy thrillers (Robert Ludlum was my favorite author in this genre), biography, self-help, chick lit, almost any type of name it, I probably like some of it. I also collect old grammar and high school literature and history text books. Any type of art book calls my name. I am a danger to my checking account if loosed in a bookstore.

Bookcase in my computer room

Reading is my favorite hobby.


  1. i adored lonesome dove when i read it years ago. i think i'll read it again. i'm also adding pull of the moon to my list! this was a fun post. we are kindred spirits when it comes to books.

  2. Hark! Do see an Amos Kennedy print peaking at me in that last photo?

    Cold Sassy Tree is one of my favorites as well! And, reading is always my favorite hobby.

  3. Ooohhh...I want to come stay at your house...

    And I'm SO glad to see I'm not the only person older than 15 with some Stephenie Meyer on her bedside table...

  4. Books! They're everywhere in your house and mine. The books stacked on shelf at the head of my bed are going to have an avalanche in the middle of the night soon if I don't re-stack them.
    I'm getting a lot of response to your Christmas tour idea! What did you have in mind - whatever it is we'll do it. I also volunteered Lavinia's Ice Palace at the North Pole that she doesn't know she has. I can get an invitation out for -perhaps- next Monday if that works for you.

  5. Thank you so much. I loved looking at your books. I, too, am very dangerous in a bookstore. This was fun for several reasons: seeing your books, seeing your house, and finding out what you've enjoyed reading. Please tell me if the Stephanie Meyer books are something I would enjoy. I'm signing off for now. I've got to go read. I've been to Commerce many times. I need to read that book. luv ya, Trish...I'm gearing up for the trip up north to Lavinia's. Maybe that's where she's been for a while. She could be up there getting everything freshened up for us. I'm up for another adventure.

  6. Muse, Lavinia'a Ice Palace it will be...I'll bring the snow shovels...I think we might have to dig her out of her cave...I think she is hibernating!

    Diahn, you saw correctly. I finished Twilight last week. I borrowed the last 3 from a friend. Sadly, I don't think I'll get to start them until after the Holidays.

    Julie, you'll like Pull of the Moon. Try Open Door too.

    Trish, if you think you'd like some vampire romance + some action you should like Meyer. Twilight pulled me in.

    Mod Girl, you do see Amos Kennedy and some Eiffel tower shots taken by a friend of mine. And various little cutie pies.

    Everyone, the problem with making lists of books is that you forget ones you love. Relic and other Agent Pendergast thrillers by Preston and Child are great for when you want some New Orleans Gothic mystery/thriller/really scary reads. Has anyone read any of their novels?

  7. Sounds like a plan. See, I'm thinkin the North Pole is a central point for us to do a Christmas tour of everyone's home - and of course, food and drink and Christmas cookies must be involved. Especially the drink part. We'll have to get Kalianne out of hibernation too - that raspberry cordial...

  8. Hot chocolate, we'll need a lot of that. Hmmmm, remind me to find my mittens and toboggan. It sounds like it's going to be cold! I'll crank up the Christmas music!

  9. My Steviewren, you sure are an avid reader! Like you I try to read a variety of books by a variety of authors, even classics, though I do have favourite authors. Keeps life interesting I think. - Dave

  10. cry the beloved country, great book. like your choice altogether, i would die witout my books! thanks for your comment, is it your first grandchild? it's ours? yippppeeeeee for us grands!

  11. The CinB invitation is on today's post!

  12. Okay, I want to come over and browse your library! I still have all my Little Golden Books, too. Love, love Pearl Buck.

  13. I'm sure those are all excellent reading material, Stevie. I've not read "Papa's Daughter" or "The Pull of the Moon". The others are indeed superb.

    I have my own home office loaded to the gills with books, especially genealogy related materials. I have so many books now that they're scattered all over the house. I almost need two rooms or a room dedicated to being a Library. Maybe it's time to build a new house? (I think my husband just fainted ... ha ha) ♥ ∞

  14. Stevie, I just went back and looked at your previous 7 things about you. I had forgotten that you used to fall up the stairs, just like me. I always tell Avery, because she has that same clumsy gene going on....I say, "We have other gifts!"

    Let me know if I need to make any special flights to help with the party.

  15. Stevie,
    Scott is an avid reader as well. He's always got a book in his briefcase, a different book by the bed, a different book on tape in the car - I wonder how he doesn't get the characters confused! LOL! I built him a bookcase out of these ugly sauder bookcases he had that were falling apart. There are pictures on my blog today - but if you go back to October (I think) and click on "The bookcase revealed" the journey is there. I think it turned out great - and I really thought an avid book collector and reader like yourself would appreciate them!

  16. A lovely sight...all these books. Everyone is showing their bookshelves this week. I'v just this minute come from ....browsing through Avus's bookshelves and then over to Herhimnbryn at

  17. I love books too! I am very lucky as a branch of the Brooklyn public library is only a few blocks away from my house! I visit it a few times a week and borrow bags of books and magazines and DVDS and CDS. They use to sell used books too, and I bought so many treasures!
    I have stuffed bookcases too, but having a library so close by has helped me to only buy the books I really have to have, otherwise I would probably have less room left in my little house than there is!
    My favorite gift to give or receive is a book, and thankfully my children have inheritied a love for reading so we are a book loving family! :-)


I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."