Ok....so I was reading my cousin Frank's blog the other day and he has a post all about books including - How thick his collection is, those that mean a lot to him etc etc and I have decided (prompted by cousin Frank) to do my own run down.
1. Number of books I own:
This is a tough one. I'm a bit of a hoarder and particularly like having plenty of books around. However, at the moment I haven't. Having recently separated from my husband most of my books remain at 'our' flat. On top of this I have dumped a load of books in my dad's attic until such time as I have something more than a shoebox to live in. So.....are you still there?...I have, here now, in my flat, only about 200 books, but, in total I reckon (including those bought jointly with Richard...what's mine is his, and his mine...or was!) about 600 ish.
2. Last book I Bought:
"Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour" by Kate Fox. I bought this whilst at Waterloo station having just met my brother from Eurostar. I dragged him into WH Smith to buy him a sudoku puzzle book (he contained his excitement) and, from there, he bought "A year in the Merde" which, I gather, is about an Englishman's experiences and observations of living in Paris (as my brother does). This was a great opportunity for Steve to tell me some hilarious tales of misinterpretations and misunderstandings between him and 'The French' (though for some of them I don't think you really needed to be French...I think he was just being a little unclear). Anyway...and I bought this!
3. Last book I read:
"Woody Allen's Complete Prose" - Funny, tiring, hard work, clever, dark and woody allenlike!
4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
a)"Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte".
A rather dark but moving love story....I'm sure I don't need to go on...we all know it! I just love this novel. I love the notion that there really is one person who is your soul mate. Who, without, you become broken hearted and die;
"Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!"
Heathcliff passionatley pleading with Catherine not to leave him after she has died. Altogether now.....
b) "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.
Again...we all know the tale. A morality tale - the best kind! But that's not why I love it. Firstly and simply, I love Christmas and no Christmas is complete without reading this. Secondly and more importantly (in terms of why it means a lot to me) my dad always used to read Dickens to me as a child. I loved Dickens when most kid's were enjoying 'My cat likes to hide in Boxes'. Anyone who knows my dad, knows that he is a rather eccentric but lovable old chap. He exists on that line between genius and insanity (though he rather plays up to the insanity bit). His love of literature and his ability to recall and retell stories he has read/heard over the past 70 years is a hugely endearing quality. He loves Dickens (as I do) because of the fantastic and vivid characterisation and he's not far off being a Dickens character himself. So....because I love Christmas and I love my dad and the happy memories of him it evokes, I include this book!
c)"A Theory of Justice" by John Rawls
I didn't particularly enjoy reading this book but it means a lot to me because it forms the basis of my Masters in Political Philosophy. I'll be honest, I struggled with it, but when I finally grasped it I felt an enourmous sense of achievement and, though I don't agree with all Rawls rambles on about, I found his theory interesting.
d) "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
Just love the way it is written. Excellent opening paragraph:
"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."
Angst ridden teenage years. Thankfully I no longer exist in that time, but I lived it once and I identified with this book...so, it appears here now.
e) "Tony Benn Diaries: Free at Last! 1991-2001"
Introduced to me by my ex-husband this is a most moving, humorous and intersting book. As always (with such political diaries) I am interested more in the human emotion than the stuff of party politics and Tony Benn writes with bucketloads of it. His account of the illness and death of his beloved wife Caroline moved me to tears and his critique of 'New Labour' had me racked with cognitive dissonance. A truly principled man and a great read!
I gather the idea is now to pass the baton on and nominate someone to publish their own book run-down. I nominate Grant, Richard and Dom.
ps: Since not being with Richard (who was mr techno) I have reverted to being a complete techno incompetent. Can't seem to link, so addresses below refer to above blogs:
Frank = www.internetcommentator.typepad.com
Grant = www.hawkesmorenomore.blogspot.com
Thistle = www.thistlebright.blogspot.com
Dom = www.shoethesaviour.blogspot.com
ps: I'm excited by the prospect of doing a 'film' version of this. This may cause upset amongst the intellectually snobbish, but I say, just for the fun of it, let's do it! All in favour, Post!