About Me, the Book Meme

While I tend to shy away from memes, when I saw this one over at Christy’s blog, A Good Stopping Point, (first started by Stuck in a Book) I couldn’t resist. 

Here are the rules: 

  1. Go to your bookshelf
  2. Close your eyes (or blindfold yourself if you are feeling totally committed)
  3. Select ten books at random. Use more than one bookcase, if you have them, or piles by the bed, or… basically, wherever you keep books.
  4. Use these books to tell us about yourself – where and when you got them, who got them for you, what the book says about you, etc.
  5. Have fun! Be imaginative. Doesn’t matter if you’ve read them or not – be creative. It might not seem easy to start off with, and the links might be a little tenuous, but I think this is a fun way to do this sort of meme.
  6. Feel free to cheat a bit, if you need to…

Since I was unpacking my books today, I decided now would be the perfect opportunity to select my ten. To fairly represent books on my Kindle, I wrote their names down on pieces of paper and selected two from a hat. I also upped the number to twelve since I wanted to select 10 books without cheating, but also realized that no ‘About Me’ book meme would ever be complete without mentioning the book that started my love affair with reading and it definately wouldn’t be complete without my favorite book of all time. Incidentally, I am still not done unpacking my books because my landlord is dragging his feet on cleaning out a storage unit for me. Jerkface.

Here are my ten: 

   

 1. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Kindle pick) – After reading and loving The Return of the Native, I decided to read more Hardy novels. The Kindle store had a six-book compliation of Hardy on sale for $0.99, so I purchased it. I haven’t read any of the books yet, but they are high on my To-Be-Read list.

2. Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs (Kindle pick) – Since Bones is my current favorite TV show, I decided to see how the book and show compare. This book is third in the Temperance Brennan series. It is my least favorite of the three I’ve read.

3. The Elf Queen of Shannara by Terry Brooks – I’m glad this one came up. Not only did The Sword of Shannara begin my obsession with fantasy as a genre, but this is my second favorite in the series (while most consider them a 3-part series followed by a 4-part series, I group them together in one 7-part series). My favorite overall is The Elfstones of Shannara.

4. Atonement by Ian McEwan – Although I read the novel after seeing the movie, I still spent a majority of the book bawling my eyes out. My mom didn’t think there was enough dialogue, but I loved the sweeping descriptions.

   

5. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood – My dad gave me this book to read a long time ago. I was entirely too young at the time (maybe 3rd or 4th grade) and didn’t get past the first few chapters. After reading The Handmaid’s Tale (an anti-recommendation from my friend Chris), I wanted to read more Atwood and remembered this book. It was great, but I think I prefer The Handmaid’s Tale.

6. The Witches by Roald Dahl – I avoided this book for a long time. Mostly because I was forced to watch the movie in summer camp and Angelica Houston scared the living daylights out of me when she turned into the Grand High Witch. I left the room I was so upset. But I read Matilda and decided to try The Witches. Glad I did.

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling – How can you not love Harry Potter? My cousins (twins) are credited for the recommendation. They asked me if I liked the Harry Potter series and I stupidly asked, who’s that?  They both threatened to disown me as a family member for being an idiot. Needless to say that peaked my interest and senior year in highschool,  I read the first novel. My favorite in the series is Prisoner of Azkaban.

8. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot – Growing up I wanted to be an author and an illustrator and a veterinarian. All of them at the same time. So imagine my delight when my mom bought me this for Christmas one year.

   

9. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – One summer my friends and I decided to have a Beer Book Club. We’d take turns picking books for the group to read, and then once a week go to 99 Bottles (in Santa Cruz, CA) for raffle night and discuss the book. My heterosexual life partner, Laurel, chose this book. Irving reminds me a lot of a modern day Hardy. I’ve only read this and Cider House Rules, but I really need to read more of his work.

10. Experimental Organic Chemistry by Daniel R Palleros – Ah, OChem. The blight of many a science major, but I absolutely loved it. The author, Daniel Palleros, was actually my professor. Not only were OChem and OChem lab his favorite classes to teach, but he especially loved to teach it during summer school (when I took the class). And he was a fantastic teacher. The proceeds of selling this book go to directly to Chem and Bio students at UC Santa Cruz. I kept this, and many other text books, because I always thought I would go back to school. Now I think I should sell them, but some went to hell and back with me, so I have a strange sentimentality about a lot of my text books.

And my final two: 

11. Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard – One year all the second graders at my school went on a week-long outdoor education trip. It was spectacularly fun. On the second-to-last day, I fell off my bunk bed and broke my arm. This was right before summer and I was cursed to spend much of the camp in a sling. My grandma sent me a care package that included Big Red. I was a little daunted at first since I had never read a chapter book, but I loved reading and loved! dogs! and I ripped through this book voraciously. I really credit this as the book that made me fall in love with reading, and with Kjelgaard novels. To this day his dog books hold a coveted position on my bookshelf.

 12. Deerskin by Robin McKinley – It took me a very long time to buy this book. I was drawn in by its cover (there’s a dog on it!), but didn’t want to purchase a book based on the cover alone. I was dubious of the back panel description, and although I would immediately make a B-line for this book whenever I entered a bookstore, I never bought it. This went on for months before I finally decided to take a chance and read it.  And really, there are not enough stars or hearts in the world to visually represent how much I love this book. I couldn’t put it down, and as soon as I read the first page, Robin McKinley became my favorite author. I will have to dedicate an entire entry to Deerskin someday. I can’t do it justice in a tiny paragraph alone.

So there you are. Me on a bookshelf. I’m actually surprised by the variety represented here. The majority of my books are fantasy novels, and I expected every other selection to be of the fantasy genre. Also, if it seems like I love all of these books, well that makes sense. Before moving to Seattle, I got rid of a lot of books and only kept my favorites. I’ve read most of them at least twice and plan to read again someday. I also read a lot of books on which tv shows or movies are based. While the book purist in me thinks that is lame, I would never have known some of these books existed if not for Hollywood. So I can’t be too mad about that.

And dear readers, I would love to see You on a Shelf! If you are so inspired and participate, leave me a link!

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2 responses to “About Me, the Book Meme

  1. I love Atonement (book and movie)! I still have yet to read a book by Margaret Atwood which is shaming. I did start Handmaid’s Tale when I was in college, but I really just did not have the time for free-reading then and I didn’t finish it.

    I think I read Big Red as a kid but I don’t remember a thing about it. I read a lot of books about animals when I was young.

    I like your brief story about Harry Potter – that’s pretty funny. :)

    • Yea, I hardly had any time to read for fun in college. I’d try to fit in as many books as I could during the summer, but I think my average was 1-3 books a summer plus Harry Potter (which I don’t count cuz I would ignore all my other duties or stay up until 4am reading to finish them)

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