Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

Nolite te bastardes carburundorum!

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

About a Book (or two...or a hundred...)

I saw this little meme over at Foolery's and decided to borrow it because I am crazy about books - reading has been peaceful, healing, educating, enlightening, and an escape throughout my life. With only a few exceptions, I have read every book on my shelves - the few I haven't read were put there by others, and I'm sure I'll get to them eventually...I don't read, I gobble up words, devour entire series (None of the Harry Potter books took more than a day to read...yes, I'm bragging), lay waste to genres. Mmm...books...

Head on over to Foolery if you want to see her answers, which aren't nearly as long-winded as mine.

1. List three books you've always meant to read, but haven't gotten around to reading.

Oh, dear...there are so many books I haven't read that I've meant to...how do I narrow it to three?? Ah, well, here's three that sprang to mind right off...

Moby Dick - I admit, I've never read it. It always looked really boring to me, and if it doesn't engage my interest right away, it gets shelved.

War and Peace - if only because it's considered such a classic, and it's a monster...and I love reading monster books and having that sense of accomplishment and new sets of biceps, triceps, and pectorals when I've finished.

Travels With Charlie - I've had my copy for decades but never managed to crack it open...and that seems a shame...

2. Share the two books that changed your life.

Again, only two?? There are so many...but I guess I an try to narrow it down to two...

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk - this book has made me cry many times, and I keep reading it again and loving it just as much. I love the idea that one cannot own the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water), the four basic, sacred things that are the building blocks for everything else...and that the fifth sacred thing cannot be contained, owned, chained, or controlled...it will always find its freedom. Stirring stuff for a freedom junkie like me.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. If you read this book and didn't have pause for thought...well...I just don't know what to say. It is a handful, a long, thick, dark chocolate, bittersweet truffle read of a book. My own mum couldn't get past one part for years, always getting hung up in one bit ("A is A"). I read it in two days, put it down, and walked around shell-shocked for another few days before picking it up and reading it again. It is frightening, enervating, frustrating, and deeply satisfying in many ways. I'll likely read it again sometime this year (heh, what better reading material for an election year? Right along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution...)

3. Recommend the one book you've been talking about since the very first day you've read it.

You know, it's not fair to ask an Aquarius to choose only one of something - we so often see the good, the use, the virtues of all of the options presented us, we can't be single-minded. Still...once more, I shall endeavor...

The Rising of the Moon by Flynn Connolly. It's a brilliant bit of fiction, a pastiche of sci-fi, feminism, spirituality versus religion, and the human spirit's desire (and constant struggle) to be free with a smattering of Irish Gaelic for flavor. There are wonderful historical references and some brilliant, rabble-rousing speeches, and some excellent examples of how a community can be stronger that the society around it.

*Edit - I had to add another one. Green Mansions. This is French Silk Pie reading - smooth, rich, and deeply satisfying with bittersweet overtones and a density that sneaks up on you...good stuff...

Meanwhile, if you've ever been in my home you know I have dedicated an entire room to the books I won't part with. There's a shelf load of Dick Francis, a number of Shakespeare's collections, everything ever written by Richard White (which isn't anywhere near enough...Dick?? Hellooo? Get busy!!), and a fair collection of children's books that my child will never get his hands on because they are from my own childhood or signed or just too precious - he has his own copies to love to tatters. I have classic literature, sci-fi, fantasy (The Last Herald Mage Trilogy wrecked me entirely, thanks Mercedes Lackey)(and don't get me started on Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, especially the Harper Hall trilogy), non-fiction, romance (mostly romantic comedy - if you want a good laugh, pick up some Janet Evanovich), and more. SO many books, they're now overflowing onto my poor library floor and into other rooms. I need shelves...lots and lots of shelves. Books on physics, on religion, dictionaries, the PDR, Beatrix Potter, the Trixie Belden books and the Little House on the Prairie books...and on, and on, and on...

So tag! You're it...if you want to be...


chris said...

Moby Dick is boring. War and Peace is a must read. You will not be disappointed.

Of course the old English Bard himself, Shakespeare. Everyone should at least one Shakesperean work before they die.

Kyddryn said...

I have three different collected works of Shakespeare, and I've read each of them several times, and have even read excerpts to the Evil Genius.

I love the leather-bound one the best - it's got gold edged pages and blue, gold-embossed lettering on the front, and looks like it belongs in a fine library and not on my sad, particle board, some-assembly-required shelves.

Some of my favorites are books no longer in print, dusty old relics found in yard sales, on sale tables at grocery stores and school fund-raisers - books like "The Impatient Virgin", "Iron Woman", and "Wife for Sale", that no one else has heard of or read. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who still has them, poor old books.

Thanks for the heads-up on Moby Dick and War and Peace...I am going to ignore the former and look for a copy of the latter tomorrow evening.

foolery said...

I hate to say this, but I hated Atlas Shrugged. Sorry. I think I liked We the Living better, but I really should reread it because I was a newly-minted adult at the time.

Your other picks sound intriguing, though! Maybe not War and Peace, because I am just too easily distracted by shiny things.

Thanks for the link, Kyddryn, by the way. :)