Tag Archives: favorite books

Nose in a Book

I was reading Rugby’s blog who posted the below questions regarding books and reading. She found them via these two blogs: t https://oceanbream.wordpress.com and  https://mythsofthemirror.com.

1.  Do you have a specific place for reading? In bed, in the bathroom or, while driving, Audible books.
2.  Bookmark or random piece of paper? Random piece of paper.
3.  Do you eat or drink whilst reading? If I’m hungry or thirsty, yes.
4.  Music or TV while reading? No.
5.  One book at a time or several? Several.
6.  Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere? At night, at home. During the day, while going from home to elsewhere–an Audible book in my car.
7.  Read out loud or silently? Silently
8.  Do you read ahead or skip pages? Never.
9.  Break the spine or keep it new? Unless borrowed, break it’s back.  Easier to read.
10.  Do you write in books? Sometimes. Rarely.
11.  What books are you reading now? A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman, Don’t Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde, My Life So Far by Jane Fonda and Chicken Soup for the Soul, Dreams and the Unexplainable.
12.  What is your childhood favorite book? Old Mother West Wind Stories. My dad used to love reading them to us and I loved having him do so.  My mother made up her own stories and I loved that, too.
13.  What is your all-time favorite book and why do you love it? Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being because it is enthralling and totally unique. I also love anything by Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice my favorite) or Barbara Kingsolver (Pigs in Heaven my favorite) because they are beautifully descriptive and character-driven. I even did a retablo about Kingsolver’s The Lacuna and gave it to her. Her creations have given me so much pleasure that I wanted to create something to give her pleasure as well. I’d do the same for Austen if she were alive.

 Bite Me!!!

9780393333091_p0_v3_s192x300Someone Knows My Name* by Lawrence Hill was one of those books where bad times just keep coming.  By the end of it, I felt like a chocolate cake sitting on my counter must feel every time I walk into the room.  “Oh no.  I knew she’d be back!”  Then the old knife comes out and–another series of bites. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

The reason I was persistent in reading the book is first of all, because it is a damn good book.  Secondly, Lawrence Hill was coming to town to speak at our writers’ conference along with his wife Miranda Hill, who was one of the workshop presenters.

Unfortunately, my reading of Hill’s book was followed in short order by  another book that dealt with the bloodbath revolution in another African country and two books on the Spanish Inquisition and the Spanish colonization of South America.  In the end, I was unable to finish one of the books on the Spanish cruelties in the new world. Enough was enough.  I have needed a huge dose of biographies** and less brutal books to get me over a rather lengthy depression that reoccurs every time I read the news and realize such acts of man’s inhumanity toward man are ongoing.

In spite of what I say above, I couldn’t recommend Lawrence Hill’s book highly enough.  It is entertaining, historically accurate and opened my eyes to the interconnection of the story of slavery between the U.S., Nova Scotia, England and Africa.  It is well-written with engaging characters and (if you don’t want to read a tiny bit of a spoiler don’t read on) thank God, finally had a bit of a happy ending!

I held my breath for the last few chapters, just waiting for the next bite to be taken out of my heart, but that final bite never came.  After his talk, I told Lawrence Hill how grateful I was that the heroine had finally had a bit of good luck at the end.  I told him I couldn’t have dealt with one more bad thing happening to her and he laughed and said he felt exactly the same way.  He, too, had been waiting for some kind of a release from her suffering and that he, too, could not have stood not to have a happy ending.

* In 2007, The Book of Negroes was released in the U.S.  by W. W. Norton & Company under the title Someone Knows My Name, but they  re-issued a new edition of the novel with the original title in January 2015.

**If you are looking for a funny yet smart biography, I highly recommend Steve Martin’s autobiography Born Standing Up.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “That Stings!.” Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

A Walk in the City

A Walk in the City834afb3f1046776847056c03ba06b88aFor those of you who said you had liked the book “A Walk in the City,” is this the one that you knew and liked? Such charming illustrations, but of all the children’s books in the world, I can’t believe that you, too, remembered this one.  As I recall, the hardcover was bright orange with black lettering. Candace and Soul and Spirit, what say you?  And, does anyone else remember this book? It has to be at least 60 years old.


Night Fantasies and Other Reading Pleasures

Night Fantasies and Other Reading Pleasures

 In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bedtime Stories.” What was your favorite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?

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For his entire life, my dad was the storyteller in the house, but at night time, it was my mom who climbed into bed with me and talked me to sleep.  At first, she would make up the stories, perhaps fitting me into them, or weaving fantastic tales of everyday life that grew as I asked question after question.  (Present day bloggers may notice this same tendency in my comments! Sound familiar, “Relax”?)

One story would end, and of course, I demanded another.  Finally, she found a book of one-page stories to read to me, and when she got to the end of the first page, most nights she could be prevailed upon to read one or two more. To this day, I usually listen to a recorded book from Audible as I fall asleep.  As I’ve noted before, sometimes I wake up in the morning with the book still running and I wonder how it affects my dreams.

What a relief to learn to read in the first grade, so I could experience a new story whenever I wished.  From Dick and Jane to The Little Red Hen, I loved those simple plots that somehow grew so involved in my imagination.

Many of my favorite childhood books were lost in a tornado, but a few years ago, I found a number of others in my older sister’s library.  “A Walk in the City,” several Dr. Seuss books and my favorite of all times, “The Teenie Weenies” now reside on my own bookshelves.

It was in second or third grade that I became addicted to Nancy Drew.  Go HERE for that story.