Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book a day (collected)

Did you play along with the #bookaday postings in June, either on Facebook or on Twitter? I did and I thought I'd collect all of mine here for you.

June 1: Favorite book from childhood? The Fabulous Flight by Robert Lawson. This is the greatest book and it is long since out of print but it's so great my sister and I both bought copies off abebooks.com a while ago and we also have my mom's original copy at the cottage. We just wanted to make sure our kids will always have access to it.

June 2: Best bargain? This one is hard! Having worked both for a publisher and at a bookstore, I got a lot of books deeply discounted and I am always on the lookout for inexpensive books. But I think that the best deal was probably the quarter I paid for an old hardcover copy of Beverley Nichol's brilliant Laughter on the Stairs, which introduced me to a wonderful, witty author I'd never heard anyone else ever mention.

June 3: One with a blue cover? Since blue is my favorite color, I am always attracted to books with blue covers and have many, many, many to choose from. So I picked Mark Dunn's Welcome to Higby because the *whole* cover is blue.

June 4: Least favourite book by favourite author? Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. I just can't help it but I don't love Fanny Price and her moral high ground.

June 5: Doesn't belong to me? Will I be stoned for admitting that I don't have any books that don't belong to me here? I rarely borrow books because I don't like feeling an obligation to get through them and get them back to their rightful owner. And as a corollary, I can be a bit squirrelly about lending my books too. It's like sending them off to summer camp but not knowing if/when they'll return. (And no, I don't send my kids to summer camp either, despite the fact that all camps would certainly return them to me on or before a specified date.)

June 6: The one I always give as a gift? Well, I try to tailor my book gifts specifically to the person I'm gifting but if I didn't have a clue, I'd probably get them my most recent raved about books: Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler or The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Then again, I could always fall back on two I have for a while now loved: Silk by Alessandro Barrico or Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye. And for baby gifts, I always pick up both the Newbery and Caldecott winner for the year of the baby's birth (so obviously they vary year to year).

June 7: Forgot I owned it? I have an appalling amount of books and every time I poke around my shelves, I find something I forgot I owned. Sometimes I'm bad enough to have bought them more than once as well.

June 8: Have more than one copy? Normally I return duplicates to the store (the benefits of having everything cataloged and easily accessible but I do have multiple copies of the Harry Potter series because I bought the hardcovers when they were released and I fell in love with the cover art of the more recently released slipcovered paperbacks so I bought them too.

June 9: Film or tv tie-in? I really don't like movie or tv covers on books. I prefer to keep my media separate.

June 10: Reminds me of someone I love? Our torn and battered copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom reminds me of my wonderful reading children who used to request that book over and over again.

June 11: A secondhand bookshop gem? The B Book by Stan and Jan Berenstain was the first book I ever read. My mother got rid of it at some point (and I haven't quite forgiven her for it) but a secondhand bookstore found it for me again when I was in high school. It had long been out of print when I was searching for it but it was reissued at some point so it's fairly easy to find now but it sure wasn't then!

June 12: I pretend to have read it? It's not a contest so I don't pretend to have read anything. I have never managed to finish Paradise Lost (twice) but I always admit that failure.

June 13: Makes me laugh? Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog is hilarious, truly laugh out loud funny.

June 14: An old favorite? I read James Michener's Hawaii one summer when I was 12 and I've had a soft spot for it ever since.

June 15: Favorite fictional father? There really aren't all that many great dads in fiction, are there? Or at least not in the fiction I read, I guess. I think I'll go with the slightly absent minded dad in The Penderwicks because while he isn't a focus of the narrative, he clearly loves his girls and allows them to have the sort of unstructured and wholesome childhood that makes the book and their adventures sing. He's kind, funny, understanding, and supportive. A peach of a dad.

June 16: Can't believe more people haven't read? Safe from the Sea by Peter Geye. I try and push this book on everyone in a tri-state area so surely by now everyone would have read it, right? Wrong! So what are you waiting for? Go read it.

June 17: Future classic? I wish I really could predict this sort of thing but since I can't, I'll say that I think that Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief will stand the test of time.

June 18: Bought on a recommendation? I bought Outlander by Diana Gabaldon after a friend raved about it. I was very reluctant to read a book so clearly marketed as a romance (I was still in my reading snob phase after school) but she really bullied me into it and since I still had a discount at the bookstore, I finally gave in. Those first four books (all that had been released at that point) sucked an entire weekend out of my life because I couldn't put them down.

June 19: Still can't stop talking about it? Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler is my rave book so far this year. I mentioned it at the WNBA National Board Meeting this past weekend and I mentioned it at book club again tonight. I suspect I'll be talking about it for a long time to come too.

June 20: Favorite cover? People who know my peccadillos well know that if a cover has water of any sort on it, I am completely sucked in. I particularly liked the hardcover version of Michael Parker's The Watery Part of the World.

June 21: Summer read? Well, this one depends on whether you tackle a big book in the summer or prefer lighter reads. When I was younger, I read Les Miserables by Victor Hugo one summer and its epic scale was wonderful for the long reading days. For a delightful, lighter, more modern read, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion was charming.

June 22: Out of Print? Salt and Saffron by Kamila Shamsie is kind of out of print. You can get the e-book version but not the physical version (and we all already know how I feel about e-books). It is a magnificent book though and if I didn't have it already and could only get it via e-book, I'd cave.

June 23: Made to read at school? When you go to school forever and focus on literature, there's an awful lot of books you can list for this one so I think I'll pick a much less conventional choice: Louis Chu's Eat a Bowl of Tea, which I read for my Asian American Literature class in college.

June 24: Hooked me in to reading? This would have to be The B Book by Stan and Jan Berenstain, the first book I ever read myself. I still remember the amazing feeling of reading for the first time. Nothing has ever beat it and it's why I still sink into books every chance I get.

June 25: Never finished it? Milton's Paradise Lost. Worse yet, I didn't finish it twice, once in 10th grade and once in grad school. Both times I slammed it shut muttering about how I wished Milton's daughter's hadn't written down their blind father's words and that since I knew the story of the Fall, I didn't have any need to plod onward with this brain numbingly, tiresome piece of horridness. Not that I have firm opinions on it or anything.

June 26: Should have sold more copies? Silk by Alessandro Baricco is amazing and is one that I always try to mention to people in hopes that this slim volume will sell enough to stay in print forever.

June 27: Want to be one of the characters? I don't know that there's any book where I'd happily be any and all of the characters but yes, I am cliché enough to admit I'd love to be Lizzie Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) or Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) if I had my choice of characters within a said book. I'd also like to be Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series which starts with The Eyre Affair, because who wouldn't want to live in a fictional world all the time?!

June 28: Bought at my fave independent bookshop? I bought Great Lakes Nature by Mary Blocksma at Safe Harbor Books in Cedarville, MI, a teeny, tiny bookshop up by our cottage. I try to buy as much as I can there every summer to say thanks for being there.

June 29: The one I have reread most often? If I don't count the books I read and read and read to my kids when they were small, it would have to be Pride and Prejudice, of course.

June 30: Would save if my house burned down? The family bible that dates back to my great great grandparents.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this post Kristen and thought it was a wonderful idea to purchased the Newbery and Caldecott books for the year a baby was born. You also made me move, Safe from the Sea, up on my TBR list.


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