Friday, September 28, 2007

Beyond FRIDAY: A Bookish Meme

Dear Lisa at Eudaemonia (who tagged me for a fun but thought-filled meme last night. This is an overly long comment in response to her related post):

Okay, smarty-mcsmart-smart, I finally posted my answers but they’re nowhere near as enlightening as yours. I feel like I’ve been in back-to-school mode for fourteen years, since my son turned one and I finally returned to creative writing, which I’d completely abandoned in college. Big regret for me, especially since the graduate writing program at my alma mater, Syracuse, is top-notch, but as an impoverished undergraduate I felt compelled to get a major that would get me a job, so I went the communications route. I’ve been playing catch-up ever since, yet another reason why those darn Lighthouse classes are so terrific. Patry once commented that her blog has served as an MFA program of sorts for her with the community it provides. For me, reading others’ blogs, like yours and Patry’s and Carleen’s and The Writers’ Group, serve as my MFA because of the constant hints and direction you guys provide regarding writing, reading, links to so many other authors’ sites and blogs, and just how to work all this into the everyday to make at least some sort of literary life possible despite so many other demands on one’s time, energy, and other limited resources. Surely all this is proof not only of a desire to write and write well, but of an innate love of the written word. Thank goodness so many writers are social animals more than willing to reach out and receive, to share and exchange. Without you all, I’d be reading in a vacuum as well as writing in one, which would be no fun at all.

(Sorry for the lack of links as I toss around titles but hey, I’m bushed!)

Total number of books: I have no idea. Suffice to say I use shelves in my closet for a library (and so does my eight-year-old. I love that.).

Last book read: I got a sneak peek at Carleen Brice’s upcoming Orange Mint and Honey (at lunch today with her and Lisa at the fantabulous Jerusalem Restaurant near DU) and can’t wait to read it, but I guess that doesn’t officially count. I also read the first few pages of Tobias Wolff’s Old School before listening to him speak at a recent Lighthouse event, but again that wasn’t a complete read (yet). And I’m still reading short stories from the current issue of Glimmer Train Stories, but that’s also not done. So I guess the most recent completed book was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, read for a neighborhood book club and not thoroughly enjoyed because it needed to be edited down a few hundred pages and used some devices that just didn’t work for me. How about the last book I finished and LOVED and can’t wait to read again? That would be The Known World by Edward P. Jones.

Last book bought: Tobias Wolff’s Old School (not a first edition but signed, woohoo! I love that, too)

Five meaningful books: Yikes, this one’s loaded, isn’t it? I’m going to stick with YA (young adult) titles since I’ve read so many on my own and through Junior Great Books and still love these dearly: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Island (and anything else) by Gary Paulsen, The Pigman by Paul Zindel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

Five People to Tag:
Some favorites from Patry’s blog…
Matt from Empathy
Steve from On the Slow Train
Gerry from TwoBlueDay
Tara from Paris Parfait
…and a very (!) funny new friend:
Patti from Welcome to the Patti-O

To all of you, feel free to keep your answers brief! No need to babble on like yours truly, though this has been fun. And I just read how busy some of you are with travels and such. Just let me know if and when you get a chance to list any answers. I’d love to see what you’re reading.

17 Comments:

Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Two more I failed to mentioned that knocked me over when I was young: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Chaim Potok's The Chosen.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Larramie said...

Karen, as I commented to you on my blog, your idea is brilliant. If you post a compilation of all the Book Memes, please let me know.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a great post! I feel the same way -- that my literary education is really "out here" with all of you. Thank you for such a thoughtful response and a great lunch :)

10:10 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Larramie, I'll be sure to let you know how that idea pans out! Right now my list of Books to Read runs about ten pages! Yikes! K.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Lisa, I just worked on a story for two and half hours and finished a draft that now runs 4,300 words! And I'm staying up late to visit blogs; I think you're starting to be a bad influence. :) Seriously, that lunch was great and I can't wait to go back. Hmmm, seems I have an appointment nearby next week around lunch time...! I really did enjoy this meme. Thanks! K.

11:22 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I'll try to get to this the latter part of this week. Thanks for the tag. Your piece is fascinating. I, too have no idea how many books I own - or even where they all are, as they are everywhere - in the closets, in cupboards, in shelves, in stacks, in the cave (wine cellar), in suitcases, in baskets - truly, I'd probably have plenty of room in this small Paris apartment, if not for all the books. But I wouldn't want to live anyplace without all the books!

5:25 AM  
Blogger Therese said...

This meme is terrific--I'm really enjoying reading the various responses.

Like you, I put aside my writing aspirations for a very long time before launching myself into a writing education.

So while I may have a "real" MFA now, I only wish I'd also known what a rich and giving writing community existed online--I've found more community here than I did in my writing program!

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally! A meme I can sink my teeth into!

Also...thanks for your sweet comment. I chuckled imagined our many chatterboxes in one room!

~Deesha

5:12 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Thanks for the tag, I think. I'm afraid I'll be a lot more long-winded than you. I'm going to include recorded lecture series in my definition of books, so I can list Rick Roderick's "Philosophy and Human Values" among the five.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Tara, I love the image of your Paris apartment full of books and all the other treasures you collect!

Therese, Isn't it amazing how the web has created so many virtual "communities" based primarily on common interests? And I'm sure this is just the beginning.

Deesha, This truly is a meme for book lovers, isn't it? For those of you who don't know miss anonymous here, she's a regular (and my favorite) contributor to LiteraryMama. And we both have little chatty girls in our lives. Talk about non-stop fun, LOL!

Steve, That's what I thought ("Thanks for the tag, I think!") but I'm so glad I did this one. Looking forward to reading your post!

Thanks to all of you for stopping by! K.

10:02 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Karen, thanks so much for this honor, I will answer the meme on tomorrow's post! :)

9:55 AM  
Blogger Sherry Smyth said...

I found it hard to choose just 5 books that had significance for me. You've chosen 2 that I would also have included.."A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" which you mentioned in the Meme and "Jane Eyre" which you mentioned here. Two of my very favourite books at two different times in my life.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Great, Matt! Looking forward to seeing what makes great minds like yours tick. :)

Sherry, I couldn't understand why all girls my age didn't want to read Jane Eyre, and by fifth grade when I loved reading Shakespeare while my classmates didn't I began to realize I was just a little different....! So glad I accepted that difference and ran with it!

12:05 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Steve has posted his list, which touches on three of his favorite topics: history, philosophy, and trains. I'm adding this one to my list of Books to Read:

"An Autobiographical Novel, by Kenneth Rexroth. One of the most fascinating things about Elkhart, Indiana is the number of creative people who have lived there. Writer Ambrose Bierce, playwright Charles Gordone (first African American to win the Pulitzer for drama), and architect Marion Mahony Griffin are among many with Elkhart connections. While poet and critic Kenneth Rexroth spent only a few early years in Elkhart, his portrayal of his childhood there is spellbinding. Like many memoirs, it’s not always factually accurate. But his telling of life in 1910-era Elkhart, 1920s Chicago, and San Francisco in the ’30s and ‘40s is simply fascinating."

Thanks, Steve!! K.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

FYI, Matt over at Empathy just posted his list, too. Love it!! K.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous gerry rosser said...

I'm gonna have to go by your list, on account of I didn't find the original from the link you gave.

Thanks for the tag.

7:42 AM  
Blogger Sustenance Scout said...

Fantastic new photos on your blog, Gerry! K.

8:39 AM  

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