Thursday, July 06, 2006

Book meme

I saw this book meme at Beth Spera in Domino and decided it would be fun.

1. A book that made you cry: The Hawk and the Dove by Penelope Wilcock. Kristi recommended this book to me and I read one chapter each night. It was my "dessert" book. At first the story-within-a-story annoyed me, but I got over it quickly and enjoyed the stories of Father Peregrine and the Brothers in the monastery. Each chapter moved me to tears as each Brother's story showed how he learned to be more Christ-like through the daily trials of life.

2. A book that scared you: The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux. I actually could see Steve or my dad doing the same thing!

3. A book that made you laugh: Summer Lightning by P.G. Wodehouse. Anything by Wodehouse makes me laugh, but the Blandings Castle books are my favorites, and of them I like this the best.

4. A book that disgusted you: The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. A trusted friend recommended this to me and I read it to the very end expecting some sort of redemption. I was horribly disappointed.

5. A book you loved in elementary school: The Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. I read all the Narnia books over and over, but I especially loved this one for the cut-away diagram of the ship as illustrated by Pauline Baynes.

6. A book you loved in middle school: King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard. One weekend I was wretchedly ill with a stomach bug and while I languished in bed I read this book and several others - but this one was the best. It's a great adventure!

7. A book you loved in high school: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. I read this while I was supposed to be reading something else in my high school economics class. Luckily for me, the teacher didn't care what we did, as long as we kept our place in the textbook well enough to answer questions when called upon. I remember nothing from that class, but I remember how horrified I was by the atrocities in the meat-packing industry that Sinclair fictionally chronicled.

8. A book you loved in college: The Splendid Century by W.H. Lewis. C.S. Lewis's brother, Warren, did a fantastic job with this book. My father had this on his book shelf and I picked it up one day when I was bored. The court of the Sun King and his France came alive and I didn't stop reading until I finished the book.

9. A book that challenged your identity or faith: The Sovereignty of God by Arthur W. Pink. This book didn't really challenge my faith, but it did put so beautifully into words what the Bible tells about God. I read it about eight years ago, then had my two oldest children read it. Later, when we had a full-term stillborn daughter, we used snippets from that book to explain to several people that we could rejoice in such hard circumstances because we know that God is sovereign, and He is good.

10. A series that you love: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the rest in the series by Alexander McCall Smith. Only one in the bunch (The Full Cupboard of Life) was a bit of a dud, but he rebounded afterwards with the next two!

11. Your favorite horror book: House of Fear by Russell Kirk. I read this over 19 years ago while in labor with my first-born, Tom. It's also the last horror book I read - having children made me dislike horror and like happy. But I'd probably re-read it because it was by Kirk, and I remember thinking that I hoped the baby wouldn't arrive before I finished the book.

12. Your favorite science fiction book: The Zero Stone by Andre Norton. I read this over and over again as a child, then bought it (twice) for my children, who also love it.

13. Your favorite fantasy book: The Princess Bride by William Goldman. This is another one I enjoy re-reading and of which I have several copies.

14. Your favorite mystery book: The Complete Uncle Abner by Melville Davisson Post. Post's book is really a series of short stories, and Uncle Abner is an unusual detective. He solves crimes not so much by the clues left behind, but by his knowledge of man's innate sinfulness and God's holy justice. This description from the story "The Angel of the Lord" about sums Abner up:
"I ought to say a word about my Uncle Abner. He was one of those austere, deeply religious men who were the product of the Reformation. He always carried a Bible in his pocket and he read it where he pleased. Once the crowd at Roy's Tavern tried to make sport of him when he got his book out by the fire; but they never tried it again. When the fight was over Abner paid Roy eighteen silver dollars for the broken chairs and the table - and he was the only man in the tavern who could ride a horse. Abner belonged to the church militant, and his God was a war lord."

15. Your favorite biography: The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone, 1932-1940 by William Manchester. Manchester was such a liberal, but he was also very talented as a writer. This book is one I recommend because it's so well-written and the subject is a fascinating character. It was supposed to be volume two in a trilogy, but Manchester died before finishing the third book. I read that Manchester tapped a writer in Miami to finish the book, and that it was to be published in 2006, but I'm still waiting.

16. Your favorite coming-of-age book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I have vicariously enjoyed again it for the first time each time I've handed it to whichever child of mine was about 12 and watched/listened to his or her reactions. Almost as good as reading it for the first time myself.

17. Your favorite book not on this list: Lamb in Love by Carrie Brown. This book took me by surprise. I passed it up several times. Saw it recommended by librarians at our library in Virginia and even checked it out once, but returned it without reading it. Finally I decided I'd read it and it was a delight - a love story between two middle-aged people. The man secretly and anonymously woos the woman, and she has no idea who is pursuing her. At the same time, he openly seeks to befriend her and get to know her and let her get to know him. Good book, good ending, and I'm nowhere near to giving it justice!

And just because I want to, I'm adding these -

18. Your favorite Western: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey. Several years ago we briefly lived in Texas and I went all out reading books about Texas, books by Texans, and westerns. The little library in our tiny Texas town had a good selection of novels by Zane Grey and I read about 5 or 6 before we moved. Riders of the Purple Sage wasn't the best, but it was the first, so I remember it fondly.

19. Your favorite fiction or non-fiction book on the War Between the States: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. (Some day I'd like to immerse myself in more of this literature, but until I can I'm making a list of must-reads.)

20. Your favorite WWI or WWII book: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. Okay, so technically most of the story happens after the war, but the events during the war set the stage beautifully for the rest of the novel. About three years ago I started reading Shute's books and I want to read them all now, yet I want to always have one waiting for me that I haven't read. Not sure how to solve that dilemma....

21. Your favorite exploration/adventurer book: Endurance: An Epic of Polar Adventure by F.A. Worsley. The hardships Shackleton and his men faced were incredible, yet they didn't lose a single man.

If you read this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. But please let me know so I can enjoy your selections!

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Blogger Amber Dawn said...

Laura, I think you are THE moste well-read, and widely-read, person I know. I actually think you have read more than my mom, which I would have thought impossible at one point in time. But I think it's really true! You are an inspiration. I'll have to see if I can even find a book I've read for each of those categories! But I shall try. :)

12:49 AM  
Blogger Marla said...

Wow, you have inspired me to pick up books that I wouldn't normally read. Thanks for sharing! When do YOU have time to read and blog???

6:35 AM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

Alyssa read The Jungle this past year and really enjoyed it. I have it on my to read list.

I first read The Sovereignty of God when I was 17. My PCA pastor recommended it and I remember how awed I was while reading it. It really helped me see how awesome God is.

We have a copy of King Solomon's Mines but have never read it. I'll put it on my read aloud to the boys list.

I'm now really intrigued by Uncle Abner. I just searched used book places on line but it's a little pricey. I'll have to check our library's interlibrary loan system. I always enjoyed G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown series.

It's been years since I read To Kill a Mockingbird. I don't even remember what it's about. Hmmm, it must be time for a reread.

Several years ago I read Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World--The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong to my family. It was more riveting than any work of fiction.

Thanks for listing all those books. I enjoyed reading about them.

7:59 AM  

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