Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday five: books, books, books

Sally over at the "RevGals" writes:
I've just returned from a meeting in Cambridge so I'm posting this late here in the UK (it is 3:45pm).. because I took the opportunity of a free afternoon in Cambridge's wonderful book shops... I only bought a few- and they were on sale- very restrained for me!!!

So with my head full of books I've seen and a long wish list in my mind, I bring you a Friday Five on books!!!
Diane writes:
I wasn't going to play a "friday five" this week, but I peeked over and was taken by the subject: books. My subject from way back. Here are the questions:
1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????
As an English major, I am a lover of "serious" fiction (i.e. Gilead, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Charming Billy. My favorite "genre" is mysteries. I especially like Nevada Barr, Rita Mae Brown and "Sneaky Pie" (the cat), and the "Peter Decker/Rina Lazareth series" starting with "The Ritual Bath." Oh yes, Tony Hillerman, as well.
2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?
The best way to read a mystery is in one sitting, if you are able, and far into the night, if it's not too scary. I don't always have the time for that.
3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?
It's schmaltzy, but one of my first "big" books was "Little Women". I fantasized about being an author, like Jo. So I keep returning to that story. Also for some reason, certain parts of "To Kill a Mockingbird." (Scout, our dog, is named after Scout, the heroine.)
4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?
This is hard. I'm not sure this is the one that influenced me "the most" but the one I'm thinking of now is called "Shantung Compound." It's by Langdon Gilkey and is the story of his imprisonment as a prisoner of war during World War II. But it's not just about him. Now that I'm thinking, both Buber's "I and Thou", and Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" come under that category too.
5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)
Under a tree. In bed.


Teri said...

is your bed under a tree? how lovely! ;-)

I loved Gilead...can't believe I forgot to mention it! well played...

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

Anna Pigeon rocks... she wouldn't take any $%#* off a council would she?! not likely. And a council retreat would be like cave exploring or something... hee hee

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

read away here!

There you go Diane - that's the link to JSF mysteries author.

Happy weekending!

Barbara B. said...

that picture is AWESOME!

Rev Kim said...

Little Women was also my first "big" read! Great picture.

Serena said...

Great play .. and I, too, love the picture!

mompriest said...

I loved Little Women was a young. And read it about 7 years ago to my daughter (oh, back in the days when I read to her every night for YEARS) was a great book to read as mother/daughter (well, it was tough when Beth dies, so sad, so sad)...

Katherine E. said...

What a great picture! I, too, loved Gilead and Little Women (and I'd have to add Jane Eyre).

Thanks for visiting my blog, Diane. We have a lot in common...I'll be reading Faith in Community regularly now.

Ed said...

Thanks for dropping by my place! Good stuff here. Rita Mae Brown, yes! Check out my favorite mystery writer Sarah Caudwell. Her four books (she died young) are almost comedies of manners in a very British way.

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

Wanted to let you know the horse-sermon is posted... yikes. I guess blogging is good for horsing around... hee hee. (the caffeine is sooo wearing off!)

mompriest said...

Ok. I had to google 17 century metaphysics poetry. Turns out I sing and read and least one - George Herbert. Here is what google says: (which of course you know, but maybe you can confirm this explanation..or not, if it gives you a headache to go back to it :-) )....

The term "metaphysical" is used to designate the work of 17th-century writers who were part of a school of poets using similar methods and who revolted against the romantic conventionalism of Elizabethan love poetry, in particular the Petrarchan conceit. It includes a certain anti-feminist tradition; see e.g. Donne's "Go and Catch a Falling Star" or "The Apparition."

John Donne was the acknowledged leader of the poets today identified as "metaphysical" (though they themselves would not have used the term, nor have considered themselves to constitute a "school" of poetry). No exact list of "metaphysical poets" can be drawn up. Crashaw and Cowley have been called the most "typically" metaphysical. Some were Protestant religious mystics, like Herbert, Vaughan and Traherne; some Catholic, like Crashaw; one was an American clergyman, Edward Taylor. While less easily assimilatable, Marvell shares certain affinities with the "metaphysical" poets. The "metaphysicals" are popular with modern readers because of their realism, their intellectualism, and their break with their immediate literary past.

Some characteristics of metaphysical poetry include:

a tendency to psychological analysis of emotion of love and religion
a penchant for imagery that is novel, "unpoetical" and sometimes shocking, drawn from the commonplace (actual life) or the remote (erudite sources), including the extended metaphor of the "metaphysical conceit"
simple diction (compared to Elizabethan poetry) which echoes the cadences of everyday speech
form: frequently an argument (with the poet's lover; with God; with oneself)
meter: often rugged, not "sweet" or smooth like Elizabethan verse. This ruggedness goes naturally with the Metaphysical poets' attitude and purpose: a belief in the perplexity of life, a spirit of revolt, and the putting of an argument in speech rather than song.
The best metaphysical poetry is honest, unconventional, and reveals the poet's sense of the complexities and contradictions of life. It is intellectual, analytical, psychological, and bold; frequently it is absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love, and religious devotion.
A "metaphysical conceit" is a far-fetched and ingenious extended comparison (or "conceit") used by metaphysical poets to explore all areas of knowledge. It finds telling and unusual analogies for the poet's ideas in the startlingly esoteric or the shockingly commonplace -- not the usual stuff of poetic metaphor.
It is often grotesque and extravagant, e.g. Crashaw's comparison of Mary Magdalene's tear-filled eyes as "Two walking baths; two weeping motions / Portable and compendious oceans." Donne's comparison of his union with his lover to the draftsman's compass in "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" is more successful because it gives us a perception of a real but previously unsuspected similarity that is therefore enlightening.

Typical metaphysical conceits come from a wide variety of areas of knowledge: coins (mintage); alchemy; medieval philosophy and angelology (see e.g. Donne's "Air and Angels," NA 1243 [not assigned for this class]); meteorology (sighs are blasts, tears are floods); mythology (the Phoenix's riddle, the river Styx); government ("she is the state, he is the Prince" from Donne's "The Sun Rising"); travelling (Donne's "Go and Catch a Falling Star"); astronomy; metallurgy ("gold to airy thinness beat"); geometry (the twin compasses); law; geography.