Saturday, October 13, 2007

Books Meme

Katharine E over at Meaning and Authenticity has tagged me for this great meme about one of my favorite topics, books! (To be honest, over a week ago). So, now I'm finally getting to it:

1. How many books?
I have not ever counted all my books, although at one time I did try to list at least the Biblical studies ones (for insurance purposes). A conservative estimate is about 750, as I am always weeding out and taking some over to books sales and used books stores (we have a small house, and, my husband has books too -- both at home and at his office). Altogether we probably have about 2,000 books, although not all of them are at home. My interests lean to literature and theology; his to biblical criticism, music and history (certain eras, anyway). Lately I've been into a subgenre called "dog books."

2. Last book read?
That would have to be Abide with Me, a novel by Elizabeth Strout that I read for my church book club. It is set in 1959 and is about a pastor in a small town in New England, and how the town reacts after a family tragedy.

If there were a last book almost read category, that would have to be Three Cups of Tea, which I have been almost done with since August. Almost finishing books has gotten to be a Bad Habit with me lately. I have several other partially read books on my shelf, which I put down when I realize that I need to put on speed and finish the book club book! But Three Cups of Tea is the most inspiring book I have ever almost finished, and when I'm done, I'll post a review and some salient quotes.

3. Last book bought?
I believe that is For the Love of a Dog, by Patricia McConnell, which I got with some gift card money recently. Not a dog memoir, by an animal behaviorist, and full of insights into both dogs and people. I absolutely loved her book The Other End of The Leash.

Last book almost bought.... I am kicking myself for not picking up a copy of Sherman Alexie's new book for young adults, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which was available at the college bookstore when I was at the 7th grade confirmation retreat last weekend. I heard him on the radio, talking about the book, and I think it will be a winner. It's about a boy from the reservation who goes to an all-white high school, and is semi-autobiographical. (also, the books were signed.)

4. Five Meaningful books

1. To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the first "adult" books I read, in about 5th or 6th grade. I was too naive to "get" all of it, then, but I've come back to it, again and again.

2. The Living Reminder. The first book I read by Henri Nouwen, put me in touch with a deeper spirituality than I had experienced before. After that, I read everything he wrote for awhile. Later on, I discovered that it was a book about the priesthood, in some ways.

3. The Freedom of a Christian. The best thing that Luther ever wrote, in my opinion.

4. The poetry of George Herbert. An Anglican priest who was a contemporary of John Donne. Start with "Easter Wings" and go along from there.

5. Bleak House. And other books by Dickens, who was actually quite a social critic in his day

like Fran, I have a couple more than 5....

....The Bean Trees and Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver. I loved "Jesus is Lord" used tires, and there is a quote from Animals Dreams, about "living inside your hope" which I believe describes what it means to be a Christian, living in this world by the values of the Kingdom of God.

....The Plague, by Albert Camus, about living a moral life in a flawed society.

....Breathing Space, by Pastor Heidi Neumark (I confess that I haven't finished it yet) . About being a pastor-organizer in New York.

....The Preaching Life, by Barbara Brown Taylor (the first one of hers I read)

Children's books?

Harold and the Purple Crayon. (love the creativity)
Alice in Wonderland (what good IS a book with no pictures or conversations?)
the Betsy-Tacy books (I too tried writing a book about my best friend and me)
Winnie-the-Pooh (How can you not love a bear of very little brain?)
and, more recently....
books by Katharine Paterson, like Jacob Have I Loved, Angels and other Strangers
Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
Holes, by Louis Sachar

14 comments:

Wyldth1ng said...

This is a fun post. :)

Jan said...

Diane, this is fun to read. Books, I love books, too, just like you! I have a copy of "Three Cups of Tea," but haven't even started it yet, because a friend told me it was slow going. Now you say it was truly inspirational--so I'll have to start reading it soon (but I do need to finish several first). Thanks.

Diane said...

jan, it's slow at first, but picks up after awhile...

Rowan The Dog said...

I used to have a bunch of books but I got rid of most of them when I moved to Texas. I think I am still under 200.

Diane said...

hey, under 200 is good. that's what happens when you move. we're having a good sale this weekend so I'm planning to weed out. I do have a problem with the professional books, though.

FranIAm said...

This is so great! I loved learning about you and your books.

And I understand that whole almost finished thing very well!

Kievas said...

You have a very diverse library :) I also started Three Cups of Tea but never finished it...when getting books from the library (which is mostly what we do these days), the time limits sometimes force me to prioritize my reading.

Aghaveagh said...

I love reading about other people's books! I have never actually read Jacob Have I Loved but it is one of my all-time favorite book titles! (Like How Green Was My Valley) Maybe it's the inversion of the normal word order...

Do you know about LibraryThing?? You can catalog your library online and other cool things...

Katherine E. said...

This is great, Diane. You know, I haven't picked up anything by Barbara Kingsolver (although I've read some of her excellent essays) since "The Poisonwood Bible." That book was SO emotionally draining on me!

mompriest said...

I think I once used Harold and the Purple Crayon as a sermon illustration...but can I remember the context in which I used it....

fun, diane. thanks!

Barbara B. said...

My interests lean to literature and theology too. I'd love to come and peruse your shelves! :)

David said...

I love reading Henri Nouwen. I haven't read the one you mentioned so I'll have to pick up a copy.

Great list but where on earth do you store 2000 books? My wife (she's a librarian) would kill me if I had 2000 books.

Diane said...

remember, David, at least half of these are my husband's. We each have a lot of our books in our offices. He has an incredible amount of books in his school office, and my church office is full, too.

RevDrKate said...

Ok, Diane, it's official, you're a bookaholic! It was fun to read about all your book loves. Good thing you both have offices!