Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Five -- books, books, books

From the RevGalBlogPals: Friday 5, books, books, books....

From the RevGalBlogPals Friday Five:

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!!!

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance???

I just returned to fiction after a very long time away. After I had children, I couldn't read anything sad--I suppose it made me feel too vulnerable--so I limited my fiction reading to detective novels and historical fiction, which grew pretty thin after awhile. A couple of years ago, I joined a book club and we've read some books I've loved, like"Atonement" by Ian McEwan, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon, "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides, and "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Michael Chabon. Books + Friends = Bliss

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?

I'm of the guzzle and slurp school of readers. I'll read during meals, at stoplights, while I'm drying my hair. It's not pretty.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?

I'm a re-reader. I've read "Man's Search for Meaning," by Viktor Frankl a half-dozen times and have given away many copies of his book, which begins with an account of his imprisonment during the Holocaust and ends with a deeply optimistic essay on the human drive to live a life of purpose and meaning.
I've read "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner over and over, and Jane Austen gets better with every reading.
One of the best things about having children is re-reading the books of my childhood: "The Hobbit," "A Wrinkle in Time," "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler," "Little Women," "A Door in the Wall," and more than I can list here. Having older children also has its pleasures: this summer we've convened a family book club. The children chose "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, which I loved as a teenager. I'm curious to see how I will react as an adult.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?

"The Book of Common Prayer" is written on my heart, but "La Technique" by Jacques Pepin shaped my life in other ways. Published in 1976 and subtitled "An Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals of Cooking," Pepin's book changed me forever. I worked through the whole thing, making stocks and pastry, even making my own strudel, which involved rolling a softball-sized piece of dough into rectangles that covered the kitchen counters. I was a dreamy kid and Pepin made me feel competent and able to master the physical world. (I have since learned to substitute frozen fillo dough for strudel dough, but I open the freezer secure in the knowledge that I could make it myself if I had to.)

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)
Anywhere at all will do.


Gannet Girl said...

I've enjoyed a number of these same books.

Songbird said...

"Man's Search for Meaning" was life-changing for me and for Pure Luck, too, when he read it many years later.
Books+Friends=Bliss indeed!

Teri said...

oh, I need a book club!

Kievas said...

i've never tried a book club...sounds like fun.

Sally said...

well played- "Man's search for meaning" yes I need to re-read that. :-)

Bad Alice said...

I've never heard of A Door in the Wall. I have to add something to my library list.

As for guzzle and slurp, I'm passing it along because yesterday I found my seven-year-old reading while taking a shower!

Gentle Palm's gardener said...


I'm glad to see you admit to reading while drying your hair! But I hope YOU aren't really in Cambridge, U.K., or we have to have a serious heart to heart.

Michelle said...

I adored The Mixed-up Files, too...I brought a book to read in labor!!