Tagged with the Book Meme
Total number of books in your house
too many to count - maybe 600-1000. I collect books for the various crafts that interest me, as well as cookbooks, gardening, animal care and yoga. I love used book stores and usually have at least a dozen paperback novels waiting for a turn at " restful reading", although I don't allow myself enough rest time to get to them much. My husband is an anthropologist/historian, so we never get rid of any of his books.. the office is lined with bookshelves up to the ceiling, and there are shelves in other rooms, too. I guess you could say I live in a book house more than a wool house.
Last book bought
The Letterbox Companion by Randy Hall - for those not familiar with letterboxing (and I wasn't until I bought this book when I ordered shoes for my husband from REI last week), people follow clues to find a letterbox where they use their personal rubber stamp to stamp the box's logbook and use the stamp they find in the letterbox to stamp their own personal journal. There are currently 15,770 letterbox sites in North America; a list of clues is here.
Last book read
Danger on Peaks, by Gary Snyder This is Snyder's latest book. To me, he is the Poet Laureate of present-day U.S., speaking out about issues surrounding nature, relationships, and spirituality strongly for 50 years, and also continuing to teach in the English Department at University of California, Davis. He also lives on the next ridge over from me, and is an environmental activist, with a low-key manner and a great sense of humor.
5 (or 6) book you often read or that mean a lot to you
It would be impossible to limit myself to just 5 or 6, as I have been a voracious reader since I was a child (think of the Langoliers, from Steven King's novel of the same title, when you think "voracious"). Instead, I will offer a few favorites from several categories:
My knitting self:Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmerman This book changed my outlook towards knitting when I first read it about 13 years ago...
Relationships: Spiritual Midwifery, by Ina May Gaskin, which I read over and over through my giving birth years, and while I taught childbirth classes to others. As a result of first reading this book, I gave birth to all three of my natural children at home. Also, Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie, which helped me become a much stronger person fifteen years ago.
Spirituality: The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditation
by Thich Nhat Hanh. There are many others as my spiritual beliefs are a blend of the Catholicism of my childhood, including the Franciscans I spent much time with in my twenties, as well as zen buddhism and the powerful influence of the natural world I have lived in close contact with for the past thirty years.
Poetry: Rivers and Mountains Without End, by Gary Snyder, a modern epic poem. I also like Cowboy poetry.
Fiction: As I was telling Marguerite Louise, in response to her recent post about reading, I have read all of Jane Austin's books at least three times. Also The Red Tent, by Anita Diamont, Jo-Ann Mapson's books, Loving Chloe and Shadow Ranch (she writes beautifully about human foibles) and all of Barbara Kingsolver's books.
Social Issues: There are two books that strongly shaped my social conciousness that stand out. The first was Leon Uris' novel, Trinity, which addressed the conflict between Catholics and Protestants. I read it in high school. I had never experienced discrimination as a Catholic growing up in the US, and it opened my eyes to the idea that people could hate each other for any number of perceived differences. The second book, whose title I have forgotten over the years,addressed the Harlan County coal strike. I grew up in a union family, but didn't fully understand the need to fight against inequity as a group until I read this book. I have since made that one of my life missions.
I could go on, but will stop with this. I am tagging Marguerite Louise, as I am anxious to see what she will write. For those of you who haven't found her blog, Oddysseuse on the Move, you are in for a treat. She is a retired Humanities teacher with a very fine mind.