"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Six of many

The wonderful Jenners tagged me for a bookshelf meme earlier this week and I have been waiting for the perfect moment to sit down and write it out. I loved reading about her books and now I'm excited to share mine with you!

Tell me about the book that has been on your shelves the longest:
That would be my old, faithful copy of Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. The edges of the book are worn and the pages are yellowed with age. I honestly read this book more times than I can count growing up. The touching story of Billy and his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, probably helped shape and nurture my own love for our four-legged, slobbery friends. This book will forever hold its spot at the top of my "favorite reads" list. Even though I know how it ends, I cry every time I get to the end. The pain of losing a pet - a friend - is heart-wrenching. My heart always breaks for Billy. Of course, if it comes as a surprise to any of you, Old Yeller was my favorite movie as a child. Another sad story of a boy losing his best friend. Why do they do that to children? "That's the real world, kid. Pets die. Sorry."
Tell me about a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (i.e., a person, a place, a time, etc.):
When I was in high school, I knew this guy who defied every stereotype of a male athlete. He played football, rugby and wrestled, yet he also played the piccolo and was fluent in Latin. Academically, he was the top of his class, and physically - he resembled a Greek god. Tan, rugged and smoldering hot (if we're being honest) he was pretty much the ideal guy. (And he was nice, just to top it all off.) Well, we were talking books one day and he mentioned A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. He said it was philosophical, and talked about the symbolism, going in to deep character analysis and making me feel like a dummy for never reading it. So, that weekend, I rushed out the store and found the book. I spent the next two days reading it cover-to-cover so I could tell Mr. Athlete how much I loved it. And you know, I actually did love it. I've re-read it several time since then, and though it's been years since I've talked to Mr. Athlete, I think of him each time I glance at the book.

Tell me about the most recent addition to your shelves:
My most recent addition is not really a book at all, not in the paper sense. I got a Kindle this Christmas and LOVE IT. I was a little worried that it would be weird reading an entire book from a screen, but it is absolutely amazing. We don't have a bookstore in the little town I live in, so it's really convenient to be able to browse 100,000s of titles and instantly download whatever interests me. And it definitely saves gas money, since the closest town with a bookstore is 45 minutes away.

Tell me about a book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used book store, prize, etc.):
When I turned 21, my mom and step-dad gave me very practical, "Welcome to adulthood" gifts. I was given a power drill and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover: A proven plan for financial fitness. This book teaches the importance of saying no to credit cards, building a nest egg and not living above your means - all very important lessons for an amateur adult.
The dedication from mom reads: Heather, Happy 21st baby. You're an adult now - legally, anyway. I hope you will read this book, follow the plan and stay away from debt! Credit cards, car notes, personal loans - they will all suck the life out of you and I want you to have a great, joyous life. I love you always! Mom

Tell me about a book that has been with you to the most places:
I've always had really vivid, movie-quality dreams. So when I came across The Dream Sourcebook and Journal, I knew I had to buy it. It delves into the realm of dream psychology, explaining (or hypothesizing) what different aspects could mean in your daily life - interpreting the subconscious. I used to be really intrigued by that kind of thing, and I still am to an extent. Anyway, I used to take this with me when I traveled, just in case I had any strange or recurring dreams I wanted to look up.

Tell me about a bonus book that doesn't fit any of the above questions:
One of my favorite, quirky, darkly-humorous books is Dogrun by Arthur Nersesian. In the book, Mary comes home from work to discover her live-in boyfriend, Primo, dead in front of the TV. She realizes that she knew very little about Primo, so she hunts down all of his ex-girlfriends in an attempt to learn more about the man she'd been living with.

So, now for the rules:
  1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!

  2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.

  3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.

  4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…

  5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.
Okay, I tag Jen, Jessica and anyone else who wants to attempt it! I know some of you have already been tagged.


Diane said...

What a great list!! I've been putting this off but I'll get to it eventually. Love the gorgeous athlete story (love gorgeous athletes, too ;). And WHY did your mom not give ME that book when became an adult?! You're obviously her favorite. Tell her she's slacking on her adoptive mom duties!

Jen L. said...

Cool! Once Deano's down for his nap, I'll attack this one.

Anonymous said...

Diane, sorry, I didn't know you back then - wish someone had given me the book when I turn 21 as well.
Heather, you got to let me know who Mr. Athlete is. Do I know him?


Lacey said...

My grandma wants a Kindle SOOOO bad, but she's afraid it will be werid reading from a screen like you were! I'll have to let her know what you said. :D

As for me, I'm still not giving up on my New Year's Resolution to stop reading, haha. But I do think this is a great list... Hm...

Mel said...

Ah! The Kindle. I'm going to have look into buying that with my tax refund, I think.

I dream vividly too (although interpretation does nothing for me). My favorite ones are the ones where I wake up laughing.

Jenners said...

Hey Girl! Just now getting back and I had to read your bookshelf meme! Awesome job! I have loved reading all these posts and yours was one of the best. Now I will think of your hunky Greek god if and whenever I read "A Brave New World." And you know, I never read "Where the Red Fern Grows" but I want to now. I had a book that I loved that kind of sounds similar called "Sasha My Friend" that always made me cry. And I have to ask you how it feels to read the Kindle. Do you forget that you are using it and get lost in reading? I saw a man with one on the airplane and just about grabbed it out of his hand because I've never seen one in real life. And I'm going to look for "Dogrun" right away-- that sounds great!