Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I've been tagged by one of the readingest buddies in the blogs,KYAHGIRL!It had been and still partially is a crazy week, so I am getting my sea legs back so to speak, and will endeavor to get myself in the posting mode again. The meme is about books and I will say that I have always loved to read. Particularly I can remember during summertime as a child, when with nothing but our bikes and imaginations, my friends and I would take off for the library. Well we always brought a little mischief along just in case, but that's a story for another day. We would park our bikes outside and go into the cool hallowed halls of the library. I can still picture the children's section downstairs. We were avid readers of the Happy Hollister Book Series pictured here:

Now I know I was young when I was reading them eight or nine years old, but I always laughed at the characterization of Mr. Hollister "graying at the temples" at the beginning of each book and would read that aloud to my mother. They were just a little too perfect in my recollection, but we did enjoy that series and they passed around among our little posse. Then we would resume sitting on the porch steps before figuring out what next to play, whining "I'm boooored". No summer camp for us.

Before we go the meme itself, I'll preface it by saying that my memory is vague on details at times and I have gotten rid of quite a few books in past years because I just can't hold onto them, so this is truly those books that spring to mind - a book association, if you will.

No offense to all memeists, but I find these hard/silly to do as I will surely change my mind just as soon as I have saved the post. Having said that, here goes:

1) One book you have read more than once.
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - LaLeche Leaugue International - what? I needed reinforcement with both kids. Whoever said it's the most natural thing in the world was not breastfeeding at the time. That and Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (most recently, a couple of years ago with Tali) springs to mind - one reference, one fiction (you guess which is which).

2) One book that you would want on a desert island:
That's easy - The Torah. There are a lot of characters and plot development that I need time to absorb, and I am sure there is a life lesson for any situation that might arise. Truth is I'd need a rabbi for interpretation - make him a cute one since we're on a desert island (no commandments against that).

3) One book that made you laugh:
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. I went through a period of reading one Vonneugt book after the next. I just remember reading this and laughing. At least, I believe it was this one. What was the one with the recipes? Well it made me laugh, maybe it's not the one I'm thinking of, but I laughed. This is what I allude to when I talk about the vagaries of memory.

4) One book that made you cry:
Most recently, The Human Stain by Philip Roth. Just a bit of a sad yet funny commentary on the lost souls of society woven so beautifully yet mournfully together. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but it did make me cry.

5) One book that I wish I had written:
On the Road by Jack Kerouac. I just loved the whole feel of the Beat Generation - so on the precipice of a cultural explosion. I'd love to have been a fly on the wall and written this one. I read this in SanFrancisco and Hawaii which was a lovely backdrop and brings back fond memories of our honeymoon.

6) One book that I wish had never been written:
Although technically described as a pamphlet or a text, it's close enough to a book to me and that is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It was anti-semitic propaganda purporting to outline The Jewish plan for world domination published in the early 20th century. Although the feelings (and this text) are still alive and er, poison in the 21st century, I'd still prefer if this had never been "cooked up". It makes me sick to my stomach.

7) One book that I am currently reading:
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This because my dear friend NEVA has thought enough of me to give it to me to read. I am enjoying its message immensely. Any book that can simplify my outlook on life down into four agreements can't be all that bad. Okay I oversimplify, but really the book gives you another scope through which to understand the source of other's communication and our reactions thereto.

8) One book that I have meant to read:
This is just crazy, but it doesn't say name the only book that you've meant to read, just one book, so that would be: The Only Dance There Is by Ram Das Ram Das is a Harvard Psychology Professor who became a psychedelic mind explorer but the book itself is based on his talks. He's a bit far out, but funny and with a positive outlook. I haven't gotten past the halfway mark, but I keep it nearby in case...

9) One book that changed your life:
Black Like Me by Howard Griffin This was long before I had read any of Richard Wright's books and was my introduction to the harsh realities of racism in America. I would not too much later come to see these harsh realities with my own two eyes. Frightening.

10) Tagging. That Ariel doesn't have a blog, but hey I know plenty of people, myself included, who would lend you theirs. No pressure - really. You could even answer one or two in the comments and I'd give you a pass grade. And WEIRSDO, again this is a kinder gentler game of tag. You could dispute whether I had actually tagged you or just brushed your sweater...


DaBich said...

I watched the movie the Human Stain...very disturbing indeed! Great selections, g :)

Anonymous said...

i, too, enjoyed The Human Stain, and i thought his premise for The Plot Against America was fascinating. but, you know, i have to say you consume much headier books than i've attempted in my lifetime. i'll go for re-readings of just about anything by James Clavell, or Anne Rice, but Vonnegut? i don't think i ever felt worthy enough to bother trying. (altho' Chabon's "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier * Clay" provided me with one of the most interesting/obscure vocabularies i've ever encountered)

Ram Das? interesting man. loved him in "What the Bleep Do We Know?" (because that's as "heady" as i get)

okay... i'm now thoroughly impressed with my NBFF... i knew you were cute, funny and smart, but i had no idea HOW smart. if i read the Happy Hollister Book Series can we still have lunch? xox

Anonymous said...

OH, I also enjoyed The Human Stain, although maybe "enjoyed" may not be the right word in the case of that book.

The Torah would also probably be my favorite "stranded in island, bring just one book" thing. And you're right on the rabbi (though I'm don't care if he's cute or not, and a lady rabbi might be distracting) because certain parts always beat me up a little, like the fifth book...

The Four Agreements sounds interesting... Must make note to check out...

Thanks G!


brian said...


I think this is the first meme of books where I haven't read any of them. :( Except Charlotte's Web of course.

My mother was a founding member of La Leche League where I grew up, and my younger brother by two years was in the paper as the first Lamaze baby born in the city.

Funny how life turned after that.

Anonymous said...

I read the human stain.... breathtaking.

Thanks for the reading tips. :) I've been taking notes on everyone's reading likes and am going to hit the book store with them.

Now that the weather is going to get chilly around here I'll need some good books to read.

G said...

DB: Haven't seen the movie (I don't think it equals the book from what I've heard) but will one of these days.

Neva: Come on, you're always reading! You would love Vonnegut (in fact I may have to reread some of his). I am adding that to my list - right now! Laughing at the other Ram Das title.

Especially if you've read the Happy Hollister series, we can have lunch. But could we ride bikes to make it a little more authentic for me? xox

Pavelonymous: Know what you mean. It's good to have someone to "learn" with (as Torah scholars refer to it) when it comes to The Torah. You won't be disappointed with The Four Agreements.

Brian: Thud, as she crawls back onto her chair - how can that be?! Well, I am glad to give you a new name for consideration although when you'll ever read again, I'm not sure. Funny that, how life turns out. Thankfully for you, you're doing fine :)

cj: Me too! I'd really like to recommit to reading daily - I find such a stress relief in it. The Jewish Holidays are coming up and I will be home alot and relaxing so I'm thinking to gear up!

Now my Internet is coming down at the office any time so I'll be out for a while...

Swampwitch said...

Thanks for the coffee...virtual coffee that is.
Enjoyed your list and have written down the ones I've not read, not that I'll read them anytime soon, but will have it handy for my next trip to the book store.
Charlotte's Web one of the most beautiful stories of friendship ever.
Four Agreements is one of my favorites.
Thank You.

FirstNations said...

this is a great list, g. ive read OTR, BLM, BoC, CW (and inasmuch as christians are always saying the Old Testament is Torah, then Torah too, kinda-sorta-not really, huh.)

these things always make me want to suggest a thousand books to folks based on the titles they list, but sounds like life is already getting busy for you!
of course, if you WANT titles.....!

G said...

That's it FN: Don't trifle with me like that, I'm tagging you too! Come on - books just seep out of your pores! I always want titles - even if I read them in 4 years!

Swampwitch: Working backwards - you're quite welcome! That's what I do - write them down for one more for the pile. Yes, I agree on Charlotte and I am also inspired by The Four Agreements.

Kyahgirl said...

Oh my, I have to read some of your picks. I've been meaning to check The Human Stain...sounds interesting.

I kind of chuckled at your number 1. I've read both of those books more than once too!

And that Neva, she has blessed me with Don Miguel Ruiz too!! what a lovely friend.(or maybe she figures she needs to straighten us out G!) *wink*

DaBich said...

g ~ Movies are almost NEVER as good as the books!

G said...

Kyah, The Human Stain was a wonderfully written book, I don't think you'd be disappointed.

On the Number 1, just had to do it, glad you got a chuckle :)

On the staightening us out - it's a dirty job and someone's got to do it! :) Take care on your break.

DB: So true!

G said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Wow...impressive list Ms. G...dare I say awe inspiring if not a little intimidating.

FirstNations said...

my darling, i already done did this meme last month. but heres some titles for you

I'll Take It....paul rudnick

Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady...florence king

two of the funniest books I've ever read! as in, wetting your pants a little bit, snorking partially chewed food out your nose funny.
ah, good times.

Anonymous said...

love on the road, and i feel the same way, i have quotes from it on my senior page

Anonymous said...

BTW what is Tali's blogger name??

G said...

Working backwards:

Caitlin - must be our similar oddball sensibilities which has been passed on to Tali. Her little blog (which is still being figured out) can be found if you click "about me" and then it lists three blog titles at the bottom. Her blog is "muffin-land" and she is going by the name talimuffin.

FN: See that's old age setting in - I probably even read your meme, but I am now writing those down so as not to forget!

Joel: I hope it wasn't my first book out of the gate, because you really don't have to read that one :)

G said...

It's in the "View My Complete Profile" link.

Doug said...

That's just a great list and I sure don't want to miss telling you that Breakfast of Champions was the first Vonnegut I read and within a year I had read all of his novels to that point and Welcome To The Monkey House.

Miz BoheMia said...

YAY on having read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding! I have it and yes, I would recommend it to EVERY woman about to have a child as it dispels so many bullshit old wives tales! Due to the fact that I had quite the bit of bad luck mixed in with my attempts to breastfeed that took me on quite the emotional rollercoaster, I worked closely with Lactation Consultants (women who just make me cry from how sweet and amazing and compassionate they were and man does their knowledge and work to dispel myths do us women good!) and am now a mini lactation consultant myself I feel and so this book really struck a chord with me! But alas, a lot of sisters out there choose to remain on the route of ignorance and drown in the bullshit old wives tales... *sigh*... but I digress! (Yes, please do BoheMia!)

Charlotte's Web was heartbreakingly beautiful... Man I read it so long ago that you are making me feel like reading it again... another thing to go on the list of "Things to do when hell freezes over, pigs fly, the moon turns blue and BoheMia has time on her hands"... ;-)

Besos to one fab reader! FO SHO!

G said...

Doug ~ I think Vonnegut has that effect on people, at least he did on me as well.

MizB: I put the Womanly Art in only half tongue in cheek. The truth is that it helped me through and reassured me on what I was doing. I couldn't agree more with you on Lactation Consultants. They are very committed. I stand so strongly behind the benefits of breastfeeding and doctors really don't do enough to encourage it before the baby arrives which is a shame. Here's to more choosing the breast over the bottle :)

Read it again with lilBohemia, you'll not regret it.

Swampwitch said...

G...Thanks for visiting today. You were quite busy posting comments on my 4 attempts to learn more about "blogging." The only way I can learn this is to just try it. So, thanks for hanging in there with me.

Janet said...

When I was a kid I got really excited about reading, too. I can still remember craving Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Sweet Valley Twins and the Babysitter's Club:)

G said...

SW: Absolutely, we'll help each other beat this blog thing! Because I just started in May and I am not the techiest of bloggers, so stick with me - we'll muddle through together.

Janet: Isn't it funny how the love of reading continues? I just need to make more time to do so I realize. Thanks for stopping by - read you at Pia's and vice versa, but will have to stop back and poke around some more :)

Minka said...

Great list, some of the stuff I frightened my a little with teh breast feeding, but I´ll gloss over that for now.

Wea re all so well read aorund teh blogosphere. Impressive.

G said...

Not to worry - it's the most natural thing in the world (I only added it partly for the shock value :) Yes, and each list that I peruse, I find more that I need and want to read.

Hobbes said...

That was fun. I always like to see what people read and what they think of it (unless of course they're trashing a favorite, like Mall Diva with JANE EYRE, but that's another story).
I will do the meme. I don't mind them, especially this kind.
Any chance you may still give DIFFICULT FREEDOM a look?

G said...

Mall Diva - "what the deuces!" I love Jane Eyre! Trashing? Though I would be interested to see her take...

Absolutely Weirsdo! In fact thank you for the reminder because I don't take these recommendations lightly and would love to read the essays in it. Now I'm off to Amazon! Look forward to the meme!

Hobbes said...

If you think you can stand it, Mall Diva's take is here

G said...

You know I do understand Mall Diva's frustrations at the inability of our beloved Jane and Mr. Rochester to recognize their love for one another. Uderstanding all the layers of the emotions involved may come with time. Or maybe Mall Diva is right...No no no, I loved Jane Eyre!

Anonymous said...

I think she would make a great counselor.

G said...

Well Brittney, she does have an interesting take on conflict resolution. I think she would be perfect for you.

Mutha said...

Thanks for reminding me that Vonnegut makes me laugh.