Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Books on fire: A disaster strikes Casa What She Read

...but it'll be OK, because it's only a hypothetical brought to you by those fabulous tricksters as The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday blog hop.

If I had but a backpack and three minutes to gather up my heart's gold, I'd grab my guitar, my newly adopted pooch CJ, a few trinkets of personal significance, and my top ten must-save books:

1.  Kitten Nell by Dick Bruna.  I've had this book my whole life, and my whole life has pretty much paralleled hers.  A collector's item, but more of a talisman and a guide.

2.  My high school copy of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.  Apparently, I swiped it from school, as the library stamp's still on the front page.  The cover has long since separated from its fellows and walked its own way, but my penciled margin notes add nostalgic value to this most gorgeous of literary coming-of-age novels.

3.  Desiderata, an illustrated book of the classic Max Ehrmann poem given to me for high school graduation by my thoughtful godmother.  Every line still rings true, and the spot-on taste-telling of her gesture still moves me.

4.  Georgia O'Keeffe's letters, with panels from her show at the National Gallery from the 80's.  To read the iconic American painter's most intimate correspondence with her friends is indeed inspiration enough for a lifetime.  And then the paintings.  Well, it just doesn't get any better than this.

5.  A collectible edition of Salmon Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.  One of my favorite books for young people, oft-recommended here, and also an allegory about freedom of speech. 

6.  Go, Dog, Go by Philip D. Eastman and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl.  Both traveled with me from childhood as well.  Clearly, sentiment will rule the flames.

7.  My hefty edition of The Riverside Shakespeare from back in the day.  A perfectly-chosen present from my high school boyfriend, and one I still refer to regularly, with relish and a warmly nostalgic smile.  It's his birthday today, and I hope he knows how much this book and his goodness meant to me.

8.  The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, translation by Jane English, with apt black-and-white photos supporting poetic text in both English and lovely Chinese character calligraphy.

9.  A quick armful of sheet music/tab books for guitar and vocals. 

10.  My very own fourth grade illustrated sci-fi novella, Miss Pickle in Outer Space.  An early masterwork.  How could I let it go?


p.s.  I'll be hopping along, but I'd love to know your top-of-the-line single pick.  What would you save, if you could save only only one?


Kristina said...

This list was hard enough to create, I really hated it. I went way over 10 and than after looking at other lists I forgot a few books that I would grab. Picking just 1 would be too hard!


Kristina said...

Wow choose 1 from my list. Well I'll tell you a little about each book.
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey: high fantasy, beautiful, rich,amazing and huge. 1st book is almost 1000pgs, it is a trilogy with 2 other connecting trilogies. Series is finished.This is my #1 favorite series in this genre.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: Urban fantasy with shifters and werewolves, Mercy is an awesome kick ass female character. 6 bks have been published, series still being written. Favorite UF series.

Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle: Paranormal Romance. I love all of her books, she writes amazing bad boy male characters that I love. This is her newest series 2 bks have been published so far, each bk has a different love interest couple. Favorite PR author.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini: Young Adult romance. Love this book. Going to be a trilogy, bk 2 comes out in May. Hard for me to pick any YA favs, I love so many of them.

I hope this maybe gives you an idea on what book to choose. I really don't know how to suggest just one because they are all completely different. I always suggest Kushiel's Dart to people, that is my #1 recommend, a lot of people love those books when they read them.

Anonymous said...

If I could only save one? The book that's first on my list this week. Easy. :)

Excellent list -- I love that you included a childhood favorite.

See what I'd save from a fire.

LBC said...

I love it. I almost included my complete Shakespeare, but I've never actually read anything out of it. It is really awkward and small printed.

curlygeek04 said...

I'd bring as many of my original Oz books as I could carry. Then I'm not sure. Go Dog Go and Charlie are two of my favorites too.

Enbrethiliel said...


I was too late to the linky party this week, but I loved the topic enough to give it real thought, anyway. And I was surprised at how many old books I wanted to save because of their cover art. They're still in print and I could definitely replace them if they were lost, but I'd have to track down collectors with the editions from the 1970s and 1980s if I wanted ones with the same cover art. And I would want ones with the same cover art!

By the way, Laurie, that's an interesting thing to say about Kitten Nell. If I had to describe any book in my life that way, I'd pick Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. (Yes, I have a very old copy, too. And it's held together by nothing but clear tape and love.)

Laurie said...

Thanks for all these wonderful book ideas, everyone!
E - Good to "see" you again! Jane Eyre, eh? I'll ponder that for a spell...
And I hopped by all of your blogs to see what you've been up to!

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