Vickie has tagged me for the latest MEME....7 Random Things...or 7 Stories..or 7 Landmarks...about me. I love reading these MEMEs by other bloggers...it is a way for us cyber friends to get to know each other better in lieu of face-to-face time...so as I have been tagged, I shall deliver.
Debra Spincic posted seven turning points in her quilting career, which was a neat creative window into her life...so inspired by her, I think I will choose 7 books. You know how it is when you have closed the cover on a great book after you have finished the last page...your give a big long sigh....with that feeling of wonder, gratitude, and sadness that the book is over but happiness that you can hold it in your hand, and in your heart, for the rest of your life....
1. 1964. I was in 4th grade and read The Diary of Anne Frank. This changed my consciousness in so many ways...but the lasting gift was that of introspection. Anne had perspective, and could analyze herself even while being immersed in her own subjective experience. I was 10 years old then, and couldn't grasp the historical import of her diary. For me, she was a guide for how I was to go about understanding myself. I kept diaries for years afterwards...which have thankfully since been burned!
2. 1967-1968 Angle of Repose, by the great American writer, Wallace Stegner, along with The Eighth Day, by Thornton Wilder. These were two of my mom's Book of the Month Club selections...I had no idea when I pulled them off the bookshelf in her study that I would be flayed alive by the power of literature, the magnetic pull of the American West, the intricacies of family, marriage, and the passage of time...all Big Stuff for a 7th grader. I would look up from those books and not know who or where I was.
3.High school and college for me were more about visual arts and music than books, so we'll skip that...in 1977, then, came Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda. His life story and gift of bringing yoga spiritual practice to the West through this book is still the most important reading experience of my life.
4.My first encounter with the books of Jane Austen, in the 1980's, filled my woman's heart and mind with joy, recognition, laughter, and a sense of being at home in all history. Her characters renewed my conviction that all people of all times are made of the same stuff. And how I loved those Regency dresses...and those shrubberies!
5.In the 1990's came my delighted acquaintance with the Brother Cadfael mysteries of Ellis Peters, aka Edith Pargeter, a glorious historical novelist from England. If you don't know Cadfael, former soldier and then herbalist/monk for his 12th century monastery in Shrewsbury, well, drop everything immediately and get the first of the 20 volumes in this series. Then you may be tempted to plow through the next 19 in an intoxicated rush like I did. One of the great reading experiences of my life....runner up for this choice are the historical novels of Dorothy Dunnet.
6. 2000.....Alan Furst, writer of "historical espionage" brings into focus Eastern Europe, with connections to Paris, in the 1930's. This is all about the dark unsettled gatherings of war, the period leading up to World War II, through the eyes of the spies. He gets it for me. He evokes a slice of reality from that time and place that feels utterly immediate....
7. Maybe not a landmark but winner of my current "Book of the Year" award: A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher. This is the best plotted and most imaginative novel I have read in years. The link I give here has a great review of it on Amazon. His The Bestiary, which just came out yesterday and is about a boy's search for the animals left off Noah's ark, looks to be just as good.
Whom to tag? I won't bug you with an email, but if you are listening and want to take the baton and run with it...
Sonji, Sandie, Judith, Stephanie, Susan N., Elizabeth, and Judy....you're it! Remember, this is 7 stories, or facts, or pictures....anything you want to divulge!
Or not, of course, if it is too much trouble.... ;-)
That's a poster from the library of my son...he's a reader, too.