Shelf Share Thursday: "G" Is for "Good Books"
(A weekly meme hosted on Bippity Boppity Book)
that have been lingering on your shelf for a little while . . .
In a short discussion on another blog, someone estimated that book bloggers likely own an average of thirty unread books at any given time. (When did the "TBR pile" enter the reading culture, I wonder. Probably when reading became a consumer's hobby.)
Though I do have a little over thirty books waiting to be read, I take some comfort in the fact that I haven't been able to participate in most of Holly's "Shelf Share Thursdays"--and definitely won't be able to join next week. (No H books!) If my pile grew any bigger, I'd have nightmares about it coming after me . . .
But never mind that now as I think happy, positive, meme-worthy thoughts:
3 "G" Books
That Need More Love from Me
That Need More Love from Me
A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
I bought this at a book fair in the first and last school I taught in. I'm not sure why I haven't read it yet. (Maybe I consider it one of my "Historical Reading Challenge" books, frozen until I complete Michael Cadnum's Crusader trilogy? . . . Or maybe I want to keep the last unread book from my aborted, tragic teaching career frozen for very different reasons . . .)
Yet I do recall browsing through all the other books at the fair, and settling on this one because I found the journal format sweet--and was touched by the idea that the young narrator, a thirteen-year-old girl, had no one to talk to about the changes in her family except a diary. (Don't I know that feeling well!)
It must have also reminded me of My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, another Newbery Award-winning novel told in diary form, which I had read and really enjoyed some time before this book fair.
Glory Road by Bruce Catton
He whom I call my Sugar Daddy sent me a copy of this book years ago because he thought it would fill in the holes in my understanding of history. It turned out to be the first book he had ever sent me that I couldn't get through at all--and he has sent me everything from Frederic Bastiat to Ray Bradbury. Every few months, I give it another try, with the same poor luck.
I recall asking him why he thought I'd need a History lesson on a civil war in a country halfway around the world from mine. He replied that, first of all, the War between the States was not a "civil war" because it wasn't about two factions fighting for control of the country--not when what the South wanted was to secede from the Union. Secondly, if said war had ended differently, the United States would never have tried to acquire and rule over the Philippines thirty years later. So there actually is a deep connection between this chapter in American history and my own national history.
And that is why I keep trying with this book--and why I have for years felt great kinship with the conquered South.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This was one classic I had to read for uni--and the first that I never finished! I'm not sure why, because I read the whole of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love, assigned for the same course, and it was much longer and much more hateful. Maybe it was because the last third was some sort of weird and endless action sequence? See: I don't even remember!
But even though it is shelved with all the other books of my "past," I still nurse a fantasy of finally reading the whole story one day. Perhaps it will be after I turn fifty . . . I read somewhere that Dickens fans are a dying breed--or at least an aging breed--with the average age of voluntary Dickens readers being over fifty years old!
Knowing that, there's a good chance my contrarian streak will do something within the next twenty or so years to bring that average down a bit. So Pip still has more hope with me than he ever had with Estella!
Image Sources: a) A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos, b) Glory Road by Bruce Catton, c) Great Expectations by Charles Dickens