1. Number of books you have owned: Oh, good Lord. When you count the books for school, books for fun, books I had as a child that I can't let go of, and books I got as a a part of all those nerd camps...it boggles the mind.
2. Last book I bought: It was a gift. I bought Runaway Bunny for baby Audra. I always buy a book for babies---there is too much research about the positive effects of reading to children. Even when I get to the point that I can knit fast enough to have acceptable gifts done quickly, I will still buy books.
3. Last book I completed: Traveling Mercies : Some Thoughts on Faith -- by Anne Lamott. I will now shake my embarassment at being five thousand years behind the curve, I did just read it. There. I said it. This summer has been painful and hard for me. Watching my dad heal physically and emotionally (not that it's done, mind you) has brought out a mountain of hurt in me. I am finding scabs in places I had already removed bandaids. Reading this book has reminded me that it can be ok. Wait, that's too simple. Reading Traveling Mercies reinforced for me that a Christian doesn't just look like the people who hurt me.
4. Five books that mean a lot to me:
- There is a passage in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn where a young mother holds her new baby. She has only an 8th grade education and she worries aloud to her mother that she is inadequate to do the job ahead of her. Her mother answers that although the young mother has only an 8th grade education, she herself had only finished the 4th grade. This child will achieve more than her mother and grandmother before her, and she would do so by reading. The grandmother told her daughter to read to her. Read a page of the Bible and a page of Shakespeare every night. Read it to her when you don't know what it means, but read to her. That is how this child will achieve.
- The whole Little House series. My aunt bought me the entire set when I was in the 2nd grade, and I still have them (they are in horrid shape and I really should replace them). Laura Ingalls Wilder's descriptive writing made me excited to learn about history. As a postscript, I do not like the television series. Michael Landon bastardized fine American children's literature to paint himself as the great white father in a sorry attempt to compensate for his own shortcomings as a father. There. I know Pa Ingalls, sir, and you are no Pa Ingalls.
- Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities. It was through this book I began to see how our public school system shortchanges our most needy citizens. I have witnessed only the teeniest corner of this injustice, but this book coupled with those experiences are the reasons I cannot make the move to a private school.
- John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany Kevin listed this as his number three also, so I just kept his link. In fact, his reason for listing it sounds a lot like mine. I read this book in college with my dad (he read it with his wife). Sometimes, I think reading a book is as much about the conditions under which you read as about the book itself. I remember conversations about what we thought Owen sounded like.
- Five!?!? I can't get to five!! Every book I have thought of for five doesn't seem right for the list!! Here, I shall name them with no explanation and allow them all to count as five.
-All's Fair by Marlee Matlin and James Carville
-Charlotte's Web by EB White
-The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
-Everything else Jonathan Kozol ever wrote
-A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor
-Paddy Clark, Ha ha ha by Roddy Doyle
-The Barrytown Trilogy -- by Roddy Doyle
5. Which 5 bloggers are you passing this onto?
Karina, I am letting you off the hook since you have a show to prepare for.
1. The Crib Chick