For the first day, participants are invited to post five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle. I was daunted when I saw the prompt yesterday, but when I saw a couple of bloggers’ introduction posts this morning, it got my mind thinking of possible books for my list. I leaned a bit more toward books that represent me as a reader. So here goes:
Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
As a high school junior, I had a major assignment that involved reading several books by an author, as well as gather literary criticism and biographical information. I don’t remember why I chose Eudora Welty out of the list of suggested authors. Maybe because I had never heard of her before, and because she was a woman. With Delta Wedding, I remember thinking I didn’t fully understand this novel but that I loved it anyway. (After a couple of re-reads, I understand it more now, though some aspects are still mysterious.) I think it was about this time in my life that I decided to major in English when I went to college, and this assignment was a good preamble for entering that field of study.
Also, Welty’s description of a house full of extended family reminded me of getting together with my mother’s family for Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
I remember reading this short book in the first month of starting my first professional job. I was temporarily staying with my relatives and taking a long metro ride to work. I was still feeling that post-school high of having the time to read whatever I wanted.I had read about this book in Entertainment Weekly (they gave it an A) and was just about game for anything reading-wise. I loved this book but more than that, Winter’s Bone also represents that rush you feel when you realize that the world is full of great books just waiting to be read.
Into the Heart of Borneo by Redmond O’Hanlon
I picked up this book at a San Francisco bookstore where the staff had left recommendations next to particular books on the shelves. I decided I would buy at least one book that was recommended with the additional caveat that it be a previously unknown book to me. I’ve since adopted variations of this approach in other bookstores of cities I’ve visited – e.g. Powell’s in Portland, Tattered Cover in Denver. I’m more of a library hound than an avid book buyer, but this kind of book tourism really appeals to me. Into the Heart of Borneo also represents my interest in travel memoirs.
The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett
I grew up in Maine and this classic book set in Maine definitely reminds me of home, though it was written over a century ago.
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
This book represents my philosophy that it is never too late to quit a book. 250 pages into this 384 page book, I decided I’d had enough and stopped. There have been others where I’ve DNF’d after making it pretty far into the book, like Tana French’s In the Woods and Glen Duncan’s The Last Werewolf. However, I think Istanbul was one of the first where I consciously abandoned after significant time investment (as opposed to putting a book down “for a while” and never actually returning). I also have the philosophy that it’s never too early to quit a book either. Sometimes you just know from the first few pages. So yeah, I’m definitely not a completist when it comes to reading!
Although I may not one of the most active bloggers, I do greatly enjoy the book blogging community. I look forward to reading other participants’ Book Blogger Appreciation Week posts!