Books, Memes

That Book Meme

Waterfall and Quotidian Grace both tagged me, so here goes:

1. Number of books I own.

In the neighborhood of 1500, if you include the children’s books, which I was collecting even before I had children of my own. A good 500 of those are at the office.

2. The last book I bought.

Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson, arrived from Amazon just the other day. I ordered it after several positive recommendations

3. The last book that I read.

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson, an absolutely marvelous book. See my earlier post for more.

4. Books that mean a lot to me.

Well, there’s The Bible, of course. I have many, many, despite the doubts of my evangelical neighbor.
(Scroll down to “An Easter Story.”)

Someone gave me a white leather KJV as a christening present. I drew on it with a red crayon, already a closet bad girl.

My dad brought me a Bethlehem mother-of-pearl covered New Testament when I was about 7 or 8. That was the first Bible I remember reading myself, and it is still on my dresser. My favorite passage then and now: “Consider the lilies of the field how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clother you, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30) Isn’t that the perfect life passage for a woman prone to anxiety?

My grandmother contributed a copy of Good News for Modern Man, which I dog-eared as a young adolescent. I just read on a conservative website that “The popularity of the Today’s English Version is frightful in light of its perverted renderings of key passages dealing with Christ’s deity, the inspiration and preservation of Scripture, the blood atonement, and many other doctrines.”
I guess we know who to blame now for my various heresies, apostasies and general liberalism (or postmodern emergency, whatever all that means). Poor Grandma Galli would be scandalized.

Other special books:

The Narnia series; my special favorite was and is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but I love them all. The boxed set I own has vivid 1970’s colors on the jackets, but at least the illustrations are those of Pauline Baynes.

Most of Jane Austen’s works, especially Pride and Prejudice, a great escape in times of trial. Gosh, I love that Mr. Darcy! (even before seeing him played by that steamy Colin Firth)

The Lord of the Rings, read aloud to me by Pure Luck while we were courting.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People, placed in my hands by I-don’t-know-who, when I was going through the Worst Thing that ever happened to me, in 1992. It was theologically liberating and hugely comforting, if only in the sense that it let me know other people wondered why God seemed to have abandoned them for no apparent fault of their own. I had grown up with the idea that being good meant God would stick with you, and I really believed I had been good!!! (Or else I was the worst person ever, depending on the day of the week, and unworthy of being forgiven.) Anyway, Rabbi Kushner put things in a helpful perspective and I began to rebuild my understanding of God. So he’s right there with Good News for Modern Whoevers on the list of corrupting theological influences…

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, a feminist Easter fable that spurred me on at the strangest times, becoming my personal mythological text when I was in Jungian analysis.

D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths, the book that gave me a fascination with centaurs, Persephone and Hades, among other things.

The Joy of Sex
Okay, just kidding, but I did spend an intense evening reading it with a girlfriend while helping her babysit back in 10th grade. It was not the version updated and revised for the 21st century! Nor was it one of the new specialty versions. But, wow! Was my face red!! My friend was the President of the Episcopal Young Churchmen and later married an Episcopal priest, and I was a good little Southern Baptist girl who, well you know how I turned out.

5. Tag 5 other bloggers.

Oh, I don’t know. Hasn’t everyone done it already? Friday Mom, have you? PPB? Phantom? reverendmother? revmom?