Sunday, June 20, 2010

15 Book meme

List 15 books you’ve read that will always stick with you. The first 15 you can think of in 15 minutes. I saw this meme last year on Billy the Atheist. Since it took me well over 6 months, I don't think I followed the instructions very well...

The Tolkien Trilogy - I liked The Hobbit, so I went on to read the trilogy when I was nine. I’ve since read the trilogy about 4 more times. So far.

The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins – it blew my mind when I read it in about 1986.

The Ancestor’s Tale, Richard Dawkins - How we are all related to every other living thing on the planet. It was fascinating.

The Fire Cat, Esther Averill – I read it over and over to kids I babysat, and then to my son.

Green Eggs and Ham, Dr. Seuss – I read it to my son so often that at one time, I could recite almost the entire book from memory.

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell – Anna Sewell was a Victorian era animal welfare activist who, with this book, single-handedly managed to get "check-reining" abolished. Check-reining kept a horse's head fashionably, but painfully, and sometimes cripplingly high. Anna did not live to see this occur.

Watchers, Lightning, Midnight - For a while, every Dean Koontz book I could get my hands on. I had to stop reading them, though. I couldn’t take it anymore. His writing is so descriptive, it felt too real.

The Robot Series, and Foundation Series, Isaac Asimov - That R. Daneel Olivaw sure got around.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Treasury, Arthur Conan Doyle

The Dragonriders of Pern Series, Ann McCaffrey – I’m pretty sure Avatar poached the “telepathic link to your dragon” idea from this series.

The Hornblower series, C.S. Forester - Only the best Naval series ever written...

The Hunt for Red October – started me off on two tangents. One – reading every Tom Clancy book I could get my hands on, and two – finding every book I could on submarines.

Into Thin Air, John Krakauer - I had to read this for a class in business school, and I found it gripping.

The Last Herald-Mage series - Telepathic "horses" and magic. Need I say more?

The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford - One of the best animal stories ever written. It even says so on the cover!

James and the Giant Peach. Roald Dahl is just very odd. Apparently C.S. Forester encouraged him to start writing...

Lad: A Dog, Albert Payson Terhune - The reason I got a collie as soon as I moved out on my own, as I explained in this post.

The Railway Children, Edith Nesbit - Just a wonderful story.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas - I could include The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask here.

Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell - Inspired by a true story of a woman stranded alone from 1835 to 1853 on San Nicolas Island off the coast of Southern California. I read it over and over.

Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransom – A tale of children, sailboats and adventure on the high seas. Well, the Lake District, anyway. BETTER DROWNED THAN DUFFERS IF NOT DUFFERS WONT DROWN.

Traveller, Richard Adams – The Civil War told from the point of view of General Lee's horse. You didn't think I would only have one horse book on the list, did you?

The Golden Treasury of Poetry – my favorite – The Tale of Custard the Dragon.

Belinda lived in a little white house
With a little black kitten and a little grey mouse
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon
And a realio trulio little pet dragon.

A Lion Called Christian – after reading Born Free, Living Free, and Forever Free, I combed the library for other books about lions and found A Lion Called Christian. It’s an amazing story about two guys who lived above a trendy furniture shop in London back in the '60s who saw a lion cub at Harrods and bought him on the spur of the moment (yes, you could buy absolutely anything there, at least back then). The lion lived in their shop, and eventually got so large, they didn’t know what to do with him. One day, amazingly enough, the two actors who played Joy and George Adamson from the film Born Free, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, walked in (the book said it was coincidental, but I’m sure someone told them, “Hey, you should go to this furniture shop! They have a lion there!). The two guys ended up taking Christian to George Adamson in Africa and introducing a 4th generation captive-born lion to the wild. This is what happened when they went back to Africa a year later:

I only just recently found that video and am in floods of tears every time I watch it…

I think that's a few more than 15 books... I looked at my bookshelf. I could have listed 50 more.


Brother Phil said...

Pickles the Fire Cat!

Brother Phil said...

Hmmm. Long time no post. It's almost ski season.