Shh...Mum is Thinking

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Book Tag

Thanks to both ABFH and Taffy at for tagging me :-D

One book that changed my life

By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie. This was the first adult book I ever read. I found the book in my grandmothers book case not long after I ‘relearned’ to read at about age 8, read the first few lines then hid behind the sofa to continue, thinking I wasn’t supposed to read grown up books. I remember my grandmother laughing at me when she found me; why did I think I wasn’t allowed to read it!? She encouraged me to finish it even though I was struggling with the new-to-me pictureless format and the grown up vocabulary. I already loved books at that age, but this was my initiation into reading ‘real’ books, the kind you read from cover to cover and it hooked me for life.

After all these years, I still feel this vague whisper of my grandmother whenever I read Christie's books. Grandma loved her writing, too.

One book that you've read more than once

If I love a book I will ALWAYS read it more than once. The book I’ve re-read most, though, is Jane Eyre closely followed by the LOTR books.

One book you'd want on a desert island

The complete works of Charles Dickens because I’ve missed reading so many of them.

One book that made you laugh

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, all parts!

One book that made you cry

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

One book you wish you had written

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I love that book. It’s the only science book I ever read that made me laugh out loud. Bryson is like the Mark Twain of non fiction writers--you’d have to be a gifted writer to make science that accessible and enjoyable to the general public.

One book you wish had never been written

That’s a toughie as I’m not big on censorship. I mean, if I could wipe out the genre of romance novels from my personal reality it wouldn’t hurt me any, but I wouldn’t deny them to others.

Other than that…

Should we delete Mein Kampf from existence? Would it have helped to do so? If so, I wish it hadn't been written.

One book you're currently reading

Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan

One book you've been meaning to read

I started reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts a few months ago, had to put it aside about ¾ of the way through, then found I’d broken my connection to the book when I tried to pick up the thread. I want to go back and start from the beginning again, but it’s so big I’ve avoided it for the time being. It’s a great book, but at over 900 pages it seems like a huge commitment to start over!

Tag five other book lovers

Hm…I’ll try tagging Aspiebird, Autism Diva, Lisa/Jedi, Rose, and Andrea, but if any of you don’t have the time or inclination please don’t feel obligated!

Actually I’d love to see a list from anyone who’s interested--I enjoy reading these lists! So consider this an open invitation.


At 1:53 AM, August 31, 2006, Blogger Autism Diva said...

Not exactly doing the book meme, but here's some book talk...

A book Autism Diva is reading now... well, she's trying to get into _Your First One Hundred Words in Arabic_, which is sort of a workbook. She has another one on writing in Arabic, and she's been meaning to read _The Complete Idiot's Guide to Conversational Sign Language_ , and probably will when the Sign Language class starts next week... and there will be a text-book for that class, too, most likely...

_Elijah's Cup_ by Valeri Paradiz made a big impact on Autism Diva's life, and she really likes _Adventures in Autism_ by Paul Collins.

Autism Diva probably wishes, _Evidence of Harm_ had never been written, though that's a tough one. She wishes more that the mercury parents had never decided that their kids were made autistic by vaccines, and if that hadn't happened the book wouldn't have happened, since it looks like the SAFE MINDS crowd paid Kirby handsomely (something like $70,000 maybe) to write the book... that evidence is waiting in the wings right now, but not that hard to find...if you know where to look...

Most of the stuff that Autism Diva has been meaning to read are in the form of dozens of medical journal articles on autism...

One book on a desert island? _The Bible_.

Book she wishes she had written? _Alice in Wonderland_. :-)

Book read more than once? Maybe a British mystery years ago... Autism Diva used to read Dorothy Sayers (_Death Must Advertise_ stands out) and Agatha Christie, usually she doesn't read a book more than once, and she hasn't really read any fiction for about 15 years, though she skimmed through, _The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime_ and some of _Alice in Wonderland_.

Beverley Nichols books are fantastic if you like old British stuff, as Autism Diva does.

_The Last Sorcerer_ is a cool book, too. Isaac Newton... great mind and autistic!

At 2:14 AM, August 31, 2006, Blogger Sharon said...

It's so funny that you read your gran's Agatha Christie books, as I did the same when I was around 13. But then, I was so desperate for things to read at that age (as I lived 5 miles from the town, always finished my library books off in a few days, and we didn't have many books in my house) that I would read my Granny's Barbara Cartland books too! My first Jane Eyre was taken off her book shelf too, which just about makes up for those dreadfull, misogynistic romances.

I love Dickens too (esp. Great Expectations) and The Hundred Secret Senses.

At 4:28 AM, August 31, 2006, Anonymous Donna said...

Autism Diva,

Read both Val's book and Collins books. Both great reads.

Thought you might want to read Collins other book titled Sixpence House ~ Lost in a Town of Books. It's about the town Hay on Wye and is literally a town with 40 plus bookstores and the book is about the year he spent there working at the local castle bookstore.

It's a great read on British stuff and a google search on Hay on Wye pulls up a neat site!


At 5:48 AM, August 31, 2006, Blogger abfh said...

I remember reading Agatha Christie and various old books from my grandparents' bookshelf, too. The old books often described the world as full of adventure and uncharted continents, which seemed fascinating, but the casual racism in so many of those books baffled me. I couldn't understand how people could see others as so vastly different from themselves, and I was naive enough to think that I lived in more enlightened times.

At 4:58 AM, September 01, 2006, Anonymous Kathy said...

I love reading M.I.T just don't get enough time to do it these days though! Just love the Bronte sisters. In particular Jane Eyre by Charlotte.
Absolutely adored Jane Austens novels.
Guess I am just old fashioned at heart . Also loved Dickens.

I am currently reading Alan Turing
The Enigma by Andrew Hodges.

At 5:57 AM, September 01, 2006, Blogger Mum is Thinking said...

Diva, it’s close enough to a book meme for me, thanks for answering. I really was quite nervous about tagging people (and still have to tag three properly on their blogs, shame on me!)

I’ve added some of these books to my “to read” list and am anxious to read Elijah’s Cup and Adventures in Autism.

I know what you mean about Evidence of Harm. Most conspiracy books don't cause so much as a ripple in society, but I wonder how many autistic children are walking around with kidney damage and other health problems received when their parents came under the sway of that book. Parents who are hoodwinked and needlessly scared is bad enough. Living with bunk kidneys, though, would be much worse.

I love Alice in Wonderland, and I need to break down and shell out the money for a new copy of the Annotated Alice. I’ve wished for a copy of that for years.

Sharon, isn’t it funny that so many of us had similar experiences with Agatha Christie books from our gran’s?! It makes me wonder how our grandmas would have gotten on. We know they at least had similar tastes in books :-)

Donna, I googled Hay on Wye and found a lot of interesting sites. The book sounds good, I’ll keep an eye out for it.

Abfh, thanks again for tagging me, I had fun with this.

I know what you mean about the attitudes in the old books. Even as a child I found it fascinating to see how different things were in times past, and I’m sure some of our current attitudes will be looked at as equally foreign in the future.

Much as I love Kipling and Mark Twain, some of their writing was quite offensive, though that was probably not realised at the time. I wonder what their attitudes would have been if they were around today. Very different, I would imagine.

At 3:43 PM, September 01, 2006, Blogger r.b. said...

One book that changed my life: Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlien was the first book I ever HAD to read at school that gave me any enjoyment. By reading it I learned that there were people who thought differently from others, and that idealism was not a sin. I'm a sucker for Christ figures, too, I guess.

The same could be said for The Idiot by Doestevsky. For some reason I relate to simple people who find themselves in a complex world through no fault of their own. It took me a year to read the whole thing in college, with all the starting and stopping.

Before that, I never was one to read anything other than the encyclopedia, mostly the dogs entries...we were animal lovers...and Newsweek and Time, and the newspaper. I looked forward to Erma Bombeck and Ann Landers especially. No one in my family read books...I remember Mom saying she never had time. But to say we were non-readers would be a big mistake. I guess I made up for my lightweight reading in school later on by trying to read a few of the classics, but none touched me like those two. I also enjoyed the Brothers Karmazov by Doestevsky. I enjoy reading by authors who have very difficult last names to remember or spell (excuse me now...)

I remember reading a book by Helen Keller, although I don't recall the name, because of her vivid imagery. Reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck gave me insight into another culture, and I read a few more of hers, but don't remember which ones...I still remember snippets of The Good Earth, though.

I seldom read books twice, but I did read Stranger in a Strange Land about 20 years later. I also love the song by Leon Russell.

One might say the Bible changed my life, but I found it at times confusing and hard to understand. I prefer to remember the simple stories we learned in Catechism. A religious book that changed my life was By Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I think it was "The Life of Christ" where he gives argument that either Jesus was a madman or the Son of God, and talked of the change in the world pre and post Jesus. He places him as a pivotal character in the world's history, and Judaism as a religion unlike any other before or since. I remember primarily he talked of how all other religions included human sacrifice before the story of Abraham and Isaac. Whether that is true or not, I'm not sure.

I know read primarily factual books about autism or learning differences, but I have come to enjoy the stories by G.K. Chesterton.

School is a lot of work. I am so focused on getting all I can for the kids that I sometimes lose insight on what is really important...their spirits. They are getting used to me, anyhow, and are so sweet!

Thanks for the tag. I'll go back to my rabbit hole, now!


At 3:47 PM, September 01, 2006, Blogger r.b. said...

OOPs, I'm supposed to tag was much easier just to write.

Oy, I'll work on it after a bit of sleep!

At 12:17 AM, September 03, 2006, Blogger Mum is Thinking said...

Rose, if the tagging part stresses you too much (it did me!), don't worry about it! I'm just glad you answered, I had a feeling you've been really busy and might not even have the time.

I'm adding Stranger in a Strange Land and The Idiot to my 'to read' list. I've heard of them both but haven't read either. And it was strange to see The Good Earth on your list, that was another book I borrowed from my grandma when I was a teen. It's such a fantastic book, and I'd forgotten all about it. I want to have another go with that one, it will probably be a completely different read now than it was when I was young.

I hope you're still getting a chance for down time, I can't imagine teaching an entire classroom full of children. I only have one and believe me, that's challenging enough! (homeschooling)

Kathy, I want to look up the Alan Turing book, that sounds interesting :-)


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