Saturday, January 31, 2009

Friday Foto: Book Meme

Mama Dawg over at Two Dogs Running tagged me for a book meme. I like this one as it deals not just with the reading of books, but books as physical objects. Something one can hold and leaf through, connect not just with the aspect of its contents, but with its physical essense. This book meme also allows me to double up with the Friday Foto Finish Fiesta. And yes, I know it is Saturday. But after work yesterday I went with my two closest colleague friends for margaritas, where we discussed the politcal posturing and back stabbing that I have alluded to here recently. Nothing like getting things off one's chest with a little tequila thrown in. Yes?

And here we go...

Books That Have Been on Your Shelves the Longest
These two books of poems were my grandfather's and my mom passed them on to me sometime in my early twenties. I have other books that I have had longer, but they are in storage containers under the stairs. Those books would include my beloved horse books from childhood. I read them all. My Friend Flicka. The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague Island. Black Beauty. Man O' War.

A Book That's Been With You to the Most Places
I'm going to fudge and keep the same titles and stories for this category.
A Book that Reminds You of Something Specific.
These two books by Joan Dideon remind me of my sister and of California. Joan Dideon is a favorite author of ours and my sister gave me these books for my birthday last November. They are on my "to read" stack. My favorite Joan Dideon book is Where I was From, a wonderful book that combines memoir with California history.
A Book You Acquired in an Interesting Way
Every spring at the University of Hawaii there is a Saturday event called "Celebrate Reading." Mostly local authors, with one or two guest authors from the Mainland. When I taught 9th grade (five years) the literature focus was Local and Asian authors. I would acquire the reading list for the festival as soon as it came out. One year I even wrote a grant and was able to get seven of the books in multiple copies and run literature circles. I took the students each year and prepared them to discuss the books with the authors.


Lois Ann Yamanaka is a local writer who used to be a teacher and she is the funniest and most engaging author to hear speak. I would always encourage my students to see her in one of the two break out sessions. I still remember a student asking her how much of what she wrote was made up and how much was pulled from her life. She drew a cornstalk on the board. She started with a dot and said "This is a kernal of corn." After she completed the entire cornstalk, she continued, "Sometimes a story starts with a kernal of the truth. Sometimes it has the stalk, maybe a leaf. Other times a story might even have one or two ears of corn, the stalk, and a lot of the leaves. But you will never know how much is true and I will never tell you."

One year, two of my students came running up to me between break-out sessions. They had this book and they were flushed and excited. "We won a book for you Miss!!!! We won!! Lois Ann Yamanaka said we asked the best questions at the session and for us to give it to you."

Inside the book, Ms Yamanaka wrote this, "To Ms Pseudo - From your bright stars of students. Extra Credit! Lois Ann Yamanaka" It is also signed by the two students.


The Most Recent Addition to Your Shelves
My sister gave me these two books for Christmas. My sister and I are working on a dual memoir of our years living in a mobile home park in Malibu. From 1967 to 1970. She is four years older and we think juxtaposing the two perspectives might be interesting. I have not started the Davenport book yet.
A Bonus Book That You Want to Talk About but Doesn't Fit Into the Other Questions
I read Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama before he announced his candidacy. For Bookclub. I really enjoyed it and one day we were going to our favorite Thai food restaurant and next door the little bookstore had this in the window. Since we had to wait for a table, I went in and checked it out. And bought it. It is a first edition.
Some of my Bookshelves
My books are all over the place. A little bit organized, but not a lot. This is a shelf in the office that has mostly books for work, but other stuff too.
Another office bookshelf. Mostly paperbacks that are on my "to read" list, but also books I've loaned out and have not taken back upstairs yet.
My nightstand. I'm usually reading two to four books at a time. This is my "to read soon" pile.
The bookshelf in my bedroom. Some of the books Iv'e read several times, others are still waiting in the wings. If you click on the photo it enlarges and you can check out the titles if you feel like it.
Here's the rules to this meme.
1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva, the originator, can collect everyone’s answers.
3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a BookMooch Point, if you prefer.
4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.
I'm going to let you tag yourselves if you want to play along....
For more Friday Fotos, head on over to Candid Carrie's.

34 comments:

Michelle said...

Love it! One of my favourite things to do is look at people's bookshelves. Thanks for letting me snoop ;)
Mine are all over the place, in boxes and at my parent's house... we need more space.

lisa said...

Ooo....I always gravitate towards a person's bookcase...you can learn alot about them by what they read.

I always have 2-3 books on my nightstand. Now if I could only stay awake :)

Robin said...

Ditto the comments above, I always find interesting new books to read via other people's bookshelves. Kind of like finding new blogs to read via other people's commenters and blogroll. My nightstand is the same - two book at a time and a stack waiting in the wings. Great post! I think I will play along.

Michele said...

I love to see what other people are reading. Thanks for sharing.

Coachdad said...

What a great post....love reading and just looking at books. Great blog! I am a follower now!

only a movie said...

Oooh, a peek into your world. The first thing I do when I am at someone's house is check out the shelves... Really really fun post, and I love all the trinkets on the black bookshelf.

I may yet play along. But then I'd have to clean up, lol.

Good stuff, pseudo!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Don't look to close...I did not dust before I took the photos.

thistle said...

interesting...really interesting. I would like to do this but my books are too disorganized at the moment. Perhaps later this year when the book are sorted through, i will come back to this idea...

or print off the requirements and do them as i go along, and rediscover each book that fulfills the requirement...

baby steps, the salvation of those of us with ADD...

Debbie said...

I cannot be in someone's home and not look at the books they have. It is endlessly fascinating to me. And if they don't have books? God bless them.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think this kind of post could be broken up into several, one book at a time and let it tell a story outside the story.

Yes, God bless those homes without books and the children growingup in them. I've had students when taught younger ones that said they never had a children's book in their home.

Kristan said...

Oh I LOVE your "book you acquired in an interesting way" story! AND OMG YOU'RE WRITING THE BOOK! THAT IS *AWESOME*!!

creative kerfuffle said...

this is a great meme. i agree with the others who said they like seeing what people are reading. i like that this meme doesn't just say i read xyz book but there's a story to go w/ it. i might have to do this too : ) what an interesting idea.

Braja said...

I'm looking fwd to a couple of margaritas and some backstabbing with you on the retreat.

No...wait...uh...

Ah, what the hell. Pearl and Vodka Mom will be there. We'll mix it up :)

Melissa B. said...

Joan Didion is one of my favorite authors! This is such a great meme...I think I'll give it a spin! BTW, 2 things: Don't forget today's Silly Sunday Sweepstakes. AND, please come over to my place to vote for the Hubz, Mr. Fairway. Thanks!

flurrious said...

Lois-Ann Yamanaka is one of my favorite writers. I stumbled on Blu's Hanging years ago and immediately fell in love with her writing -- her elegant prose smacking up against realistic dialogue. I think she gets darker with each progressive novel, so I'm really interested to read Behold the Many (which is in one of the many stacks of unread books in my house) to see if she pulls back a little.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Books, books! I love books. I have to say that blogging has gotten in the way of my reading of late though.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Braja - that's dirty mean.

I find that blog reading has cut down on my book reading too.

Lois Ann Yamanaka does get darker with each novel. I have to say, Wild Meat and the Bully Brugers is still something I can red over and over.

Joanie said...

I love reading! I used to read 2 or 3 books a week. Then I had kids. I was lucky if I got through 2 or 3 books a year! Now I'm back, going strong! I read FIVE books in January alone! I don't always keep the books. I'm not one to read something over and over again. I like to pass mine on to others to enjoy. I do have a stack of at least 30 books to-be-read. I've abandoned books that I was reading when a favorite author had a new book out. I'm re-starting one of those today, as a matter of fact!

McEwens said...

I do so love looking at peoples book cases!!! Fun to see what they love and read!

smiles4u said...

I too love books and love to see what others have in their book shelves. I really enjoyed reading about the books that have touched your life. How cool is that story about your students winning a book from the author for asking such good questions. You have given the love of reading to so many of your students...what a gift that is!

LiLu said...

Oooooh, a meme I actually love! This is so interesting.

You can learn so much about a person from their bookcase... and their medicine cabinet...

Casey said...

That's so sweet that your students won you a book! I love that they signed it for you too.

I haven't read many adult books since having kids, no time, but I want to check out Obama's book when I get some time.

Anna Lefler said...

Hoo - I love Joan Didion!

Thanks for letting me rummage through your stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Hope you're doing great...

:^) Anna

Wunderwoman said...

Thanks for sharing your bookshelf with us, I LOVE to read!!

Mama Dawg said...

I'm loving your book shelf choices!

How is "Return to Elysium"? I haven't read it yet, but want to.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Return to Elysium is good. I love Joan Grant. But I liked Winged Pharoh better. I loaned it out about 15 years ago and never got it back...always meant to get me another copy.

Just B said...

I really enjoyed reading this and getting a peek into your world of books. Your writing style in the California childhood posts reminds me a great deal of Joan Didion, as a matter of fact.

I like the idea of breaking this meme into a few post. I might give that a try...

D'Arcy said...

Oh, I really want to do this!

Tricia said...

Great post. I love to see what's on people's book shelves and night stands. I wonder what my book shelf says about me. I know my night stand indicates there's a child in my house and is covered with Dr. Seuss titles.

Heather said...

You read a lot of interesting books like my sister....I'm more a sci-fi girl.

Beth said...

Hey! I tried to leave a comment earlier - but we had "touchy" internet service in the hotel. I love your books! Thanks for letting us take a gander. I just might try to do this meme later this week.

I'm putting off the inevitable of unpacking.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think it is very interesting that my favorite authors inluence my writing a little bit. thanks b

I look forward to peeking at a few of yoru bookshelves as well.

The way the work week is going I should have made this a multipart post as I may not have a chance to write anything anytime soon.

Sprite's Keeper said...

These book memes make me feel very unworthy since most of my reads are contemp fiction and Nora Roberts. At least I finished the Twilight series! Finally!

shaunna said...

i can't believe i missed this! (i haven't read blogs for at least a week... but i finished TWO BOOKS).

(i can give you my winged pharaoh, if you want. you gave it to me for my birthday in 1995, and it's on one of my many bookshelves.)

:-)