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.
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.