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Friday, December 21, 2007

The Search for Things Dear




What are the books that you hold most dear?

I love books.
Love, love, love them.

As a child, they were my friends
and constant companions.
I could be found, more often than not,
sprawled out on my bed reading a book
while my mother would be cajoling me to go outside.

My daughter, and increasingly my son,
are readers as well.
My daughter seems to have a book permanently
attached to the end of her arm.
You will find a book on the sofa,
another on the kitchen island,
several in the van
and several in her backpack.

Lately, I have been paring down things in my life.
The clutter, the extras, the backlog of "stuff"
has been irritating me.
I have been finding donating this backlog
to be rewarding.

By the same token, however,
I find myself longing for certain books.
Books that I loved and lent out
never to be returned.
Books that shaped me,
that altered my life as a teen
from self absorbed to focused
on a career as a special education teacher.

So, even as I pare down,
I am slowly building up a few shelves
with books that I have truly enjoyed
and have re-read again and again.
Books that I revisit as "comfort food for the heart".
Most of these I am acquiring used and online
for very reasonable prices.

Here are some that are going into my treasured books shelves:

A Circle of Children by Mary McCracken, as well as most of her other books.

Somebody Else's Kids by Torey Hayden, as well as most of her other books.

Son-rise by Barry Neil Kaufman. This book, and the accompanying made for TV movie, altered the direction of my life. They now have an autism treatment center.

One Two Three by Eleanor Craig, as well as most of her other books.

The Ride of Our Lives- Roadside Lessons of an American Family by Mike Leonard.

Wisdom of Our Fathers- Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons by Tim Russert

Keeping Faith- A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps by John and Frank Schaeffer.

One thing that I have been longing for is 7 Up in the USSR. This is a documentary made by Michael Apsted, of the famed 7-UP series done in Britain (I also long for this series, but not as much. lol).
7-Up in the USSR has haunted me for years. It is nearly impossible to find. I stupidly loaned it out to someone who lost it. :-(
::::sniffle::::

As you can tell by this list, the books that move me, that I go to again and again, are books of relationships, of going through the fire and coming out clean, and of hope and redemption.

What are books that you go to again and again, that changed you or bring you comfort?
Share them!

4 comments:

Melissa said...

I couple of books that come to mind that I love are:
The Time Traveler's Wife, The Kite Runner, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Poisonwood Bible, Preparing for Jesus, Peony in Love, Deliver Us from Evil, and, of course, the Bible.

Hey, Leeann, how about doing movies next?

nicrogers said...

YOur book list is way loftier than mine. I go for trashy novels. Sorry! But I like your list. It is very good. It is so good, I just may have to check some of them out. But when I am not reading some text book, I am opting for crap.

Natalie said...

Oh man, I'm on the trashy list, too, in terms of reading in my adult life. I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I love the history/romance.

But I always think of books from my youth: Little House on the Prairie series, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames.

PPFQP said...

I'm way behind, but I can't let this pass by. I have a "TBR" (To Be Read) book shelf of things waiting for me to read. Then I have a "on the way out bookshelf" of books that I've already read and are avaiable for request on paperbackswap.com or half.com. Then I have a "reference" shelf with nonfiction books that I want to keep (mostly parenting books, twins books, Christian books, etc.). Then I have a "Keeper" shelf. What's on it: All the books by Maeve Binchy and Jan Karon. I'm in the process of acquiring all the paperback copies of Philippa Gregory's books (The Other Boleyn Girl, etc.) and the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I have some books that I loved as a kid: Phanton Tollbooth, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, The Outsiders, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and The Twenty-One Balloons. Then my adult favorites: Cane River by Lalita Tademy, Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns, Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman, The Dress Lodger by Shari Holman (also The Mammoth Cheese by the same author), Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult, Operating Instructions by Anne LaMott, and The Gravel Drive by Kirk Martin. There are more to be sure, but those are the highlights.