A lively chat about YA books on today’s comments over at IPB, has me thinking it’s time to add a few more YA titles to my posts. So how about some treasures from the Bookshelf?
Up in Seth’s Room belongs on the shelf because it is such a notable book to me in terms of my growing up. I’ll never forget the first time I read it-borrowed from my older cousin while we were vacationing at my grandparents’. I was definitely too young to be reading it as, when I was done reading it, I was left with a few questions about parts of the book I just didn’t understand. Continue reading
A Bookshelf book
This fat tome is often cited as an influential and/or favorite book. I first read it when assigned to for a college course called Human Love in Philosophy and Literature. It was a neat course taught by two professors together, both of whom I liked very much. We read such interesting very different works of literature–it was a standout course. Thanks Trenton State! (Nope, I will not call it College of New Jersey.) How can I summarize the plot? I can’t. Instead I will just mention a few reasons this book is on my shelf. I’ve read the book three times I think and each time loved it a little more. I’m not a fan of Rand, nor a follower of Objectivism, but I think that not only is Atlas Shrugged a superb story, it’s also an incredibly well written one.
I still remember our professor pointing out a sentence (the first one?) about a car being driven down the street, and pointing out that Rand did not throw away words and sentences–they all contributed something to the writing and the story. That impressed me very much, especially given the size and depth of the book. Continue reading
a Bookshelf book
This is a cherished book from my childhood that has totally stood the test of time. You know how sometimes you remember a book so fondly and then you see it again as an adult and think it’s kind of lame? This is not one of them. The copy pictured on The Bookshelf is actually a new reissue. When I found out it was being republished I immediately purchased copies for myself and my two brothers. I do still own the original and it is quite tatty by now, in addition to missing the the glorious last page, and having many of the bears sporting mustaches, goatees, and hats drawn on by various kids. I couldn’t wait to get the new copy and see that missing page. Disappointingly the size of the book is not the same oversize as the original and the pages are shiny instead of matte paper (like the original.) However, being able to see the final spread? Awesome.
So what makes this book so special? Mostly the pictures. There are a Mama and Papa bear and their twelve children, who have wonderfully rhyming names like Flora and Dora, and Hannah and Johanna. Each bear lives in her own tree and here is where it all happens for me. We get to see inside each tree and how each bear has decorated it. When I was little I would pore over these pictures and try to decide which tree I would live in. The one that looked like a medieval castle? Or how about the cozy dutch kitchen? Maybe the farmhouse? Or the mod 60s one? We also get to see the matching bedrooms for each of these little houses. In the winter story the bears wake up from their hibernation to experience winter fun and end up decorating their trees. This was where my missing page was and it was so sad to not be able to see how all the trees looked. Some had pinecone decorations, others swags of fabric, others shiny gold and silver things–it was a winter wonderland!
A very charming old story that any child would enjoy looking at again and again! (That said, I tried to read this to my 2 year old the other day and every time I started he brought me a different book to read instead. Perhaps in a couple years he’ll enjoy it more.)
I long to live in an Elizabeth Enright book. The childhoods are innocent and filled with games, long sunny summer evenings, a little bit of excitement, and simple pleasures. It’s all very idyllic. Though I like many of her books, the Melendy Family books are my favorites. I have so many fond memories of these books, starting with the fact that all three of them were published in one big fat pink book called the Melendy Family, which I checked out of my school library many many times. I felt like I was getting quite a deal since we were allowed two books per week and by choosing that as one I was really getting to take home four.
The Saturdays is the first book which introduces the characters while they all live in New York City. There’s Rush–a gifted pianist and the second oldest, Mona–the oldest who longs to be an actress and as such is prone to dramatics, Miranda–the tomboy artist, and Oliver–the baby of the family. They live with their adoring father and stern but loving housekeeper, Cuffy. One boring day they come up with a plan to pool their allowances and let each person have the combined total for a special Saturday of his or her own. In this way they can each do something they really want. These Saturdays change their lives. Continue reading