A couple of weeks ago Evelyne Holingue introduced me to the Bookshelf Tag in her wonderful French/English blog. She didn’t tag me, but I love books and I thought that I could have fun with this. Of course, I was slow to take up the challenge and Jolene Mottern took some of the snarky steps I might have taken. So, if my post looks like hers, it’s not plagiarism, it’s great minds thinking alike. In my first apparent theft from Jolene, I’ll go on record about the fact that I’m not going to tag anyone else. I think I did say that in a comment on Evelyne’s blog, maybe even before Jolene. Maybe she stole that from me.
OK, enough about how I got here; there are 10 questions to answer. But, before I answer them, I should tell you that my answers aren’t going to be all literary and classic mentioning bits of wisdom. I read stuff that I find interesting and I like what I like, so here goes:
1 – Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
Now I’m wondering if I’ve accidentally stepped into a women’s only challenge. I once walked into a Women’s Restroom by mistake and that was unpleasant for all involved. Oh, right, books. Yeah, I’m not a big crying kind of guy. Let’s skip this one.
2 – Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
Actually, Evelyne’s book “Trapped in Paris” introduced me to Young Adult Fiction. It’s been a long time since I was a young adult. It’s a fun, engaging thriller and I recommend it regardless of age. I am a slow, methodical reader; I read certain books at certain times. I’m reading this book, in small bites, before going to sleep. I will say that it has kept me up a few nights.
3 – Find a book that you want to reread.
“From the Twilight Zone.” I read this book so many times in Junior High School, I think I was the only name on the front side of the library card. I started thinking about it after another blog buddy featured some of Rod Serling’s books on Shadow & Substance. I found a copy on eBay and my wife bought it for me. Yeah, she’s an enabler.
4 – Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?
Like Joey said, there are ones I wouldn’t read again, but I’m glad I read them, the books featuring Jack Ryan for example. The question seems a little weird. I mean if I wished I hadn’t read a series of books, I would think I would have stopped reading it. Now I’ll introduce you to the reason I added the disclaimer about literary works. A series that I loved reading and will probably re-read is a 25-year collection of reprints of Popular Mechanics Shop Notes from 1905 to 1930. These were written at a time when men made things and made the things that they made things with.
One of my favorite tips was how to repair a mill’s main shaft. This would be a 6” diameter huge hunk of iron. The shaft broke, and the solution was to “chisel connecting slots on opposite sides of the shaft, insert key-stock in the slot and bind it with a steel band…” Let me just say that “chiseling a slot in iron” is, not, easy.
My second favorite tip is “how to remove a stuck pulley using dynamite.” Seriously, who doesn’t like stuff like that?
5- If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
OK, first off you would have to add ‘tools’ to family and pets. Then I might still put photos and backup drives ahead of books. “The Twenty Elephant Restaurant” would be high on my list because I think it’s out of print and amazon and eBay don’t always have used copies for sale. It’s a fantastic children’s story that my brother gave us when our daughter was born. And, in more ways than one, I resemble the husband in the story.
6 – Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?
There are several: “Miracle at Midway” – I borrowed it from a friend so many times that he finally gave it to me. Also,“Hollywood’s Celebrity Gangster, The Incredible Life and Times of Mickey Cohen;” because I met my friend Brad Lewis (the author) in the bar at the Cambridge Hyatt and I had wonderful time talking to him that night and again the following evening (more about that in previous post). I should add “The Twenty Elephant Restaurant” because of fun times we had reading it to Faith. And, you can toss in almost all Dr. Seuss books but especially “Green Eggs & Ham” and “The Sneetches”. And yes, that’s my stuffed star-bellied Sneetch. Owning that should make up for my skipping question #1.
7 – Find a book that has inspired you the most.
Wow, that’s hard. I’ve read a lot of inspiring stories. It might seem like a cliché, but I think I would put the Bible ahead of books about General Patton, the battle of Midway and The 20 Elephant Restaurant?
8 – Do you have any autographed books?
I do, but either they aren’t signed to me or they aren’t signed by the author. We have a copy of “Great White Doctor” but Brad Lewis signed it and sent it to my wife. I bought him a glass of scotch and I bought a copy of Celebrity Gangster but he signed a book for my wife – go figure. I have a Delta tool maintenance handbook that was signed and given to my dad and my copy of Miracle at Midway is signed by my friend who has since passed away.
9 – Find the book that you have owned the longest.
Warning – repeat answer coming. That little New Testament pictured here was given to me in Sunday School, probably before I could read most of it.
10 – Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?
“Mythology” by Edith Hamilton. In fact, I would never have read this book if it wasn’t required by my poetry professor. I’m running out of room here but you can read more about that story in an earlier post.