Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Memories--Favorite Books

The girls (Cali and Ande) and I are all doing this post on books. I’m taking scriptures out of the running for my answers. I like to think they’re a part of me not just something I read ;0) I also found that children’s books run heavy in my answers—is that because they have happier storylines or because they are more memorable?

1. If you could host a party with 7 literary characters who would they be and why?

Charlotte, the spider, wouldn’t take much space so I’d put her next to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s rotund figure. I’d put Mr. Darcy next to Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle because I think she could finish perfecting him. Next to Mr. Darcy I would put Captain Jack because Cali and Ande would both like to meet him and I think Calvin would actually visit with a guest if Captain Jack was there. I would let Beautiful Joe sit underneath the table and eat whatever scraps he desired and I’d invite Mother Wilder to cook the meal. And last but not least, Amelia Bedilia because she’d just be so thrilled to be included.

Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White)
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald)
Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Captain Jack (These Is My Words by Nancy Turner)
Beautiful Joe (Beautiful Joe: The True Story of a Brave Dog by Quinn Currie, Susan Heinonen)
Mother Wilder (Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Amelia Bedilia (Amelia Bedilia by Peggy Parish)

2. Which literary house would you like most to live in?

The Fitgerald’s in The Great Brain series because they had a water closet before their time or The Swiss Family Robinson tree house.

**wait. wait. Marie reminded me of Anne and Gilbert's house. I need to add one more house to my list: Green Gables. I can't believe I forgot Ann with an e. I'm certain her feelings are hurt.

3. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?

Please, please don’t let my mother be Elizabeth Bennett’s mother. As far as a couple, I think I’d have to hope that Mr. March died in the war and Ma died on the prairie and that Mr. Ingalls and Mrs. March found each other and then gave birth to me.

Elizabeth Bennett’s mother in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
March's in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Ma and Pa in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

4. Pick 3 literary characters you would like to have as siblings.

Jenny Weasley. Caddie Woodlawn. J.D. Fitzgerald

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowlings
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald

5. Who is your favorite literary villain?

I’m not fond of bad men; however Lucian Ferrell (Tregaron’s Daughter by Madeline Brent) made an awfully nice hero disguised as a villain.

6. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like them?

Marie Antoinette. I think she wasn’t big enough for the situation she was placed in and, given some help, could have done better. (Thank you Victoria Holt for that novel perspective.)

7. Name 3 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists that are on your own.

Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Daddy Longlegs by Jean Webster
The Tightwad Gazette’s by Amy Dacyczyn (I doubt you'll ever see this on another reading list)

8. What is your favorite literary name?

Why, Jane is a lovely name.

9. What is a book that changed your life?

I don’t know that I can say one book changed my life, but many have definitely improved it. I often reflect on advice given in Corrie ten Boom’s books: Be grateful in all things and “Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.”

11. What is a book that you’ve read more than once?

I read lots of books more than once. However, the winner of read-the-most-times would be every book in The Little House series. My third and fourth grade teacher (Mrs. Roberts) read them to us each year as well as having read them myself several times, including this last summer.

12. What is a book that you’d want on a desert island?

A big, thick, detailed, how-to book on gathering and planting seeds, avoiding wild animals and directions for tying knots, starting a fire by friction and building that Swiss Family Robinson tree house.

13. What is a book that made you laugh?

Parts of Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: just picturing the scrambled egg eye, the man wearing the woman’s v-neck sweater and the glasses without lenses still makes me smile

Prize-Winner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan: envisioning the mother standing at the ironing board melting her girdle back together with the iron

Dark Angel by Robert Kirby: from a ten year old’s perspective, “old squash-bottom” was a good visual of a woman you don’t like bending over a wood stove

The Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin: very, very clever . . . just think of Aunt Susan (or whatever her aunt's name was) stuck in the screen

14. What is a book that made you cry?

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Old Dan, Little Ann . . . how can you not cry in that book?

15. What are you currently reading?

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis ( I know, I know, everybody but me has read it.)
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card

16. What is a book you’ve been meaning to read?

Einstein by Walter Isaacson has been on my nightstand for a month and a half
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang has been in my basket for a year.

17. What is a non-fiction book that you have enjoyed?

I really, really, really liked John Adams by David McCullough

18. What is a book that you don’t enjoy?

I didn’t care for or finish Memoirs of a Geisha or Memory Keeper’s Daughter.

19. What is a book you remember as a real page-turner?

Probably the cheesiest romance novel ever written. It was called “A Chosen Love.” I got it for Christmas (along with some gummy bears) when I was fifteen or sixteen. I stayed up later than ever before eating gummy bears and reading. Truly, it was stupid, but the mother made tuna fish casserole and whole wheat bread and that just appealed to the promising frugal homemaker in me as much as the romance did. I just loved that book as bad as it was—a 2:00 a.m. page-turner.

20. Who is your literary role model?

I thought and thought on this, but it took Ande to point it out to me. Atticus Finch is my male role model and the mother in Man of the Family is my female role model.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Man of the Family by Ralph Moody

Feel free to grab these questions for your own blog if you'd like.


Lucy said...

I don't think I could do this. Wow. I'm impressed by your details and reasons for answering. And you made me want to read John Adams:)

ShelleyG said...

Hi! I'm one of Lucy's friends in CO :). I just started reading John Adams and have ordered The Hiding Place this morning for my ward book club! :) I can rarely remember many details from novels but I recognized lots of your books. Fun to read your ideas. CS Lewis is the bomb-I love his brain.

Anonymous said...

BEST BLOG EVER!! I could have read, and read, and read. What creative geniusness. I didn't really much care for Mrs. March but reading about Ma Ingalls and Mr. March dying so that Mr. Ingalls and Mrs. March could marry cracked me up. That was too funny. Oh, and I especially liked who you invited to your dinner. Way too funny. What a hoot. More, more, more.
That picture of Ande with the wood looks just like a baby picture of her would look. In fact, put a tiny body on her and your set.


Marie said...

I loved reading this. I am such a bibilophile and it was fun for me to see what you came up with. I thought your creation of a new couple as parents was clever. Who doesn't love Marmee?

If I could live in any house in literature, it would be Ingleside. The home Anne and Gilbert raised their family in. I have always loved it and wanted to name my own home after it. "Ingleside." Isn't that a beautiful name for a home?

My favourite name in literature is Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate from Dr. Suess. Just reading it makes me smile.

Jill said...

This is such a great post, but I don't think my memory is good enough to do it too!

I love the way you came up with the ideal fictional parentage and I totally agree!

I'll be interested to know what you think about The Screwtape Letters, I think it's brilliant.

Ande Payne said...

Oh I love your list!!! What a well read mother I have. Thank you for always reading to me when I was little and passing on your love for literature!

Amy said...

I absolutely love this post...what a delight! Especially the who & why details of the first question. I love that you're a person who has obviously thought this through. And your #3 had me laughing true!

Susan W. said...

I'd forgotten all about The Great Brain series! I loved that! Maybe I'll get some of them for Erin for Christmas this year.

When I was a child, we were lucky enough to have our property actually back up to the county library's. With my mother's love of writing for children (thereby always checking out books both for reference material and for her own enjoyment), I always had a lot of wonderful books surrounding me, and thus a lot of happy memories to look back upon.

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

Hey your blog is awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

Cynthia said...

Your blog really brought back memories. I loved the Little Britches series. My sixth grade teacher read them to us after lunch recess. You have motivated me to check out the Screwtape letters.

Julie said...

Let me know what you think of Ella Minnow Pea. It drove me crazy! I have such a terrible memory that I could never compile a list. I read books over and over and sometimes the ending is still a suprise! I should take more omega-3 or something. One book I read just last week that really made me think was "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. A true story.

Becky said...

I don't think I have enough room for this comment! You are my literary kindred spirit, Jane! Where can I even begin to start? Suffice it to say that I just kept nodding my head...I have lived easily half my life in 90% of the books you listed...I still have the entire boxed set of Little House on the Praire books (in their yellow box and the books falling apart) that I got about 20 years ago. I also have the copy of Anne of Green Gables that I read in 3rd grade. I always wished that Jo's mother could be my own (and spent many years wishing I was Jo March since we have a bit in common). Daddy Longlegs is a well-kept literary secret (but the movie is a sad disappointment)...and I can smell my pizza burning in the oven while I get lost in my literary "memories"! :) LOL

P.S. I regularly buy cheesy Christian romance novels at Wal-Mart and joke with Jeff that they are my literary "junk food" :)

michelle said...

I LOVED this post!

Anne with an e. One of my all-time favorite characters.

Atticus is my role model, too!

You have got so many great memories, Jane. (one of my favorite names as well)