Friday, January 1, 2010


"WOMAN READING" by Teodor Axtenowicz

Do you have some friends who have no books in their homes? I mean none? What do you think about these people?

"To me a room without books is missing an essential feature, as important as lights, chairs or carpets. Or pictures: in their way, books are like pictures on the wall; they reveal whether you are a minimalist with all covers hidden under plain wrappers, a maximalist whose every room has a generously filled bookcase, or an anarchist whose preferred method of storage is an untidy heap." (from "Books Do Furnish A Room" by Leslie Geddes-Brown).

The presence of books reveals many things, according to the above paragraph. The lack of books reveals a great many things too, about the homeowners. I look down on people who neither display nor own books. I think they are small minded, shallow, ignorant. Hardly worth spending my time with.

By Geddes-Brown's definitions, I guess I am a maximalist, although I wouldn't mind being in an anarchist's house. I would rather spend time in a house messy with books than a house antiseptic with none.

I heard a supervisor (the president of the company) say that she had read a book on the plane during a recent vacation, and it was the first book she had read in many years. Is that something to reveal - something to brag about?

Am I being mean spirited when I say these things about people who don't read, who don't own books? Perhaps I should pity them istead. In her book "The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery writes, "Pity the poor spirit who knows neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language."

I am reading this book now, and I will review it soon. Meanwhile, be assured, it is filled with the enchantment and the beauty of language, there on every single page.

GOLDFISH BOWL" by Lovis Corinth

Here is my very ambitious to-read list for the beginning of 2010:

1. "The Elegance Of The Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery.

2. "Olive Kitteridge: Fiction" by Elizabeth Strout.

3. "Her Fearful Symmetry" by Audrey Niffeneger.|

4. "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson.

5. "The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie" by Alan Bradley.

6. "Testament" by Alis Hawkins.

7. "The Winter Ghosts" by Kate Mosse.

8. "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy

9. "Half-Broke Horses: A True Life Novel" by Jeannette Walls.

10. "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" by Muriel Sparks.

11. "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier.

12. "The Absolutely True Diary of A Part-time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.

13. "Howards End Is On The Landing" by Susan Hill.

14. "The Blue Tattoo" by Margaret Mifflin.

15. "The Zookeeper's Wife" by Diane Ackerman.

16. "People Of The Book" by Geraldine Brooks

17. "The Winter House" by Nicci Gerrard

18. "The Swan Thieves" by Elizabeth Kostova

19. "Travels With Charlie" by John Steinbeck

20. "The Road"  by Cormack McCarthy

Three I have; two ("Testament" and "Travels With Charlie") are for Cornflower Books' online book club (see link above). Others will come to me via BOMC2's monthly shipments (a good deal - $10.00 per book, no shipping). Others I will have to wait to afford. One, "The Winter Ghosts", isn't even published in the United States yet.

Whatever your list, happy reading in 2010.

by Mary Ferris Kelly


Barbara C. said...

Do you ever try the library? It's a great money saver. Enjoyed Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie a lot and am waiting for the next by this author.
Olive Kitteredge--one suggestion that helped my aging brain-Wikipedia has a list of all the characters and who they are!

gemma said...

I use the library to get my books as well. Unless it's something I really want that is always out. Your list looks good. Need to stop in here more often.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we definitely see eye to eye on A Change in Altitude.