Sunday, July 10, 2005

Tag - I'm it!

In my continuing process of catching up on the past three months (!), I now return at last to Claire Wolfe's book tag challenge from (gack!) late May. With the luxury of time to think, I’m having a ball on this. Thanks, Claire!

Total number of books I've owned:

Wow. No idea. I know I’ve got 24 boxes full currently, because I just moved and had to pack them lovingly. But I gave away another 7 boxes worth before that move, and probably have given or sold another dozen boxes in recent years, not including college texts. So I’m thinking I must have owned at least 50 boxes in my lifetime, at 30 to 40 books per box…maybe 1750 total?


Last book I bought:

RebelFire: Out of the Gray Zone
by Claire Wolfe


Last book I read:

I’m about to start reading RebelFire! :-D Currently I’m working through Jack M. Bickham’s Writing and Selling Your Novel, a gift from my fellow newbie novelist Bobaloo. Also reading Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman by Kate Clifford Larson as part of my novel research.


Five books that mean a lot to me:
I interpret this to mean books that have helped to wake me up to what my soul wants and loves in life. Books that I’ve kept close by me since first reading them. Books I wouldn’t be without if I had to cut my possessions down to the very minimum.

One: Everything by Agatha Christie. (Okay, this is cheating, because I can’t choose just one of her books. Deal with it.) I’m a nut for her mysteries. She combines exquisite characters, psychologically true, with deliciously twisted, intelligent, clever plots and a beautifully lighthearted sense of life. Some of her mysteries aren’t even murder stories but playful chases by boy of girl or vice versa. I never get tired of rereading them…just wish I didn’t already own them all, so I could look forward to more. And you know what? They offer tons of good ideas for Outlaws too. In fact, I’m planning a whole blogopotamus on that theme one of these days. ;-)

A few of my favorites from Christie: Death on the Nile (the first one I ever read, at age 14), Cards on the Table, Murder on the Orient Express, Destination Unknown, and 4:50 from Paddington.

Two: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. You knew it would show up here. It shows up in most of my blog entries. I can’t say enough about it – devoured it early in college after having been assigned The Fountainhead in high school. Rand had her eccentricities and flaws, yes. But the woman GOT it – got the whole miserable process of statist overgrowth - down to the last detail. She gave us the gulching solution. And she came from Russia and learned to write English with that much precision and power. This book absolutely belongs in the firmament.

Three: Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg. They knock me out of my daily, conventional mind, and rev up the ineffable depths.

Four: The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon. Oh, my. I first read this in 1995 and knew I’d found my direction. Now I reread it twice a year or more – it’s perfect for a snowed-in day. Logsdon is a delightfully creative, commonsensical farmer and writer who goes his own way, stands against the tide of agribusiness, and reveres nature’s simple processes and cycles without being at all a dippy liberal. This is a fantastic how-to book about working one’s place at nature’s pace.

Five: I Am Not a Number! by Claire Wolfe. I debated about which of her books to list here. 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution was such a daringly delicious delight to read, and remains so after eight years – and The Freedom Outlaw’s Handbook is the very inspiration for this blog. But Number goes a step farther, into the wondrously difficult and rewarding realm of how to build a life with others who also intend to live as free human beings.

I'm taking the liberty of adding a few (okay, it turned out to be a lot – help, I can’t seem to stop!) more titles that remain very present refuges, and well-worn, much-loved signposts:

All the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yes, I still reread them once every other year or so…and they’ll be in my gulch bookshelf one day.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. I think this book is why I enjoy the company of animals more than that of many people. I still reread it now and then too.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. An independent spirit wins through after all, and (yum!) Timothy Dalton played Mr. Rochester in the miniseries on A&E…

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. An absolute classic. So darn well-written and such a vast yet coherent plot.

If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. Lush and open, dreamy but action-oriented, a joy to savor.

The House by the Sea and Recovering: A Journal by May Sarton. I found these during my own depression, and loved the New England scenes and the writer’s struggles about which Sarton wrote so well.

Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution by A.J. Langguth. History that makes sense, is a great narrative read, and inspires too. Gives you a sense of how it all unfolded, how it was interconnected, and what the participants were really thinking. Yummy.

The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane. I never knew till I read this quirky book that there was a lot of history being hidden through the centuries. Can’t agree with her entire position, but it’s a wonderful read.

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. The heroine is just too perfect, but this book and its several sequels are amazing in scope and detail. They’re the story of a woman who learns to go it alone.

Building the Hewn Log House by Charles McRaven. Wow! You mean people build their OWN homes???

The Complete Book of Cordwood Masonry Housebuilding by Rob Roy. Ditto – and here’s how to do it with small, lightweight components and even a hot tub!

Finding your Own North Star by Martha Beck. Humorous, yet so insightful - a self-help book that's all about the real self.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He lived it – lived the minimalistic, individualistic life - built the cabin, hoed the beans, and nurtured his freewheeling soul. He too was a Freedom Outlaw.


Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:

Shoot, I don’t know a lot of folks with blogs who haven’t been tagged yet. But here are a few I’d love to hear from:

Debeez - awaiting a link to her feisty blog

Bobaloo – his Serenity Gulch blog may be defunct, but we’d sure enjoy seeing it go live again!

Mantispid

Unstructured

John DeWitt (Joel Simon)

Tim Osman




2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see ya back on the scene Lightning! When I get a little time I'll join in.

Peace and Thank you for the mention,
Unstructured from:(unstructuredreality)

7/12/2005 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

unstructuredreality's privacy and liberty blog is no longer activated. Keep up the good work. We're not going away though. Thanks again for the link. 3400 strong you can't go wrong for just a guy running around this "free" land. Thanks Lighning, I won't "pimp" my sites anymore here, you have more important things to say :)

Peace and Good Day

9/23/2005 12:51 AM  

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