Thursday, February 28, 2013

bookshelf as personal history

I thought it might be fun to visually document my bookshelves, a bookshelf as personal history of sorts. That we might be the sum of what we've read, re reading, or are planning, hoping someday to read. Even the books that we thought we might like to read, but gave up on. I'll post a photo and a list from time to time, as a way to keep track. My only fear is that as I rediscover some of my old favorites I might want to start re-reading them and my to-read pile will never get any smaller ...


'Salem's Lot, Stephen King - this was the first book I read by Stephen King as an adult. As a teen in high school we all passed around Carrie. It's still my favorite of his books so far. I love the quick but accurate character sketches of the people of 'Salem's Lot and their small town life, which quickly turns very, very scary and creepy.

The Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens - this was my father's book. I took most of his books when he died. He was very into poetry in his later years, and Stevens was one of his favorites, along with Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson.

The Naked Man, Claude Lévi-Strauss - this book was so important for me when I was doing more visual art, painting, drawing, and collage. I loved Joseph Campbell and his ideas about how so many myths from so many different cultures and religions have similar themes, but somehow this book by Lévi-Strauss really made that argument more clearly and more interesting for me. Focusing on North and South American Indan mythology, The Naked Man is a scholarly text, but also fascinating and involving.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson - I love short stories, especially ones with supernatural or ghostly themes. This is a paperback that I picked up and forgot about, so now having unearthed it, I will finally read it — it's moved from the bookcase to the bedside table — that's progress in the to-read pile.

Catwings Return, Ursula K. Le Guin - I loved reading these books with my daughter and am now reminded that I need to dive into Le Guin's Earthsea series, which has also been in my to-read stack for way too long.

Looks like I have some books to read ...

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