I think you can tell a lot about a person by what books you find on their bookshelves. So, in order to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers, I thought we would peek at their bookcases and see what they read… the good, the bad, and the embarrassing!
My very first guest post (ever!) has been provided by the lovely Laura at Casa del Hansen. I can’t even remember how I found her blog–but through some maze of the internet, I found her last summer and have been a loyal reader ever since! She checks all of my qualifications for a must-follow blog: She’s funny. She’s smart. She takes lots of pictures. Bonus: She’s a Librarian AND her married last name just so happens to be the one letter off from my maiden name! What’s not to love??
Check out her blog for a look into the life of a librarian… who also happens to love (in no particular order, of course!) her fluffy dog Luigi, her software designing and hobbyist bartender extraordinaire husband, travelling to exotic locales, and her new journey into motherhood!
I’ve been having so much fun collaborating with Laura and getting to know her more through her bookshelf! She generously agreed to take part in this series and gamely answered all my questions–she even added a 10th when I was stumped!
So now, without further ado, Take a Peek at Casa del Hansen‘s bookshelf!
1. If your home was burning down and you could only rescue one book (the e-reader doesn’t count!), which would it be?
Oh, this is hard!! I can’t decide between three: there’s my Bible, my beautiful edition of the complete works of Jane Austen, or my husband’s brand-new complete edition of Calvin and Hobbes (mainly because it’s one I doubt we’d ever get around to replacing, which would make him very sad).
2. Do you keep books on display because they look pretty (no shame in that!) or because they’re your favorites?
Since we’ve reorganized (see below), books are more on certain shelves because they were convenient. We did try to keep the fiction shelving in a place that is more seen than others, though, since we tend to have people borrow more books from it.
3. Have you kept any books from your childhood; if yes, which ones and why? If no, why not and where are they now?
Yes! We have a whole shelf of my old kids’ books – including my sets of Little House on the Prairie (I was a pioneer for Halloween three years in a row because of those!), Anne of Green Gables, some collections of fairy tales, Goosebumps, and more – we have my husband’s old standbys on there, too. We also have a box of old picture books ready and waiting to be put on a shelf in our little one’s room once we start furnishing it (I’m especially excited to read our baby the first books I ever read by myself – “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gag and several Dr Seuss classics!).
4. Which genre(s) monopolize your bookshelf, and why?
I’m an 19th-century British novel junkie, so I have quite a lot of those.
5. Of the books on your bookshelf (or e-reader), which is the latest that has stuck with you even after you finished it? (I’m fishing for book recommendations here!)
There are two that I’ve read recently that have really stuck with me:
One is called “The Weird Sisters,” by Eleanor Brown, which is about three very different sisters who all find themselves back in their parents’ home for the summer when their mother is diagnosed with cancer. They all go through quite a lot of sad and funny self-discovery as individuals and as sisters, and it’s a pretty fun read to hear all about it (especially for someone like me, who’s always idealized what it would be like to have a sister).
Second, I finally just got around to reading “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society,” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, a few weeks ago. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s an amazing book written about the aftermath of WWII in formerly Nazi-occupied Guernsey (a tiny island in the English Channel). But it’s also a love story and a great read for anyone who loves to read, because a lot of the discussions between characters start with discussions of books. I also love that it is an epistolary novel (written as a series of letters), so you get the point of view of many of the different characters. Very fun!
6. What is the most random/unexpected book you own?
Hehehe – a lot of them are random, but I’m not sure is anyone who knows us would think they’re unexpected, since both Loren and I love random books? One that I think is fun is called “Reading the OED,” by Ammon Shea. It’s all about a man’s adventure reading through the entire Oxford English Dictionary in a year (think “Julie and Julia” for word nerds).
7. Do you prefer hardbacks, paperbacks, or e-books?
To be honest, it depends a lot on the book. I love e-books for the convenience when travelling, but nothing can ever beat a nice, worn-out old edition that smells a bit musty and is filled with marginalia – be it hardcover or paperback.
8. Do you organize your books in any way?
Sigh.. this is a bit embarrassing, but we actually just moved and reorganized all of our books, and I may have gone a bit overboard with librarian mode. We have several sections now, split up by our different shelving units: general fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, literature, poetry, cooking, bartending, biography, travel, children’s, etc. I avoided the Dewey Decimal System, but they are all in alphabetical order by author, too. Go ahead and groan, we know it’s weird, but wow does it make things easy to find!
9. What’s next on your to-read list, and how do you choose what to read next?
Because of the nature of my job – and my coworkers! – I am always coming upon or hearing of books I would love to read. It’s hard to remember them all (and actually, if it’s a new edition and looks different, sometimes I even forget if I’ve already read it before!), so I use a Goodreads account to keep track. My “To-Read” list has nearly 90 titles on it right now and is constantly growing – and when I’m looking for something new to read I tend to go there first and browse around to find something I’m in the mood for, and since I tend to get most of my books from libraries, I also look to see if I can find something easily available.
Next on my to-read list (after I finish chugging through the Game of Thrones series – on #5 now!) is “Shadow Tag” by Louise Erdrich or anything I haven’t read yet by Margaret Atwood. Those ladies are two of my favorite contemporary authors, and I’m having fun reading through all of their books – I’ve yet to find one I didn’t like.
10. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” book you’re a bit embarrassed to say you love?
Yep! One of the most well-worn books on my shelf is “Remembrance” by romance author Jude Deveraux – I received it as a Christmas present from a cousin years ago, and although I think it’s a bit trashy, I can’t help but love it – as well as being a fun, easy-to-read romance, it’s a historical fiction, time-travel tale about soul mates.
Thank you so much, Laura! Go check out her blog Casa del Hansen for more of her life and musings.
Stay tuned next Friday for another guest post to Take a Peek at Crossing Bridges’ Bookshelves!