Book Chat

Take a Peek… at Bird and Poppy’s Bookshelf!

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!
Megan has been blogging for quite some time, at various internet locations, and her latest endeavors (yes, plural!) chronicle her professional quilting ventures and her life adventures in general.
I’ve known Megan for a long while, ever since I entered that hallowed institution known as middle school when I moved from one southern state to another.  Ah, memories!  We have a lot of them between us.  In fact, Megan recently discovered boxes of notes passed between us through four years of high school… that’s a lot of notes!

I seem to remember writing them almost every single class period, excepting the classes that we shared, of course… and maybe even then, too.  But what I don’t quite remember… is what was so important that we couldn’t wait another forty minutes to share it in person!  Or during our daily telephone marathons, sleepovers, band trips, etc.  I’m sure it was very, very crucial information.

Life has its twists and turns, and so has our friendship, there’s no denying that; many, many years after we first met, I’m now happy to introduce you to my friend through her blogs—you will enjoy them whether you quilt, or craft, or if you just relish hearing about the life of a dreamer and her mad scientist husband!

Bird and Poppy is full of crafting escapades and Meg4Piece is a sanctuary for happy thoughts and musings, or as Meg puts it “all my personal yada yadas”.  Check them out!

And now, without further ado, let’s peek into Meg’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? 

I’m going to admit I stopped a long time to think about this one. I wanted to tell you all about my favorite books and which ones from my childhood are the most important, but I kept returning back to the same book. It’s a tiny little copy of Walden by Thoreau.  See, all my childhood books can be bought again. It’s the physical memories of reading those books with Mom and other loving family members that are so important.

The thing about the little orange Walden is that it was my Grandma’s when she was a teenager.  She’s probably long forgotten it, but I loved reading through it and seeing all her notations and underlined passages.  There’s one particular part that she emphasized that I absolutely adore: “However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names…Love your life, poor as it is.” What better advice is there than that?

2. Do you keep books on display because they look pretty (no shame in that!) or because they’re your favorites?  

My answer is Yes! I display my favorites, but I’m not too ashamed to admit I TOTALLY judge a book by its cover, choosing the most attractive in the bookstore. My husband always looks at my books in surprise, “How do they cost $15?!” Now, perhaps, he knows why! I mean, just look at this copy of the Secret Garden. Would I have owned the Secret Garden regardless, probably, I adore the book, but when I saw this copy I knew I MUST own it.

On the other hand, I have yet to own a copy of one of my favorite books, Rebecca, because I have yet to find a copy that doesn’t look like a trashy romance novel. I mean look at this:

This is a classic gothic novel. You’d think they could do a little better than that!

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. All of them. I adore books, I hoard them. I am so good about keeping a clean, uncluttered environment for the most part (I clean out my closets at least three times a year!), but when it comes to books I’m a bit certifiable.

4. Which genre(s) monopolize your bookshelf, and why?

Classics and Narrative Nonfiction

I used to be a little embarrassed about my love of Classics, ever since I got a very strange look at the checkout counter for buying Great Expectations to read for fun (loved it by the way!). But here’s the thing I realized. Classics are classics for a REASON. So, a few years ago I said to hell with it , and I started reading them without shame.  My favorite Classic being Emma—in my opinion she’s the most real of all the great heroines.

I’ve just recently gotten into Narrative Nonfiction, but I read them like candy. I’ve always been a little bummed at my Elementary Education college career (Isn’t there so much MORE to be learned?!), when someone suggested I learn from books rather than spend money on classes (I want to say my thrifty husband may have had something to do with that), I began to read them with abandon.  My favorite NN must be The Secret Life of Lobsters, though The Physics of Superheroes Spectacular Second Edition is a close second. Also, anything by Bill Bryson. I love Bill Bryson.

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!) 

Hmm, that’s a good question. I know that feeling, the one where you want to read a book much more slowly so it doesn’t ever end, and when it does you stare dreamily into distance unmoved by doggie nudges or a spouse wondering about a certain evening-time meal? I guess the last two books to really stick with me were A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle and An Alter in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor.  Mayle’s Year is I think the perfect travel diary. Easy, simple and yet so beautiful to read. Yum!  Taylor’s book, on the other hand, was a very long repeat of A-ha! Moments. She seemed to put into words all the things I’ve been thinking about modern Christianity.  I tend to turn away from religious books, but for some reason this one grabbed my attention, and I am SO glad it did.

6. What is the most random/unexpected book you own?
I guess that would be my growing set of graphic novels.  I have been told time and again by those that I work with that I am a stealth braniac (yeah, I know, right?), and have never been asked more if I needed help finding something than when I am in the graphic novel section.  I personally think of myself as a major dork, but I guess a feminine girl in the graphic novel section isn’t the usual.  By the way, for those interested in graphic novels, but unsure of the genre or don’t know where to start, I highly recommend Jeff Smith’s Bone series as a starting point. Epic and highly developed, it is still low on violence and Scholastic has come out with a beautiful colored reprint in the last several years.

7. Do you prefer hardbacks, paperbacks, or e-books?
Paperbacks all the way, but not the romance novel size. I like the pretty, larger variety, especially if they have the rough edges. Yum!

By the way, I have an e-reader that I love, and have nothing against the medium, but for some reason I just keep buying books instead of the e-versions. I suppose old habits die hard!

8. Do you organize your books in any way?
Color. Yup. Books that clash in color do not reside by each other. Completely inefficient, yes, but I have very pretty bookshelves of which I’m proud.

9. What’s next on your to-read list, and how do you choose what to read next? 

A Tale of Two Cities, The Audacity of Hope, How Soccer Explains the World, The Happiness Project,
and Guns, Germs, and Steel—in all honesty, I will probably read them all at the same time. No joke. My husband saw the below picture of a bookmark bookshelf (Mind blown, right?), turned to me and said, “Yeah, but you’d need like five.” I may have a problem.

10. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” book you’re a bit embarrassed to say you love? 

At some point in the past, I learned to embrace what I loved. Earnestness is nothing to be ashamed of!  But I suppose if I have to choose, it would be my secret love of the dark and violent.  Crime and Punishment and The Godfather are both high on my list of favorites.  I also seem to be alone in enjoying Ulysses and anything by Faulkner; Go Down Moses is another all-time favorite.

Thanks for participating, Meg!  Be sure to check out her blogs Bird and Poppy and Meg4Piece for more of her professional and personal musings.  More guest posts coming soon!

(And by the by… if you have a blog and would like to join in the fun, let me know!  Shoot me an email at ktdornan(at)gmail(dot)com!)

One thought on “Take a Peek… at Bird and Poppy’s Bookshelf!

  1. I’ve had the same thoughts about Rebecca! I shied away from reading it for a long time because I thought it was trashy–had no idea it was a classic.

    Your copy of Walden sounds so special.

    And finally, another good entry into the graphic novel world is Maus. Honestly, it’s the only graphic novel I’ve read, but it was superb.


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