A 10 Day Challenge (Blatantly Stolen)

Over at Adventures of Life  (Oregon Sunshine), there’s a 10 day challenge in the works. I love a good meme, because I am entirely too lazy to blog far enough ahead to guarantee I can fill up the days. Yes. I am a lazy, lazy, lazy blogger. Sue me. I’m pretty sure you don’t have standing to claim that my laziness has harmed you. Much. If it has, please let me know and I will send an apology card, because now I feel sorry.

Anyway, here’s the ten day list:

10. Authors
9. Loves
8. Fears
7. Wants
6. Places You Want to Go
5. Foods
4. Secrets
3. Film
2. Songs
1. Picture of Yourself

Today? AUTHORS! I could go on and on and on about authors. I love authors. I have made out with authors! (although that’s another post for another day). True confession: I probably buy at least ten books  per month. I know- libraries are your friend. I love to buy them. Love it. Can’t stop myself. I’m sorry again. (Once more, send your addresses for those apology cards).

As a long-time book addict, there are too many authors I adore to name them all in one tiny little post, but here are a few that have made an impact along the way.

  • Emily Post– As Pseudostoops pointed out on Twitter the other day, being half British and half Southern leads to quite the manners obsession. I love old etiquette books. I buy them whenever I stumble across them, neglected in bookstores, on eBay, etc. Ms. Emily is the classic. I have a ragged, much-abused and water-logged first edition of Etiquette that  holds a place of pride in the stack. Send thank you notes, kids. Or apology notes if you have offended your readers by calling them “kids”.
  • Thomas Mallon– His historical fiction dances through American politics with wit and verve, but I love his collections on diaries and letters through history even more: Yours Ever: People and Their Letters and A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diaries. If you, like me, can’t get enough dirt on people long gone from biographies and love the lost traditions of letter-writing and diary-keeping, these books will walk you through hundreds of years of examples and give you a long reading list at the end.
  • Susan Sontag– The dame with the brains, and my imaginary sparring partner, Susan Sontag knew everything about everything. Known for being smarter than almost everyone in her day, her journals show that she had been that way since her girlhood. At 14, she was tearing apart books and listening to opera, while I was hoping to hold hands with a boy named Alex at the Beauty & the Beast Disney matinée. Sontag makes me want to work harder.
  • Kenneth Rexroth– “Poet-essayist Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982) was a high-school dropout, disillusioned ex-Communist, pacifist, anarchist, rock-climber, critic and translator, mentor, Catholic-Buddhist spiritualist and a prominent figure of San Francisco’s Beat scene,” says the Amazon review and I couldn’t say it any better. My copies of his translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry are falling to bits, because I keep turning back to them.
  • Vladimir Nabokov– Who else could write a book about a pedophile and make him a sympathetic character, as well as create from that one of the most frequently assigned novels in the English language?
  • Marge Piercy– My first adult poetry love. My mother bought me book after book of Piercy’s poems when I was in college and her poems were perfect guideposts from a woman who had lovers, good and bad, career headaches, friends, and could string words together like nobody’s business. Last summer I sent her a thank you note. She wrote back.
  • Phyllis Rose– The beach read I never regretted, her Parallel Lives compiled five Victorian writers’ marriages into a delightful romp through the ways every marriage is unique. And some of these were highly outside the “mainstream,” whatever that is. If the Victorians were living their lives the way they wanted to, who’s to stop the rest of us?

Tomorrow? Loves!



Filed under Books, Reviews

5 responses to “A 10 Day Challenge (Blatantly Stolen)

  1. See? I KNEW we had to be related! Well, besides being flat-reared, red-haired, and sharing the same name.

    I buy at least 10 books a month too! More if you include what I also buy for the kids and Bad Pants.

  2. A Super Girl

    This is a great meme…and I’m with you, they’re so helpful for us lazy bloggers.

    Though…what will you do when it comes to #1?!

  3. Besides Nabokov (which surprised me on a “favorite authors” list, if only for the intellectual courage to list it) the only authors from this list that I’ve read are Emily Post (because a digest of her “Manners for Young People” was still required reading at my boarding school) , Susan Sontag (because I wanted to know if Kevin Costner in Bull Durham was right…he was not), and Phyllis Rose (because I love victoriana in almost every form, and this was an excellent example).

    Having now abused parenthetical asides nearly to death, I will close by simply saying “excellent list.”

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