I told you I'd get around to sharing "My Ideal Bookshelf" after reading Thessaly's "My Ideal Bookshelf". Thessaly La Force (editor) and Jane Mount (artist) are the force (no pun intended) behind this book plus added bonus Thessaly is a Iowa Writer's Workshop Peep- Yeah! The premise have people (some famous, some I've never heard of, but likely should know from all types of profession write about books that changed their life, favorite books, books that made them who they are. They had a template at the end of the book that you could draw/color in your "ideal bookshelf". Here is mine...
"Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides
This is my all time favorite bookclub book. It was read, I think, in one of our first year's of book club. Bookies have been going strong for 11 years and 2 months. I thought this book was going to be all about a hermaphrodite, but it wasn't it was almost like reading historical fiction through a family's eyes. If you haven't read it I highly suggest it. However, "Marriage Plot" I would not recommend- totally disappointed in that one- Sorry Jeffrey.
"Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm" by Alice Provensen and pictures by Martin Provensen This book is a book from my childhood, and I think filled my love and desire to be a "farm girl". I wanted to live on a farm like the farm I visited 2-3 times/year up until I was school age and then visited twice yearly up until a Senior in High school. This farm- Maple Hill-, wasn't like my grandparents, exactly- grandparents only had dairy cows, dog and cats, but the pictures and descriptions of farm animals really grabbed me. I still love looking at this book and although the pictures are a bit rudimentary, I love them all the more for the fact that they are not computerized and edited, but drawn by hand.
"The Alienist" by Caleb Carr is a great mystery + historical fiction (Teddy Roosevelt is talked about). This is the first Caleb Carr book I read and then I went on to read "The Angel of Darkness"- somewhat the sequel to the "The Alienist" and loved it to and for the fact that one of the "bad guys" was actually a lady, which I think we sometimes forget about in real life. Read it or both if you love mysteries and historical fiction.
"Little House on the Prairie"- the first 5 books at least- by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My son is blazing through these right now and I kind of feel sad that I'm not reading them out loud to him, but his sight reading and skipping words has gotten way beyond my verbal reading ability so alas I will likely start reading them out loud to my daughter, although I'm worried she's not going to be as into them as he has been. This book reminds me of my sister and father. The three of us would sit on the couch in our living room and dad would read the book out loud before bedtime. I always asked for more and my sister was not as into the book as I was so was ready for bed sooner than I. These stories were so magical to me and again fed my love for "farm life".
"Beach Music" by Pat Conroy- this is likely my most favorite book. I think I've read it at least three times, which my "Bookie" friend Mary would give me heck for because there are indeed too many books out there to read so why read one more than once, but I loved this book. It is not a "feel good" book and has some deep topics, but Pat Conroy's writing is just so real that is reads easily and keeps me wanting to know what is going to happen, how are these people's lives going to turn out. I've read "South of Broad" (My second favorite Conroy book) and "The Great Santini". He is such a great author! I love to read his books and hear the "southern voice" just fly right out of it.
"Rebecca" by Daphne Du Maurier. I think I read "Jamaica Inn" first and then my mom told me I should read "Rebecca". Another wonderful mystery written so that you can just see the black n white movie line of this book play out in your head when you are reading it. It is great! A classic book for me. The ending gets me-maybe it will get you.
"Gorky Park" by Martin Cruz Smith. This book I read on the way to Virginia to visit grandparents when I was a Sophomore in High school. This book is a mystery and it had me- no really I didn't stop reading. We got to my grandparents house and I kept reading- pretty unsociable, which you may guess isn't me- but I just couldn't put it down. I felt adult reading this book- KGB, romance, murder, etc.
The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport by ?. So Edward Stratemeyer wrote the first volumes supposedly, but the volumes I grew up with (the purple spine with black covers/pictures and no dust covers) were likely writted by Lilan Garis, (4-28). These books were another bedtime staple in my home growing up and my father again read these books to my sister and I. Last summer my son, daughter and I read the first 3-4 volumes of my purple spine set, but alas we all weren't as hooked as I was as a child. I felt the verbiage was antiquated, but alas seeing these books on shelves of used book stores makes me want to open my pocket book up to complete my set.
"Misty of Chincoteague Island" by Marguerite Henry. I loved and still love horses. This is on my bucket list to go visit the island sometime in my lifetime. I would ultimately like to go for "pony penning day", but not sure that will happen due to excess people and time/money. This is a great story of the love for animals. It brings you back to a "simple life". If you have a child or you yourself are a horse fan and haven't read it you need to.
Last but not least- "to be continued" meaning- yet to be determined- the last book in my "ideal bookshelf". I'm looking forward to it taking me at least 50 + more years to find that one and hopefully read some pretty great books during my search for that book.