5 Most Important Books in My Life

Who do you call?
No, YOU shhhh! I’m trying to read, here.

There is a really long meme that’s going around on the web that lists a bunch of books, what we’ve read and what we want to read…it’s interesting but frankly it’s too long. Rather than list all that stuff, I thought I’d modify it to the “5 Most Important Books in My Life”. So, without further ado…

1. “Go, Dog. Go!” by P.D. Eastman: I don’t suppose this is some sort of landmark work of fiction but it was the first book that I read all by myself and all the way through. I remember distinctly and very proudly reading it to my parents all by myself. I have no idea how old I was…maybe Kindergarden-ish age? I’m sure my Mom can tell you more specifically. I have such fond memories of this book. Also maybe why I like dogs better than cats! Who knows? This book is important because it is where I started to read.

2. Nancy Drew novels: For this, no specific novel – just the series. I don’t even remember how or why I picked up the first one but the completely dominatedy a lot of my youth. I read all of the original series (hardcover) as well as all the new ones. When I was a “tween” that was pretty much all we had to read. That or the “Sweet Valley High” series and I was never really into that. I would much rather read about mysteries and plots than some cheerleader’s dating problems. These books are important to me because this is where I fell in love with reading.

3. “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles: I read a lot of amazing books during my 9th grade English class, but this was by far the most impactful. It was the first book we read during that semester. I even know and amdit that we read better books later in the year (like, To Kill a Mockingbird), but this was the first book that semester and it really changed the way I saw “literature”. I remember taking this book home the very first day it was assigned. We were supposed to read one chapter…I ended up devouring the whole book that night. This book is important to me because it opened up a whole world of subtext and the literary world of novels.

4. “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton: I know this isn’t some great work of fiction, but I remember talking about the book with some friends during a Sierra Club camping trip (Father-Daughter hiking with my dad and a group of friends). The book was discussed and recommended to me. I didn’t really think much of it, but my Dad remembered it and picked it up for me at the grocery store. I almost didn’t read it but I picked it up and was hooked from the first sentence. It means a lot of me because I loved the book and because it influenced the kind of novel I wanted to write.

5. “Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin: This book is important to me because first of all…it’s an amazing book. What a great story. Secondly it’s written in the most beautiful, intricate and compelling point of view. All of the novels in the series use a system whereby each chapter concentrates on one character in a third person limited point of view. Correspondingly, each chapter bears the name of the current POV character (ex. “Bran,” “Catelyn,” “Daenerys”) with the story flipping back and forth between the main characters. The tale of A Game of Thrones is told through the eyes of 8 POV characters. Amazing stuff to read! This book is important because it has thoroughly influenced my style.

In closing, here are some photos from last friday when we took the pugs for a walk. It’s always rather crazy taking two pugs for a walk. They can barely contain themselves and are constantly tangling themselves up in each others leads.

Pugs behaving.

Pugs behaving.

Then they inevitably get distracted by each other, the geese, kids down the street, the grass, wind, air, dust motes.

Twisted pugs.

Twisted pugs.

Rukia burning energy. Poley conserving it.

Rukia burning energy. Poley conserving it.

Baby girl is happy!

Baby girl is happy!

Poley is my happy baby boy.

Poley is my happy baby boy.

As the sun was setting over our pond, we ran the dogs up to the edge of the water to scare the geese away. Much fun!

Great white hunters...

Great white hunters...

What beautiful scenery!

What beautiful scenery!

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~ by Nevis on September 9, 2008.

19 Responses to “5 Most Important Books in My Life”

  1. For me, one of the most important books I read was “Clarissa” by Samuel Richardson. Huge (1100+ pages) 18th century novel in epistolary form. Just got me emotionally as an undergraduate. Number one reason why I’m a professor of English literature today.

    #2 “Sister Carrie” by Theodore Dreiser. Again, another undergraduate read that I responded to, because of the title character’s yearning for god knows what. I feel like that most of the time.

    Can’t think of my other 3 right now.

  2. Oh how I loved Nancy Drew when I was a teenager. My great aunt bought me my first one and I was hooked. I think I’ll go read one again.
    Cute, busy puggies!

  3. I loved the Nancy Drew Series and the Hardy Boys and for a while I read the Bobbsey Twins too! lol Then I got into Agatha Christie.. did you ever read hers?
    One of my all time fav books is Beach Music by Pat Conroy, I can pick it up over and over again, I love it.

    Haha the pictures I didn’t post involves us shoving all sorts of unhealthy food and ‘adult beverages’ into our faces while sitting around the campfire! 🙂

  4. Gorgeous scenery, indeed!

    I sympathize with your experience, E-girl, if not particularly with your taste. For example, a novel that was instrumental to me was Tom Jones. Whether this was the cause or effect, I am not sure, but I certainly have quite the preference for flawed characters, snarky dialogue, satirical wit, and a slight tinge of cynicism.

    I like the idea, Nevis. I might use this next Thoughtful Thursday as a tag-on to the larger literary meme I did which you alluded to.

    Poley is so adorable!

  5. Wow..A Seperate Peace is one of my favs too. When I usually mention it, most people don’t ever remember it at all. I think I read it in 9th or 10th but like you, I devoured it.

  6. I totally loved Nancy Drew too! And you’re right, there wasn’t much else to read besides Sweet Valley and Babystitter’s Club (both lame). When I got into middle school I loved the Christopher Pike books and the Fear Street series by R.L. Stine.

    Your pugs are amazingly cute in those pictures BTW. Talk about ecstatic!

  7. I loved all the Nancy Drew books and after reading them read all my brother’s Hardy Boy books then moved on to The Black Stallion. My younger years were substantially earlier in history than yours. A couple of years ago I read The Hunchback of Notre Dame and it has stayed with me. I love reading funny novels and really enjoyed Big Trouble by Dave Barry. What a hoot.

    After reading about your books, I have something I would like to give to you that I think you will like. Would you send me your address so I can mail it? My email is sbrockis@embarqmail.com.

    Especially loved the last two pictures of the puggies, so cute! Would they like to join Rusty’s Squirrel Patrol and get an official certificate?

  8. hi allison!
    great pics of the pugs! what happy babies and i always love to hear what your favorites are on everything!
    xo
    m & e

  9. The puggies are so cute. And thanks for the comments–please rent season one of Mad Men. It is like a great long novel, full of well-developed characters, period details, and a bundle of secrets just starting to come undone.

  10. Oh, add Black Beauty to my list of favorite books. Probably the first complete novel I read in second grade. I loved horses (and still do), and this book really spoke to me.

  11. I loved C Pike books as well as Black Beauty!! 🙂

    I don’t think I have any pictures of pugs drinkig beer but I will check with my gf to see if she snapped any! lol

  12. Love Nancy Drew.. so does my Daughter! I’d come over and plant flowers for pug kisses any day!!! They are ADORABLE!!

  13. Aww, I loved Go Dog Go! I linked over from your comment on Craft Critique. Great blog!

  14. Hey Nevis, I just read your comment on my blog and it cracked me up! I love that anyone might think I could get even a fraction of all that done but nope. Once a week I just post a page full of Fall projects and that was this week’s post! I admit there are a couple I am hoping to try though!

  15. I remember “Go Dog Go!” [grin] Good readin’ that. I thought it was by Dr. Seuss. I guess, at that age, I thought everything was by Dr. Seuss.

  16. I’m with you-Go Dog Go-a classic! Hey, you wanted top know what camera I /my p.a. use(s). It’s a Nikon D40x digital SLR. Thanks for the compliment on our pictures!

    Your dogs look feisty and happy in the photos. Love the lake and the geese. Would love to chase them!

  17. Rukia and Poley are soooo adorable!

    Mommy really loved the Nancy Drew books . . . I think she still has almost the entire collection somewhere at her parents’ house!

    That’s amazing you like George R.R. Martin. Mommy thinks that series is one of the best she has ever read, period!

  18. The only book on your list that I’ve read is “Jurassic Park” (which is better than the movie), although I have “A Game of Thrones” on the shelf. Maybe I’ll read that next, after “Watchmen”.

    Looks like walking a pair of pugs is about as challenging as walking a pair of vizslas!

  19. hey, my owner loves reading too… she initially start off with crime n thriller….

    but now she’s looking for more variety… n she will check out those books that u had recommended.

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