Sunday, June 19, 2005

Book Meme

I just got tagged by my friend and family member Mike @ to participate in the following book meme.

This was, of course, quite challenging for me because I don't really read books very often. Truly, I can't do much of anything that requires sitting still very long. I even stand and pace when I paint.
Once I really gave it some thought, though, I have done more reading than I thought I had. What a pleasant surprise.
Finding out that you are not quite the simpleton you feared you might have been.

So with that it goes....

Total number of books I own/owned:
About 100-150.

I just gave away two rather large boxes of books to a nice couple* that we hired to fill in the crater in our back yard left from the previous owner's above ground pool.

Also, before we moved to Paducah, I put a ton of books on a table in my front yard in Louisville with a sign that read:
I got rid of all but about 3 or 4.
People were very grateful and I was happily reminded of how easy it is to do nice things for people.
Later that day, Mark and I gave our gas grill to a neighborhood homeless couple we know that live under a bridge.
(she offered to crochet me a blanket to repay me. I told her I would love one, but it wasn't necessary and we moved before I saw her again.)
I highly suggest this as a way to get rid of books, and grills, and share the love.

*Howard and Neecie, they used to be married to one another but now they just do yard work together, so technichally, I guess they are not a couple.

Anyhoo, next question:
Five books that have influenced me a lot:

1. This I Believe written for and with a forward by Edward Morrows.
It was my Grandfather's book. Printed in 1952. It's a wonderful essay-style book of personal philosophies of one hundred men and women. My copy is tattered and yellowed and cherished. My Grandfather made little arrows and notes in the margins. I think he may have used this as a teaching tool in his sunday school class. NPR is running a show based on the same idea, maybe you've heard it?

2. Light From Many Lamps Edited and commentary by Lillian Eichler Watson.
My Grandparents gave as a gift to me in 1991 for college graduation. I picked it up tonight and turned to a page I had dog-eared sometime in the past and read the following quote from William Wordsworth,

"That best portion of a good man's life-
His nameless, and unremembered acts
Of kindness and love."

I after writing about the homeless couple I guess I actually let that one sink in. But now that I have broadcasted it on the internet, I guess it isn't nameless, So I guess it doesn't really count.
I had this marked too, for obvious reasons**.
Page 227, by John Burroughs.

Essay titled: " I rave no more 'gainst time or fate, for, lo! My own shall come to me."

If you have an amazon account you can read, online, Mr. Burrough's short story about a young doctor who realized he really wanted to be a naturalist.

The point I guess I am trying to make is; this book is full of wonderful stories and quotes and I'm pretty sure the answer to life's biggest questions can be found in here.

Boy, can you imagine if I would ever write a book? That would be one convoluted tale, eh?

**Obvious, of course, because I used to be a doctor... (wink)

3. Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.
I have learned and continue to learn so much from this book.
I first read it in high school, finally bought my own copy a few years ago and open it quite frequently.
Basically, it teaches you to see things for what they really are.
For example, if I say to you,"draw this chair",
an image of a chair instantly pops into your head and clouds you from truly seeing the chair that in front of you.
Even though you are looking a particular chair with specific features, your brain keeps referencing the image of the chair in your brain to fill in any missing details.
(It's probably your Mom's kitchen chair where you ate dinner for many years.)
This book contains exercises and diagrams and actual case studies of previously hopeless artists. After reading this, I am absolutely convinced that anyone from any talent level can learn to draw. It is truly amazing.
That impressionable, wacky of brain can get in the way sometimes. It's hard to look at things with no pre-conceived attachments.
Incindentally, I've decided that this whole theory can translate into relationships...
Am I being to abstract here? Perhaps.
Let's move on.

4. What Should I Do with my Life? by Po Bronson.
Um, thanks Po Bronson and my wonderful husband I'm just about doing it! This is a book of interviews
(are you seeing a pattern here?)
of fifty-five individual's personal journeys in various stages of answering this age old question.

5. Our Bodies Our Selves written by the Boston Women's Health Book Collective.
The woman's BIBLE. If you don't have it, get it. Nothing is out of bounds in this book. It covers pretty much everything I have ever wondered about regarding being a woman. It might not hurt if a few men give it a good once over, too.

6. Honorable mention goes to Psychocybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, MD., FICS. I love this book but I always get sick of reading it. I agree with what it says and I pick it up from time to time and say, "Hey, I'm going to finish this son of a gun right now." Then I read a few lines,put it down and say...... oh yeah...... You are what you think you are. Simple enough.
I'll finish that another day.

Last book I bought:
500 Self Portraits
Thick little book featuring 500 self portraits by various artists from ancient Egypt to the present. I have looked at every single one more than once. Whenever I find myself beating myself up about my painting style, I look through this book and remind myself that I admire other people's works, simply because they did them. Then I can revisit my own projects again with a much less critical eye.

Last book I read for the first time:
You Are Psychic! By Pete A Sanders, Jr., summa cum laude from MIT, went to Harvard briefly then moved to Sedona Arizona and opened Free Soul, a non-profit education program.
You are Psychic! is a biomedical chemistry and brain science-based book that shows you simple exercises to tap into all NINE senses. Yes, NINE! I have not finished it, but I love the illustrations. My friend, Robyn Slen loaned it to me and I need to return it to her...
Wait, I think I ma picking up an extra-sensory message right now......It's saying......Yes, she wants her book back soon!

Last new book I finished:
Finished is the key word here, I generally start reading things in the middle. The meat of it. It saves time and lets you know if you're going to like it or not. On rare occasions I will go front to back and complete the entire book, in order, from Once Upon a Time to The End.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was that way.... Marcy loaned it to me a long long time ago and I still have it.
(also seeing another pattern here?) It's a great story about a magical pair of blue jeans that is shared by 4 best friends. I loved this book.

Five other bloggers to tag with this meme:
Lori-Lyn @ Dream Life Studio
Mandy @ Mad Mad Day
Michael @ Sprouse Art
Mick@ Mingle Freely

You guys, of course, do not have to do this....
and, I should add, that I would like to know what some of you other folks have been influenced by, as well.
I just listed the above names because I think they will feel comfortable telling me to jump in the lake if they don't want to do it.


Blogger digitalcowgirl said...

Hey, don't worry about returning that book! I believe it was a present TO YOU from Lori-Lyn. you lent it to me and I returned it after sooo long that you must have thought it was a gift. I see your pattern and raise you by 6 months...

Monday, 20 June, 2005  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

It's true. It was a present from me, but I'm glad you loaned it to Marcy. Now, if we could only find a perfect pair of jeans that fit all of us...(yeah...that ain't gonna happen.)

Monday, 20 June, 2005  
Blogger anessa said...

ha ha...sorry about that LL!
I loved the book so much...sorry I forgot you gave it to me. It was a great gift!

Are you guys going to go see the movie?

Monday, 20 June, 2005  
Blogger Lori-Lyn said...

I want to see the movie! I think I'm going to ask one of the neighbor girls to go with me.

Monday, 20 June, 2005  

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