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Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Inner Lit Nerd



I'm in the middle of moving and I'm reminded of two things: 1) packing completely and totally blows, and 2) I have a shopping problem. Having fifteen pairs of black shoes never seemed like a problem until I actually have to take them somewhere all at once.

Of course, what's really tough to pack are all my books. I have a scary amount of reading material. When I went to the U-haul to buy book boxes and requested thirty, the guy behind the counter asked me if I lived in a library. Well, yeah, kinda. I'm a writer, so naturally it follows that I like to read.

I've always had a book addiction, and it hasn't gotten any better with time, or with the invention of Amazon. It's part of the reason I dreamt up Bard Academy in the first place. The idea of a boarding school haunted by famous fictional characters, well, that's my idea of heaven. I've always been a lit nerd.

I get attached to characters - both the ones I dream up and the ones created by other people. To answer Jenny's question, yes, I do think about what might continue to happen to my characters after I've finished writing a book. It's hard to put some of them to rest (Miranda of Bard Academy fame has a particularly loud voice, and she doesn't like not being the center of attention).

But I also think about characters I've read about in other books, which is part of the reason so many of them pop up in Bard Academy. Well, I've postponed packing long enough. I have twenty-nine more boxes to fill, which brings me to a question for you: If you had to move, but could only take five books with you, which ones would they be, and why?

7 comments:

jennifer echols said...

1. My volume with all 6 completed Jane Austen novels. Is this cheating? I would be willing to tear out Northanger Abbey and leave that one behind.

2. The Beginning Place by Ursula K. Le Guin

3. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

4. The Professor's House by Willa Cather

5. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Great question! Cara, what are yours?

Jenny O'Connell said...

Well, I moved last year from Chicago to Boston so I had this exact problem!! We used to have a finished based and one wall, the ENTIRE wall, was bookshelves. It was so wonderful. So much space, I never had to choose what to keep and what to donate or give away. But moving changed that. So I donated boxes and boxes of books to my local library who just happened to be having a used book sale right around the same time. I figured it was literary karma telling me it was time to let go. But here are five I will always keep:
1. The Women's Room by Marilyn French (wrote my college essay about it)
2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
3. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner (read on maternity leave with my first baby)
4. It's Okay If You Don't Love Me by Norma Klein (most favorite teen book ever)
5. Don't know, I'm looking at my bookshelf as I write this and I can't pick a last one because it's too final. So let's just say number five is TBD.

Jenny

caralockwood said...

Great choices! And, Jennifer, I'm with you about the Austen anthology. I couldn't not have Jane Austen. Here would be my five:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (if I owned the anthology, I would totally snag that instead).

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

3. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

4. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (It's so hard to pick just one of his, they're all so funny).

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. (I only recently discovered these books, and I'm totally addicted now!)

By the way, I probably wouldn't be able to abide by my "just five" rule. I'd be hiding more books in my clothes if necessary!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Oh Jeez, just five? That's downright mean, Cara!

And we just moved too and I have away boxes and boxes of books to the local library and that's considering we were only moving ten miles.

Okay, let's see...

1) HEARTBREAK HOTEL- Anne Rivers Siddons
Just some of the best Southern fiction I've ever read.

2) THE LAST CONVERTIBLE- Anton Myrer
Covers some of my favorite time periods-- the 1940s- 60s

3) THE THORN BIRDS- Colleen McCullough
Father Ralph... WHAT a tortured character

4) THE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND- Elizabeth George Speare
One of my favorite YA novels ever.

5) (AUGH, I'm already at FIVE??) Okay, I'd probably choose either DRUMS OF AUTUMN or FIERY CROSS from the OUTLANDER series- Diana Gabaldon
Yeah, one of the middle books if only because I'm crazy in book love with Roger MacKenzie. Sad, but true.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Wow, this has to be the toughest question ever. Like you, I love classic literary characters, so I’d have to bring two of my favorites: The Scarlet Letter and The Grapes of Wrath. Then, fortunately the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block all come in one book, so I can bring that to represent my fun, modern fairytale side. I’d bring Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh to represent my darker side and Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno for my inner punk rocker. And on a side note, the Bard Academy books are going on my ever-growing Amazon wish list ‘cause Bard Academy sounds like my heaven too.

Kelly Parra said...

I feel like the odd man out--haha! I don't own a lot of classics.

It would have to be two books each from my favorites series, JD Robb's Eve Dallas series, and from the Stephanie Plum series, and probably Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.

taltebrando said...

WOW! Only FIVE BOOKS?!?! Let's see, let's see.

1) Wonder When You'll Miss Me by Amanda Davis—This book just blew my mind and I must re-read it so it would have to come.
2) Underworld by Don DeLillo. Because I've moved it twice already and still haven't read it. I probably shouldn't admit that, but there you have it!
3) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, because she's one of my favorite writers and this book shows her at the top of her game.
4) Freaks by Leslie Fielder. Because it's an endlessly fascinating study of "freaks" in our society and sideshows, etc., and I paid a lot of money for it and it's out of print.
5) Goodnight Moon, because maybe someday I'll figure out all the trippy stuff going on in it. Plus, it's small and light!

That was fun! I'd like to pack five more, please...