Self-portrait, off the bookshelves

Andy passed on a nifty meme to Kakaner and me – pick 10 books off your bookshelves, with your eyes closed, then use them to tell a bit about yourself. Here goes!

  1. Night Shadows: Twenthieth-Century Stories of the Uncanny, ed. Joan Kessler

The editor is my mother’s friend, which tells you that a. my mom has some pretty cool friends, and that b. I have a lot in common with this particular friend, because holy crap do I love stories of the uncanny. Aesthetically and literarily, I’m about 30% shameless Goth-in-disguise. Unfortunately, I have yet to read this, and the other volume that I was gifted by this friend – a collection of her translations of French ghost stories.

  1. The Lady and the Unicorn, by Tracy Chevalier

Love historical fiction, love the Unicorn Tapestries, like Tracy Chevalier quite a bit, though I only got into her books via the Girl with a Pearl Earring bandwagon. I also own this in French, but have only read about two chapters of that version.

  1. The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, W. Y. Evans-Wentz

One of my friends got me this when she spent a semester in Glasgow. Ummm yes, Celtic stuff, another of my longstanding obsessions. And fairies. Haven’t read this yet.

  1. Birth of the Firebringer, by Meredith Ann Pierce

Okay… my thing about Meredith Ann Pierce is a little scary, and will probably have to be gone into at greater length at another time. Suffice it to say that I can’t imagine who I would have been had I never read any of her books. I picked the original hardcover, but I also own the paperback reprint. Also, more unicorns. Not gonna lie, I like unicorns. What is wrong with me?

  1. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

In my eyes, Ray Bradbury can do no wrong. The copy that I own of this is a mass-market paperback in terrifyingly bad condition, since it used to belong to my father and thus has been through many reads and moves.

  1. The Dark is Rising, by Susan Cooper

And this would be one of the two books that started my obsession with Celtic mythology, and another core book in my “canon.”

  1. 100 Vicious Little Vampire Stories, ed. Robert Weinberg

Have I ever mentioned that I really, really like vampire fiction? Reviewed here.

  1. Mostly Harmless, by Douglas Adams

…I’m a predictable nerd? Actually, out of all of the Hitchhiker’s books, this is the only one I disliked, though I can’t really blame Adams for the “I’m throwing my hands up and getting rid of the lot of you” approach to ending the series.

  1. Selected Poems of Byron, Keats, and Shelley

Again, Romantigoth. I do read modern and contemporary poetry too, though. I actually haven’t touched this ever since I got it, but it’s a very pretty green leatherbound edition from… 1967. Crummy paper, though.

  1. The Gormenghast Trilogy, by Mervyn Peake

More Romantigoth, more fantasy. Haven’t read it, beyond 15 pages a number of years back. Aiiieee. I’ve meant to ever since I saw the Masterpiece Theatre edition and began cultivating a crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers, but… you know. Things happen. Books languish.

– E

7 thoughts on “Self-portrait, off the bookshelves”

  1. Weird! I did this one the other day myself and i just happened to pull The Illustrated Man by Bradbury as one of my random books too. Though it wasn’t on the list i also own The Dark is Rising as well as the rest of that series by Susan Cooper. I can’t believe i didn’t find those books as a kid!

  2. Ha, go figure!

    I can’t believe i didn’t find those books as a kid!
    Ahh, don’t you hate that feeling of “I would have loved this twice as much if I had just read this when I were thirteen”?

  3. This meme always comes up when I’m miles away from my cozy bookshelf. “The 5 ‘C’s of cinematography” and “The Human Figure in motion” doesn’t say much about my taste in books.

  4. Shen – I thought the miniseries was great fun, but my enjoyment of it was hampered by the fact that we had a horrible TV signal at the time, so I could barely figure out what was going on through the static.
    But JRM is otherworldly awesome. I think it’s hilarious that he was cast as Steerpike when Steerpike is supposed to be ugly and unsettling to the point of looking deformed, but hey, I’m not complaining if I get to look at Rhys Meyers lounging on top of a giant clock in a black frock coat. But annnnyway.

    Anda – Try a variation! What are the first ten books you can remember that are on your bookshelves at home, off the top of your head?

  5. Romantigoth! What an excellent neologism. I’ve decided to steal it.

    Ditto on Susan Cooper (I read The Dark is Rising every Christmas), Ray Bradbury, and poetry. So was the Tracy Chevalier good? I’ve been eyeing that one for a while, being a fan of the Unicorn Tapestries myself. Unicorns rock!

  6. Romantigoth solidarity fistbump! *g*

    I read The Dark is Rising every Christmas
    Oh, what a perfect time for re-reads. (just thinking of the part in which Will tries to hang holly over every window and door in his house.) I haven’t re-read any of the series for around 8 years, which is… really depressing when I think about it, so at this point I’m a little nervous that I’ll be disappointed if I go back to it. But I have soooo many good memories associated with that series. (Some of the last fanfic I ever read was The Dark is Rising, heh heh.)

    I think Lady and the Unicorn gets a little implausible in terms of some of its protagonists’ proto-feminist spunkiness, and the execution of the premise is a little blatant (these tapestries with women in them Changed How Some People Related to Women or Femininity) and sometimes similarly strained. But of course the historical detail is wonderfully absorbing, and it’s a really enjoyable read – I’ve re-read it two or three times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *