Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Booking through...Wednesday

I found a link to this collection of memes over at The Sleepy Reader. I know that it won't technically be Thursday yet for twenty more minutes, and that this is last week's anyway, but I'm in the mood to blog tonight, and I liked this one, so here goes. I'm trying to figure out how to get her button onto my site. Anyone with advice, feel free to post it in comments.

May I Introduce…. January 10, 2008
Filed under: Wordpress — --Deb @ 1:05 am

Booking Through Thursday

How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

I found this one especially pertinent to my life, as I just had a conversation with our office clerk about favorite authors. I usually bring a book to work with me to read during lunch, and she was asking me who my favorites were. I immediately flashed on my blog, with the list of favorites as long as my arm and had trouble even stammering out an answer!

But the majority of the ones on my sidebar don't have a smashing story related to them. Dr. Daphne Kutzer, one of my professors in undergrad, got me into Barbara Kingsolver by assigning Animal Dreams. Dr. Paul Johnston got me into Edgar Allan Poe during a survey course on American Lit.

My parents got me into Molly Ivins and Sarah Vowell: Ivins at a fairly young age and Vowell just a couple of years ago. James Herriot is a family tradition on my mother's side. My grandfather, who died when I was only 5, loved books, and his in particular. My mother bought all of them for him as gifts over the years, and the rule that both sides of my family have always observed is that you have the first right of refusal on anything you gave as a gift to someone who died. So, my mother had all of the James Herriot books in the house. I started reading them last year, and she let me borrow them all.

My sister got me into Phillip Pullman and Jasper Fforde. A former roommate and former friend (and yeah, the two were related, as always) got me into Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, and I just picked up the habit again recently. I first became acquainted with Alice Munro, ZZ Packer and George Saunders through New Yorker short stories.

The rest were simple stumble-upons at the library or bookstore. They applealed to me for different reasons: Jack Keroauc made me feel grown-up and badass; Richard Russo had a book set in a town twenty miles away from where I was living (which was in the middle of nowhere, so I was amazed someone else could find it on a map, let alone sit down and write about it!). The book by Sandra Dallas was remaindered and was cheap at one of those fly-by-night "Book Sale" places that set up in abandonded Hollywood Videos. The cover of Tawni O'Dell's book screamed FUN!FUN!FUN! and turned out to be so well-written I didn't mind that it was really sad. A. Manette Ansay's book had a beautiful line on the cover about souls rising like dandelion seeds. But in nearly all cases, it was love at first site. I guess I tend to make up my mind quickly about books and authors.

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