Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Come See My Books

I have been thinking a lot about my books recently, though this is not so unusual as I love, love, love my books. I have been wondering which ones were my current most favourite, which of course changes constantly depending what I am doing in my life, and what makes them a favourite.

I collect (and I say “I” as I am the book collector here and spend a lot of my pocket money on books) books that are useful to our life here and may be useful in the future. I love “how to” books, how to build a house or a bridge, how to live without chemicals, how to grow food and keep our chooks alive, how to use nature for healing and how to make things for our home (like the blanket I am crocheting for our number one and only son).

I also love books that keep me informed about what is happening in the world and to help us make decisions about the future, climate change, peak oil, global financial situation. But I also love a good adventure book, lots of sword fighting is great, or a good classic novel or one that makes you think as well as being a good read, “Brave New World” comes to mind there.

My books are roughly categorised into sections, health, living simply, gardening, cooking, arts and crafts and building type books, Tai Chi and Qigong and other martial arts, biographies, travel, Buddhism, save the world type books on subjects like climate change, peak oil, recycling and green living. We also have dictionaries and thesauruses, financial books and a good collection of Dr Seuss.

I reread my favourite fiction, especially if I am tired it is easy to visit old friends in books, it is comforting. I think my non-fictions side is larger than the fiction side, though I do have a lot of books in boxes that I would love to get out it I had the room, and I still have books from when I was growing up.

Growing up favourites included Trixie Belden, Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Little Men, Swiss Family Robinson and anything horror.

Stephen King was a favourite with “Salem’s Lot” being the first of his I read, a kid I knew on our school bus had it and lent it to me and I was hooked. Favourite horror books were of course, “Salem’s Lot”, “Christine”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “The Exorcist”, “The Omen “(all three or four books) and also a book the “House of Evil and other Strange Unsolved Mysteries”. No wonder I had a lot of nightmares, though also a great imagination.

My current favourite health book is “The Nature Doctor” by Dr H.C.A.Vogel. I picked this up recently from a second hand book store, it is a book I had been looking for, for a long time.

A book I always drag out is The Tightwad Gazette, actually “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn. This has tonnes of ideas in it for saving money and is rather a rather thick book, I usually just open up at a page and start reading, though I have been through it from start to end but I always read something new. I am waiting on the “Millionaire Next Door “so maybe that will become my favourite for a while.

My favourite cookbook is my own handwritten one with all my favourite recipes in it, but the cookbook we are using the most at the moment, that I have bought, is “The $21 Challenge” by Fiona Lippey and Jackie Gower from Simple Savings. Although, it can also be put into the financial section as it is about saving money by not spending so much on your groceries.

The art books I am currently reading are “The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” by Betty Edwards, just love, love, love this book, if the house was burning down it is one of the things I would grab (apart from every other book I own). The other art book is “The Acrylic Artists Bible” by Marylin Scott, I need this as I have forgotten everything (which is actually not very much) about acrylic painting and this book is giving me a reminder and teaching me a lot of new stuff.

Our gardening and self sufficiency books come out with regularity, “How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?” By Isabell Shipard is the best Australian book on gardening I have come across, detailed and easy to read. I have her other two books as well “How Can I Grow and Use Sprouts as Living Food?” and “How Can I Be Prepared with Self-Sufficiency and Survival Foods?” These books have the best information and are so useful (which you can’t say about a lot of books which may only have some useful stuff) and they are Australian.

Other books which come out regularly are “Raising Chickens for Dummies”, which is self-explanatory, and “Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture” by Rosemary Morrow (though I am STILL searching for the Permaculture books by Bill Mollison but they are out of print). I SO love “The Barefoot Architect – A Handbook for Green Building” by Johan van Lengen, this is also not only easy to read and understand, but is interesting and useful.

“How Good Are You? – Clean Living in a Dirty World” by Julian Lee is a good read as it makes you think about how you shop, where your rubbish is going, water, where our food comes from and were the animals treated well. This is a good and interesting read and it is Australian. The other book which I love and I have had for years is “The Green Cleaner” by Barbara Lord. I got this book in 1992, it is still in print and it came out before all the others (I think), it was my first and best of all the environmentally cleaning books and I still use it. Still more good reads are “Affluenza” by Clive Hamilton and “The Beauty Myth” by Naomi Wolf, really, I could go on and on.

Favourite fiction includes “Oh the Places You’ll Go” by Dr Seuss as it is so inspirational, and also “Go, Dog. Go” by P.D.Eastman, as it is the first book that our number one and only son read on his own when he was four years old. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S.Lewis (who doesn’t love Narnia), a book called “True to the Last” by E.Everett Green, a book given to my Pop in 1921 through his Church, maybe Sunday School. It is a very lovely and incredibly sad story and I can only read it if I don’t have cold because I always cry.

Clive Cussler is always a good read, funny, lots of impossible adventures and incredible situations, my partner in crime and life always has a bit a complain saying that is not real, that can’t happen and that would never work. Well, der, it is fiction, that is why I read it. Katherine Neville’s “The Eight” and “The Magic Circle” are also books I have read many times, I guess I would describe them as girly adventure books, but not girly, girly, maybe tomboy girly?

The fiction books I love are good friends that are never far away, I can, and do, visit them often. I go on great adventures and travel to exotic places, a lot that don't even exist anywhere but in my imagination. I get to have sword fights in bars and watch two suns rise over a strange ocean after sleeping on the ground near my horse while traveling with interesting friends.

It is interesting to realise that while I have a lot of books, there are really only a few that are completely useful. A lot of my books, this is non-fiction I am talking about, have some useful information but I am really only pulling bits and pieces out of them. The ones that are really useful, are fully useful from beginning to end and are loved, and are the sort of books that you clutch to your chest and could only be given up if they are prised out of your cold dead hands.

No comments:

Post a Comment