Friday, March 2, 2012

Lynette, you asked for it, so here I am

My lovely blogging-friend Lynette at Imagination Lane has asked us about books because today is World Book Day. It isn't a meme, and it doesn't have a linky thingy, but she is hoping her friends will respond to her post with book lists of their own.
Mueller illustration for
Rex Stout's first Nero Wolfe novella.
Wikipedia photo.
Lynette has even more books than I do (I've given many away, however) and she actually remembers having read them. Me, I've reached the stage of life where I forget everything I've ever read, so I can happily re-read books, some of them twice in one year, and it's all new stuff, or almost—at least, with mysteries, I never remember whodunnit.
Speaking of whodunnits, I have gobbled up detective series novels from Agatha Christie's Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, Dorothy L. Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey and Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe onward. I had a collection of paperback editions of all three aforementioned and gave them away, complete with bookcases, to a young woman I thought would appreciate them. Apparently she didn't, but I consider it her loss, not mine.
Yes, Lynette, I am a lowbrow. I've even read all the Cat Who books. However, for my own good and for the health of my English grammar, I re-read two books on your list every two years or so. They are, of course, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice.
Other favorite books? To Kill a Mockingbird, for one. Winnie the Pooh for another, the original A.A. Milne, no Disney for me. I love to re-read Out of Africa by Karen Blixen aka Isaac Dinesen. A little book called archy and mehitabel, by Don Marquis, is another long-time favorite, as is almost anything by Damon Runyon, or anything about my main man, Muhammad Ali, whom I've loved since he was Cassius Clay, and who might have made me rich if I'd ever dared bet more than five dollars.
Literary influences? First on my list would have to be Rudyard Kipling, who captivated my imagination with his poetry when I was very, very young, and with his tremendous variety and output when I was older. My favorite Kipling book is The Man who Would be King, which was made into a wonderful movie starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
Other influences are other balladeers, and of course those wonderfully literate women, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility make me laugh every time I read them.
An author younger than I am who can also make me laugh out loud is Alexander McCall Smith.
I also loved the books of the late Tony Hillerman. Some of your photos of the western US make me think of him, Lynette.
There are more, I know, but I can't think of any right now, so this would be a good place to stop.
Thanks, Lynette, for asking.


Mara said...

There's a program on the BBC every evening with two celebrities talking about 4 books that were influential in their life. It's really good and I have been thinking of doing another book list myself. Then again, I've already done several and my choices haven't changed that much. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and most books by Jasper Fforde!

Joyful said...

I love books and you've certainly read some good ones. I haven't read everything you've read but we do share some literary tastes, Tony Hillerman & Jane Austen to name some. I too have loved Mohammed Ali when he was Cassius Clay. I just saw him on television the other day and learned so much more about this great man of peace. Have a lovely weekend, Kay.

Sallie ( said...

Enjoyed reading your list Kay and share many of your loves. special thanks for mentioning AA Milne -- in the original form! No Disney for me either. It drives me nuts that kids only know the Disney version of so many classics.

Lynette Killam said...

Oh, this is a luscious list indeed, Kay!
I, too, have gobbled up detective stories...a lovely set of bound Agatha Christies still has pride of place on my shelves.I also love her compelling autobiography, packed as it is with pictures and anecdotes.

I have also done my share of low-brow reading...the only books in ny childhood home were my mothers Frank G.Slaughter novels and my dad's Mickey Spillanes.That certainly dates me, doesn't it?

I love your picks of Harper Lee and Damon Runyon, and of course, Karen Blixen. Many shelves in my library are filled with both African and Irish currently trying to pare down my collections, a difficult task indeed.

I've just started reading Alexander McCall Smith, and will no doubt work my way through them quickly.Will also check out Tony Hillerman.

Thanks for joining in, certainly is fun remembering well-loved book, isn't it?

Have a really great weekend...:)

aka Penelope said...

I have read and loved far too many books over the years and my interests have gone through various stages from fiction to non-fiction and biographies, to mysteries such those by Agatha Christie, to books of poetry, to books by poetic scientists like Carl Sagan. If the writing is intriguing the most unusual subjects can keep me turning the pages eager to know more!