An Honest Scrap

I’ve been tagged by the kind and interesting uncertainprinciples.

First, the Rules:

a. ‘The Honest Scrap Blogger Award’ must be shared.
b. The recipient has to tell 10 (true) things about themselves that no one else knows
c. The recipient has to pass on the award to 10 more bloggers.
d. Those 10 bloggers should link back to the blog that awarded them

Second, the re-defining of the rules. Following Sarah’s lead, I will only be relating book related info.

Third, the breaking of the rules. I am only tagging one other blogger. (I stole that from Sarah too.) Kevin, you’re it. Yes, you the Canadian.

Thing 1: My first favorite books, as I remember it, were Dr. Seuss (but not The Cat in the Hat) and Curious George.

Thing 2: I loved Kim Kjelgaard and his novel Big Red which is why I wished for (and received) an Irish Setter puppy for my twelfth birthday. I read many more of his books, but not all.

Thing 3: Long after I stopped enjoying the stories, I often read three “Hardy Boys” books a day. I would read one on the way to school in the morning, one while at school (generally during classes, certainly not recess), and one on the way home. The basic story is: stranger comes to town, father is working on a mysterious case, boys discover stranger is up to no good, the boys solve and their father turn out to be working on the same case, happy ending with bow.

Thing 4: I still recall the first three Tom Clancy novels fondly: The Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, and Patriot Games.

Thing 5: Despite my feverish effort to complete all the then-known (by me) Hardy Boys books, my lifelong tendency has been anti-completist. I always assumed that two or three books should be plenty for any one author to say what s/he wanted to say to me. I was also passionately opposed to re-reading.

Thing 6: My brother introduced me to Tolkien and I thanked him by battering his Lord of the Rings collection of books. Sorry about that.

Thing 7: I have never finished a D.H. Lawrence novel despite starting at least two.

Thing 8: The Cybil War: “Young love, fifth-grade variety, portrayed with warmth and humor and that extra, penetrating touch one expects of Byars.” I picked it out as a bookstore treat. Embarrassment of embarrassments, my mother wanted to know if I really wanted it, if I understood that there would not be any grenades or cannon fire. I did and I did.

Thing 9: I went to a small parochial school in rural North Carolina. My high school English class rebelled against Great Expectations, so the teacher gave us summaries of each chapter to read instead. Educational rigor, that. I abandoned the book with everyone else. I later read it on my own in college and it became a favorite. As for high school English, that pretty much ended the “experimentation” with novels, as I recall.

Thing 10: I gave my first “published” book to my fifth grade teacher, Miss Vriese, as a going away present. (Crush much?) She had us write a story and then bind the pages between cloth-covered cardboard covers. Mine involved a daring escape and subsistence on “monkey meat”. I wish I had it back.

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9 Responses to An Honest Scrap

  1. Sasha says:

    “Thing 7: I have never finished a D.H. Lawrence novel despite starting at least two.”

    Yes, yes, yes. This applies to Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Women in Love. I was twelve-ish when I picked up the latter–yes, I was skimming for the hawt parts; no, didn’t really find any except one that could’ve been sexy times under a bridge.

    Oh, monkey meat.

  2. Sarah says:

    Enjoyed your bookish ‘things,’ Kerry. I am quite surprised by the DH Lawrence, although I suppose I have always read him for the good of my soul rather than for pure enjoyment, and also he is (was) a local lad, writing about locales which are somewhat familiar.

    Am intrigued by your mention of Dr Seuss, and would love to know which one is your favourite…?

  3. Kerry says:

    Sasha, lol.

    Sarah, I fondly remember reading And to Think What I saw on Mulberry Street. Other long ago favorites: Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?. My grown-up favorite might be The Lorax with this somewhat radical re-interpretation.

    Maybe I will try Lawrence again. I do still have The Rainbow on my shelf.

  4. Sarah says:

    Oh, The Rainbow is my favourite! though I have only read four or five and don’t remember them all that well.

    Ouch! That interpretation of The Lorax does work, but quite objectionable! Some of the commenters were a bit het up, but the interpretation does fit well. I don’t think it is wrong to skew an author’s known intentions (even when I personally disagree with the conclusions), but I don’t know if I could argue that case very well.

    My favourite Dr Seuss is ‘What Was I Afraid Of?’ and I don’t know what I will do when I have no small children to read it to. Borrow some, I suppose.

  5. Kerry says:

    I promise, then, that I will give The Rainbow another try. Your favorite absolutely must be worth reading. Perhaps I was too young, you know, like 25.

    On The Lorax, I agree that there is no need to stick to an author’s known intentions, particularly as many times we don’t know what those intentions are. Texts should speak for themselves, though cultural context, including the author’s subjective view, can certainly be relevant. In other words, A Brave New World loses much of its power if we don’t account for the fact that Huxley did not have the same information regarding genetic engineering that we have. But a work of genius may be that precisely because the originator of the work could not have consciously worked out all the brilliancies it contained. (Not unlike Newton and Einstein failing to fully comprehend the consequences of their scientific discoveries.)

    I am afraid I am not familiar with What Was I Scared Of?. Well, I wasn’t. Now I am. I can see how that would be great fun to read to little ones.

  6. Thanks for doing this. I used to read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews compulsively. And the Three Investigators. Luckily, I my brother was only three years older than me, so while I was growing up, there were a lot of books I hadn’t read at home, and I could read two-three of them in a single day – sometimes more!

    I still haven’t read Lord of the Rings (ummmm), and I do intend to change that sometime soon. I’ve been saying that for the past three years though, so….

    Oh, and I adore Dr. Seuss. My favourite is predictably Green Eggs and Ham. The Apple Store here has a “kid’s section” which has an awesome video adaptation of it as well.

  7. Kerry says:

    Thank you, uncertainprinciples. Sounds like we had a similar situation. My brother was 3 years older than me too, so I could mooch off his stash.

    For another great adaptation of Green Eggs and Ham, check out this reading by Rev. Jesse Jackson on Saturday Night Live. A modern classic. [I changed the link because I realized the original stopped in the middle.]

  8. anokatony says:

    Kerry,
    Very interesting. Dr Seuss, Hardy Boys, I remember well. Never read more than one Hardy boys book in a day. Didn’t discover Curious George until I had kids of my own. If I had ever read a Tom Clancy novel (not), I wouldn’t admit to it.

  9. Kerry says:

    Tony,

    You are wise. I probably should say nothing, but in my defense I was 13 when I read The Hunt for Red October, 14-15 when I read Red Storm Rising (I don’t remember whether it came out before or after my birthday), and 15-16 when I read Patriot Games. In looking back, I realize I may have read the next two as well, but obviously do not remember them as fondly. As I was hoping to be a fighter pilot, military thrillers held quite a bit of allure. Around the same time, I read and enjoyed a Dale Brown book about a fighter jet with AI.

    I did grow up, eventually.

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