When people compliment me on my deck building skills I always say something like "well, it's my gig. It's what I do. We all have certain skills and deck building happens to be one of mine. That said, I can't change my own oil. Decks, frisbee and fishing ... good to excellent. Vehicle maintenance, totally worthless. Is what it is."
One of my other talents, and I may well be the very best on the planet ..is procrastination. I am stupid good at delaying the performance of self-assigned trivial tasks, and even better if they are girlfriend assigned tasks. The possibility exists that I may just be inherently lazy. It's a problem.
Yesterday however I'd had enough and decided I was going to actually accomplish something from my own long list---clean and straighten up my bookshelf. I made the thing myself a dozen or so years ago, from cedar and exotic purple heart, so naturally I like my bookshelf, but for three years it's sat there in that same spot, next to my side of the bed (yes, we have sides), collecting dustbunnies, carpenter's pencils, pocket change, glasses cases, guitar picks, miscellaneous burnt pieces of candle, and a small sack of coal pulled from a vein in West Virginia. Books, read or partially read, littered the top along with old curled photographs of varying levels of importance. It had to be done, and not next year but this!
It took an hour. Like always, the onerous task I'd put off for a year or more was no huge deal. One hour .. perhaps less.
While I dusted and sorted I noticed that I have an, uh, interesting assortment of reading material. Some from thrift or used book stores, some ordered online, some permanently borrowed ... even some that I pulled out of a flooded demo home in New Orleans in '06. Several, I have no clue how they came to rest on my shelf.. Some in pristine condition, some tattered and yellowed and lacking covers. Most I've read but others, never. There are books written by blogging associates Tom Cordle and Mark Pritchard (Sirenita's husband). The books Margaret Feike sent me are there, except one of them called "Shit My Dad Says" that I re-sent to Jimbo Emmerling with some weed flowers flattened inside, during a time of his need. Then, he was in Connecticut. I wondered if the book made it with him, full circle, to Margaret's in Ohio. I know the flowers didn't.
Right, so I wondered as I 'worked' what a person's particular books, collected over the years, mean about the person. If anything.
And I had an idea. Yes, an idea! To list my book's titles and authors here, in order left to right, as they sit on my bookshelf, top shelf only though. Then to see if others here have any interest in doing the same. This is what we used to refer to in blogging as an "OPEN CALL." So, have at it, if you will. This could be insightful, or at the least interesting, I thought.
To self: "yes, you are a genius!"
So here they are ----
King Lear - Shakespeare
One - Richard Bach (of Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame)
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick (based on interviews with North Koreans who managed to escape to the south)
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Don Quixote - Cervantes
A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare
The Prayer of Jabez - Bruce Wilkinson
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
New World Thesaurus - Webster's
Jitterbug Perfume - Tom Robbins
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
On the Road - Jack Kerouac
Republic - Plato
The Splendid Century - W.H. Lewis
Another Roadside Attraction - Tom Robbins
Once By the Early Autumn Leaves - Carolyn Barber (published after her passing 12/12/2014)
The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
The Bible - King James version
The bible was a gift from my Mom and her sister the Reverend Doctor at our family reunion in Beaver, West Virginia, to Eli my son for his 18th birthday, just before he left for Navy bootcamp in July 2011. Written by Mother's hand inside is a little note to Eli along with this ... "Isaiah chapter 40, verses 28-31." She, Mom, has since died; curiosity led me to look up the chapter and verses, hoping to understand her meaning, her message to her first grandson. Not a believer myself, nor is Eli, but for what it's worth ....
28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.