I must confess, I did not draw the Chocolate Medusa winner’s name out of a Sorting Hat. J.K. Rowling proved very unhelpful about that. Instead I drew them from a sack that Mia had chewed on for good luck. AND THE WINNER IS: Corey! This is un tout petit peu like sending fake coals to Newcastle, because Corey lives in France where my humble efforts will seem quite pitiful. However! Corey, if you will promise not to sniff disdainfully at my chocolate medusas and if you will send me your snail mail address, I will send them on.
Meanwhile, the bookshelf.
So, I should warn you that my bookshelves are all cheap things I bought while in grad school. In daydreams, we are the kind of people who would build glorious floor-to-ceiling bookshelves some weekend, but in real life…we are not. Here is the picture of the top two shelves of the one bookshelf left that can actually hold hardbacks.
I believe you can read most of the titles. The pink one on the top shelf, right by The Most Beautiful Villages in Provence, is Paris gourmand, which is THE most gorgeous book about Paris you ever saw, you will just die of cravings flipping through its pages. And Jean-Charles gave it to me on the VERY LAST DAY of my last stay in Paris, too late to go to any of the places featured. He said, “I know you. This way, you’ll HAVE to come back.”
Then we have Joshilyn Jackson’s Between, Georgia, which is fabulous. Maya Angelou’s Collected Poems, Robert Browning’s collected poems (2 volumes), E.E. Cummings, T.S. Elliot, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Diane Wakoski, Derek Walcott, Treasury of American Poetry, & Yeats. All of these are the complete collections, except for Diane Wakoski & probably now for Derek Walcott & Maya Angelou, since they have kept writing.
This is the reason for the collection of Diane Wakoski’s. I saw this excerpt from one of her poems somewhere and immediately went out and got more:
Love passed me in a blue business suit
His glass cane, hollow and filled with
sharks and whales…
He wore black patent leather shoes
and a mustache. His hair was so black
it was almost blue.
“Love,” I said.
“I beg your pardon,” he said.
“Mr. Love,” I said.
“I beg your pardon,” he said.
So I saw there was no use bothering him on the
Love passed me on the street in a blue
business suit. He was a banker
I could tell.
Isn’t that magnificent? Especially if you are in a sarcastic mood about love, which I was frequently in my early twenties.
The shelf under it has Step-by-Step Landscaping, which I’m not positive is mine. It was one of those “don’t worry about returning it, just get your yard in order” loans from my sister-in-law, who was hoping to enable sufficient skills in me to make our yard less of an embarrassment to the neighborhood. I said, “Annette, you are not really enabling me by putting that book on my shelf so much as making me feel very guilty about not following its behests.” And she got that look in her eye, the look that can get in the eye of a person who landscapes several acres as a way of taking a break and being lazy for a day, a look like, “You should feel guilty,” and gave it to me anyway.
Shakespeare and Kipling in this cheap leather I bought when I was a teenager. Melrose & Croc, a sweet little children’s Christmas book that my LOVELY and DARLING publicist sent to Baby Girl. Scaredy Squirrel, another children’s book which is perfectly hilarious.
Multiple Lois McMaster Bujolds. There are lots of others scattered around the house–Sébastien likes her, too, and re-reads the Miles ones frequently. And he tends to leave the books in one place and their crushed covers in another.
gods in Alabama. Which, yes, should be by Between, Georgia, but the fact that it is even in the vicinity is already superior to most of my organizational skills.
Haven Kimmel’s Something Rising and She Got Up off the Couch, ALSO signed first editions, LA LA LA right back AT you, Miss Jackson.
Barbara Kingsolver’s Pigs in Heaven.
Okay, then. I feel vaguely guilty for showing the hardback shelf, which is obviously pre-filtered, because it contains only books that come out in hardback and that I, of course, was willing to buy in hardback. I’m chary with my hardbacks because I really like for my possessions to all fit in a suitcase, and my book habit makes that hard enough without me getting them in hardback, too.
I was going to show a trade paperback shelf and maybe even a mass market paperback shelf. (Because my organizational system is currently based around Where They Will Fit. Sometimes Sideways.)
But that will have to be for another day. Perhaps when I post the bookshelf links that are coming in, in a couple of days. In the meantime, you can find those links posted in the comments here. It is proving just as much fun as I thought it would be exploring people’s bookshelves!