Sunday, July 24, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 22.

[Favourite book you own]

Oh gosh. How on earth can I even pull out one?
I’ve just gone and stood in my horrifying mess of a room (note to self: clean it) and surveyed my book collection. Unable to specify one, I’ve decided to write down the ones I reach for when I’m desperate for a book, the ones with excellent memories, the ones that get me through tough times and the ones that have taught me things. The ones whose passages leap into my mind months, years, after I last closed them.
There’s a vast amount of non-fiction – more than I realised. So I’ll divide this up into my non-fiction loves and my fiction loves.

Non-fiction, in no particular order

I bought this in the throes of my Ewan McGregor adoration, and boy did it hurt. Even with a 40% staff discount I had to put it on layby and stroke it occasionally during my shifts ($75 here). If you've seen the doco that ties in with this, you’ll know the basic storyline. Essentially Ewan and Charley get on motorbikes and ride around the world. They released a memoir about it, and this version contains the memoir with photos. The photos are stunning, though my Ewan-Adorer-Self was a bit saddened at the beard he sported throughout. They released a different version to tie in with the African journey, Long Way Down.

I got this for my 18th last year. Thanks to my grandfather, I’ve become besotted with the Herald (cue the disapproving glares of Queensland newsagents. What, I’m supposed to become a better writer reading the Courier Mail?). Dad, fully aware of this, came across this book in the Xavier library office, given to them by the Herald and awaiting a shiny plastic cover. “Can I buy one of these directly?” he asked Gloria. “Tash would adore one.”
Unfortunately, there were some sort of conditions attached – these books were only being distributed to certain people, perhaps subscribers. I can’t remember. However, Gloria gave the book to my dad to give to me for my birthday.
The book contains photos of memorable events from the last 125 years of the Herald. Believe you me; there are some stunning shots in there.

Living in Brisbane, I was excited. The Dymocks in the city was amazing, and I could spend hours in there indulging my new fetish – pretty cookbooks. Dad phoned for Mum’s birthday. “What should we get her?”
“Leave it to me,” I said, thinking of all the fun I could have in the bookstore, “I’ll bring the presents with me.”
I found Bill’s Sydney Food and Food Safari for Mum and promptly spent the majority of my savings on them. It was a no-brainer. Food Safari was incredible, but Bill’s Sydney Food was ten times better. Maybe it was my creepy bookseller attitude prevailing, but the slipcover. The colour scheme. The photography. The weight of the book, just right for reading, perfectly balanced to lay flatly open to any recipe.
When we presented the books to Mum, she was more excited about the ‘Bill Granger aspect’ than the ‘exquisite slipcover aspect’. I pointed it out. She stared blankly. “… yes, Tash… a slipcover.”
Disgruntled, I returned to Brisbane. A few weeks later it was my birthday, and Mum bought me this. “Tash, look! There’s a slipcover!” she teased.

The final school holidays before my HSC, my parents took me to Melbourne. It probably wasn’t the best for my study regime (then again, what study regime? Watching Scrubs and solely speaking in Spanish is probably not recommended by teachers), but it was the best for every other aspect of my life. We mainly went so I could see two exhibitions – Salvador Dali, and Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Dad bought me this as a grad present, along with a miniature painting. I love this so much. I no longer need to Google his paintings and be presented with tiny results. Instead, they’re all in here, with titles in English, Catalan and Spanish. Swoon.

This book is excellent. I’ve noticed that whenever I fail at life, particularly in my purity, I start thinking “Goodness, I am clearly depraved and worthless and the only one feeling like this”. But this book? Showed I’m not the only one. Showed I’m feeling things everyone’s felt. It’s encouraging to be reminded of this, and to also be given encouragement to become who I was designed to become.

Ah, Proverbs 31 Woman. So unattainable. I get up for work and am all, “BLERGH HATE MY JOB HATE BEING AWAKE RIGHT NOW COMPLAINTS”, then feel ridiculous about not meeting the standard. Receive a $500 bill (really, just did) – not doing the Prov. 31 thing with my possessions and money. This book shows practical ways to incorporate Proverbs 31 easily into our lives. Also, hugely fun ways.

I got this Bible probably in Year 9, from Robyn (my amazingly awesome Sunday School teacher and now mentor in all things life-related). I’ve tried to move onto less youth-centred Bibles. This Bible has quizzes and facts specifically centred towards teens, and I decided I clearly was moving into the next phase of my life. I bought a woman’s Bible. Still can’t give this one up. It’s got my notes in it from all areas of my life. Got my prayers. Got lots of underlines (all colours). Love, love, love – it’s a journey of my Christian walk.

Fiction, in no particular order

I have read this book so much it’s been taped together repeatedly, futile attempts to stop it from collapsing in two. Chris once threw it at me as part of our war – it tore in two. I tenderly sticky-taped it back together as we called a temporary truce, and laid it in the hospital. One of his friends gently tossed it to me a few months later, and the sticky tape fell off. This friend, a fellow Harry Potter lover, gasped and scooped it up. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to! Not to this!”
If you don’t know what Harry Potter’s about… you need to go read them, now.
One of those ones that has perfect writing that’s so exquisitely amusing and painted true to life. It was the first that I’d read that wasn’t linear novel, but composed solely of letters and emails. I adored it, I adored the characters, I adored the story. Froth.

Remember how I said I need to finish series as a part of my creepy compulsive writer-self? This is another one. I’d only read the first (won it in the Youth Group auction, Year 7) and desperately wanted the others in the series. Think I could find them? Of course not.
Then, Melbourne trip, I found a Koorong. AND I FOUND THEM ALL BOUND UP AND NEAT AND ONLY $20.
Good buy, great read.

Not very intellectual, I admit it. But oh so addictive. Follows the adventures of Becky Bloomwood/Brandon as she navigates her debts, her shopping addictions, married life and family life, in typical Sophie Kinsella form – by which I mean, with a whole lot of humour and with an engrossing storyline. Certainly takes your mind off your day!

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