Friday, February 4, 2011

Tell Me a Story...

Ms. Lila Dare leapt onto my TBR list last spring (May was the month for writers named "Dare").  I'm not certain where I saw the cover for Tressed to Kill, but once I read the back cover blurb and saw "Southern" and "beauty shop," I knew this book was for me.  Having read the second in the series, Polished Off, I'm so glad I took the chance!  

I'm extremely excited to have her visit and tell a little bit about...

The Books at Lila’s House

Somehow it seemed appropriate, when writing for a blog called “My House of Books” to take stock of the books lying around my house and share my findings with you.  In the interest of full disclosure, I will point out that my husband and daughters are all voracious readers with tastes that differ greatly from mine, so be prepared for a wide range of titles!

Bookshelves line every wall in our basement and that’s where we corral most of our probably 2,000+ books.  (If that number shocks you, talk to my hubby who is incapable of demoting a book to giveaway or donation once it has been blessed with a slot on our shelves.)  I confess to occasionally sneaking down to the basement with a box when my hubby’s away and extracting such up-to-date titles as Cobol for Dummies and foisting them on Goodwill.  Tom’s tastes run mostly to non-fiction, including political biographies, everything ever written about the Civil War, U.S. history, world wars and sources of conflict, and enough chess books to start his own chess book lending library.  When I look at his books, I feel inadequately educated.  He’s currently reading the Robin Olds biography, Fighter Pilot.

Several shelves in the basement and most horizontal surfaces in the main living areas are covered with my daughters’ books which they seem constitutionally incapable of putting away.  Of course, this strange malady also affects their clothes, their homework, their art supplies and shoes, so I guess I’m not surprised.  Daughter #1 (thirteen years old) loves fantasy and horses, so she owns all the Harry Potter books, the Warrior series (cat clans, for those of you who don’t know), the Hunger Games books, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, the Inheritance Cycle (dragons) . . . you get the picture.  She knows when the next installment of all her favorite series is coming out and rushes to the local bookshop on the day, gift card in hand.  (Somehow, she always has a bookstore gift card to spend.)  She is currently reading Horses for Dummies.  Really.  Oh, and To Kill a Mockingbird, under duress for school.  Since it has no dragon, talking cats, or magic of any kind and takes place in a boring-as-dirt town with bland characters and no justice, she doesn’t much like it.  (She wrote that last sentence.)

Daughter #2 (eleven years old) reads some of the above, plus Dave Barry’s and Carl Hiassen’s middle grade books, the Peter and the Starcatcher series, Brian Jacques’ Redwall series, and anything featuring a smart/sarcastic/rebellious middle schooler.   Hm . . . perhaps that’s because she is a smart, sarcastic, mildly rebellious middle schooler? 

I have books lining my office, many of which are writing craft books.  I also have a fair sprinkling of classics, left over from my days as a literature grad student (I haven’t read them in years but they make me look intelligent—in a pretentiously literary way) when people scan the shelves.  I have stacks of traditional mysteries, signed books by friends, essay collections (Anna Quindlen, David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, and others), and every Regency romance Georgette Heyer ever wrote.  My mom introduced me to Heyer in my teens and I’ve read them over and over since then; they’re my comfort reads.  

When I visit a friend’s house, almost the first thing I do is scan the bookshelves for titles.  What would I find on your shelves?

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