A is for “all sorts of things”
That pretty much describes my library. There’s a shelf of Jane Austen and corresponding criticism. There are two shelves of military history, with half of it pertaining to the Battle of Stalingrad. A shelf of Elizabeth Peters, one for J.K. Rowling. I have biographies of Catherine the Great, Gertrude Bell, Chief Joseph and Jackson Pollock and autobiography of Queen Noor. Of course I still have all of my Oxford Anthologies, but I’m not sure why – I haven’t cracked a spine of those in years. There’s the David Quammen section, the first editions very carefully handled, even though they’re worth nothing to anyone but myself. Ditto goes for Madeline L’Engle. Alas, I only have a paperback copy of “A Wrinkle in Time” because the firsts are too expensive. There’s “Dune” and “Twilight” and the entire collection of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels. (Those belonged to husband J, but when he was going to sell them I rescued them. Love me some Jack Aubrey…). I still have the paperback copy of “The Sun Also Rises” that I bought in the train station in Paris when I was 15 so that I’d have something to read on the train, as well as my copy of the plays of Lillian Hellman that I got at 18. I still re-read “Watch on the Rhine” aloud. There’s Monica Furlong, Robin McKinley, Juliet Marillier and Michelle Magorian. Beryl Markham and Isak Dinesen sit side by side, which is akward since, you know, Beryl slept with Isak’s husband. There are books on the ancient Mediteranean, Byzantium and the Mongols. I have a concise Oxford English Dictionary, the one that two huge volumes and, like something out of Harry Potter, comes with a magnifying glass to be able to read it. It was my 21st birthday present from my grandparents. I have a French/English dictionary and an ancient Greek/English dictionary. There’s a book on Buddhism in Russia, and two translations of The Divine Comedy (Dorothy Sayers and John Ciardi). Of course there’s also Lord Peter and some Elizabeth and Robert Browning. John Donne is represented because I can’t live my life without Elegy 19 to make me crack a smile. There’s Deanna Raybourn and Tasha Alexander (who not oddly are friends of each other on Facebook). Larissa Ione and J.R. Ward, Gail Carriger and Meljean Brook, Courtney Milan, Zoe Archer and Stephanie Tyler. There’s “The Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Einstein”, which was a Valentine’s Day gift from husband J. “The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000” and Lewis Thomas “Lives of a Cell” are there, along with a smattering of Stephen J. Gould and Timothy Ferris.
If you judge someone on their choice of reading material what do you have to say about me?