Sunday, September 7, 2008

I'm Booked.

Over Labor Day weekend Mac Daddy and I heard a thumpity-thump-bump-CRASH one night while we were busy vegging on the couch with a bottle of pinot grigio (a farewell to the lazy days of summer wine, none of that white stuff in the fall and winter months will do). We shrugged it off as a book falling off of Deal's bed, a common occurence considering he goes to bed with a veritable library cache of reading material. It was the CRASH that stirred us from our pre-kid-like vegging euphoria. We rushed upstairs to discover two snuggly sleeping boys. One freaked out 16-year old cat whose hair would have been standing up had we not gotten her shaved recently, and a bookshelf toppled in my office, books littering the floor.

Sigh. Labor Day was indeed a day of labor.

I just reorganized all the book shelves in my office. I purged (not in the Sarah Palin sense) and boxed up some goodies to share with my book club and put some in the Goodwill pile. It took me longer than the average bear to reorganize because I found myself flipping through the dogeared, marked up pages, checking out my changing handwriting (I always write my name inside the cover of my books.), admired the unbroken spine (One of the byproducts of my self-diagnosed OCD is that I cannot stand for a book spine to be creased or bent, requiring me to read very gingerly. This is why my friends just buy me a new copy of a book instead of returning the trashed spine book they borrowed from me.), and even burying my nose into a few, the smell taking me back to Ms. Smith's English class or Mr. Harrison's British poetry class.

I was the kid who eshewed Cliffs Notes, even for Jane Austen, whom I loathe. I was the kid who laughed at kids who couldn't get through the summer reading list. I was the kid who was repeatedly told not to bring books to the dinner table. I was the kid who crept under the covers with a flashlight and got lost in Ramona's adventures until the wee hours. I was the kid who oohed and aahed over gifted books at my birthday party. I am still that kid.

I love words. I am in awe of people who can put words together to spin an enthralling tale, paint a vivid picture, mend a troubled psyche, or create a character so real you feel you should add him to your Christmas card list. Words inspire me. Excite me. Tempt me. Poor use of words infuriate me. Words are powerful little buggers, whether spoken or written. They invoke emotion in ways moving pictures cannot because they leave us to our own devices. Words take us on a journey, challenging us to create the pictures and images and people that accompany them. Words are instruments that few people can master.

Books are my escape. Cheaper than a plane ticket, more engrossing than television, often more effective than therapy, and they don't talk back.

The one gift I hope to impart to Bird and Deal is a love of books. So far so good. One of my proudest moments was when Bird was about 3 or so. I offered him the choice of going to the library or the park, and he enthusiastically chose the library. That's my boy, I thought to myself, smiling. Both Bird and Deal devour books of all kinds. Bird's driving force behind his kindergarten excitement is that he will learn how to read. Right now he's memorized a million books so he often sits with Deal and "reads" The Lorax and other such jewels. The bounty we bring home from the library would leave me $64 dollars poorer if I were checking those books on a US Air flight.

My friend Norman gave us one of the best baby gifts ever. Not the standard Goodnight Moon, Mother Goose, or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He gave us Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. The book is a clever, delightfully written guide to help choose age appropriate books for your kids. Hunt also writes candidly about topics such as censorhip and what makes a good versus bad book. Honey for a Child's Heart is peppered with the old standbys that I love to read to my boys. The House at Pooh Corner. Where the Wild Things Are. Richard Scarry. Shel Silverstein. Mercer Mayer. Even if you are a voracious reader like I am, this book will serve as a handy guide should you ever need a kick in the pants to actually go to the library with a list.

Oh, in case you are wondering what books Sarah Palin supposedly wanted to ban (rather "purge" since that sounds less like censorship) from her library, wait no more. Check 'em out. Thanks my old buddy Mike for passing this along.

Sarah Palin's Book Club - Asterisks* are by the ones I've read. You'll see that I am clearly a heathen who has no business being a card carrying library book checker outer.

*A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
*A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
*As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
*Blubber by Judy Blume
*Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
*Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
*Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
*Carrie by Stephen King
*Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
*Christine by Stephen King
Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
*Cujo by Stephen King
Curses, Hexes, and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
*Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
*Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Decameron by Boccaccio
*East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Fallen Angels by Walter Myers
Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) by John Cleland
*Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
*Forever by Judy Blume
Grendel by John Champlin Gardner
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
*Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
*Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
*Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Have to Go by Robert Munsch
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
*How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
*Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
* I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Impressions edited by Jack Booth
* In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
* It’s Okay if You Don’t Love Me by Norma Klein
*James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
* Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
*Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
*Little Red Riding Hood by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
*Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Love is One of the Choices by Norma Klein
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
More Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier
My House by Nikki Giovanni
*My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
Night Chills by Dean Koontz
*Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
*One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
*One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
*Ordinary People by Judith Guest
*Our Bodies, Ourselves by Boston Women’s Health Collective
*Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz
Scary Stories in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
*A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Silas Marner by George Eliot
*Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
*The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
*The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Bastard by John Jakes
*The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
*The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Devil’s Alternative by Frederick Forsyth
The Figure in the Shadows by John Bellairs
*The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
*The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Snyder
The Learning Tree by Gordon Parks
The Living Bible by William C. Bower
*The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
The New Teenage Body Book by Kathy McCoy and Charles Wibbelsman
*The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Seduction of Peter S. by Lawrence Sanders
*The Shining by Stephen King
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Snyder
* Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
*To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
*Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary by the Merriam-Webster Editorial Staff
Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween
Symbols by Edna Bart

And now, I am peeling my fingers away from the keyboard to open up my latest crack. Plan B by Anne Lamott. Must see TV? Nah. Not for me tonight.
I'm Booked.SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


McMommy said...


Please, please tell me this is a joke.

That she did not really want to BAN BOOKS!!!!!!!

I'm so fiery-hot with anger right now, I can barely type!!

The Over-Thinker said...

Okay, so I've had to delete a bunch of potential comments as F-ing, Sonofa isn't usually what I like to drop off at your place.

But man...like mcmommy, this seriously pisses me off.

P.S. I love you for hating Jane Austen.

P.P.S. Do you like my new Obama Widget? :)

Ilina said...

I'm afraid it's true. I can't make this stuff up, guys. I am amazed at what some people crusade against knowing all the ills of the world.

I'm adding Wicked to my book list. I will have to live to be 7653 years old to get through all the books on my list but I will die trying.

And Over-Thinker, I LOVE your Obama widget. I was admiring it so much the other day that I almost forgot to read you post.

Unknown said...

Woah. I just picked my jaw up off the floor. So what your telling me is that she wanted to BAN huge pieces of literary Americana (Mark Twain, Harper Lee, etc., etc.) Oh my... This woman is crazy.

foolery said...

Wow, if true, that's short-sighted, at best, and definitely small-minded. But I wonder how you got the list?

Gudrun said...

amazing! I cannot believe she would ban Forever by Judy Blume. How is the average pre-teen/tween supposed to learn about sex. Oh, right, thats not supposed to be allowed in her world.

Dumb, so dumb.

Ilina said...

The list is from http://www.librarian.net/stax/2366/sarah-palin-vp-nominee/. Note that the there's no documentation supporting the list, but it contains the general cast of expected titles. I just found it interesting that a mayor would want to legislate book banning at all.

Anonymous said...

No words. Because with Palin, we would be without so many important ones. So, I'm speechless, there are absolutely no words to express my outrage.

(Btw, winter, spring, summer or fall - I'll drink me some pinot if its on sale - LOL! Granted its ALWAYS summer in these parts...)

Anonymous said...

I would like to say I'm shocked, but I'm not. It never ceases to amaze me the titles on banned books list.

By reading your blog it is evident that you are well read and that none of those books harmed you, tee hee!

Anonymous said...

No, Gov. Sarah Palin did not want to ban books. Ilina, please do not spread lies. Please check this website:


"She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term".
I found your website quite by accident, and you seem like nice women, but honestly, if you traffic in things that are not true I see no point in visiting your blog anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

If you read further to the next post, you will see that I ate my words. I retracted my statements when I learned the truth, which is more than I can say the McCain camp is doing spreading lie about Obama.

I also find it curious that the negative comments I get, which I welcome since this is open discussion, are always left anonymously. Why is that?

Anonymous said...

I do not see the post where you said you were sorry for smearing a hard working accomplished American woman. May I suggest you do a wee bit of research before you engage in high school behavior. Now that being said, you continue to cast aspersions regarding the McCain camp spreading lies about Obama. Could you please be more specific?
You previously stated, "I'm afraid it's true, I cannot make this stuff up". I mean how do you sound when you say stuff like that? That is sort of saying Ilinap is a whore. You just leave this comment hanging without backing it up. So please do not do that ok? I find it curious that you feel offended by my previous comment and stated it was a "negative comment" when actually it was simply a correction of your inaccurate post. Perhaps THIS post could be construed as negative, but certainly not my other one. Finally as to your bewilderment as to why I did not "sign in" it was simply easier and faster to post as Anonymous.

Anonymous said...


Woahhhhhh. Equating something mispoken which has been clearly admitted to is nowhere NEAR stating "Ilinap is a whore." WTF? That comparison is inflammatory and makes NO sense!

I don't which horse in this political race you're cheering on, you could have used a far better statement than that! Come on!

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous troll - A whore, huh? LOL - what are you even talking about? There was zero constructive value to either of your comments. Hey, you said it best yourself. "I see no point in visiting your blog anymore." Great idea. Fabulous in fact. Go away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Auds,
I understand what you are saying. I did not SAY ILINA WAS A WHORE. I said "that would BE LIKE saying Ilina was a whore" for a reason. It may or may not be true, but notice I did not offer any proof of my statement. When Ilina after being corrected about Gov. Palin, she went on to further slander "McCain's camp". She did not have proof of her second statement either. For example, a proper "slam" would go like this. B.O. attended a racist church for 20 years.
Subsitute "white" where it says "black".
If McCain attended a church with beliefs such as this
how long before the Mainstream Media would chase him out of Washington?
Just asking.

Anonymous said...


Your use of the word "whore" was completely uncalled for. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Ilinap clearly retracted her statement. Your response/evidence was nothing more than linking to another blog, which after looking at it is clealry objective (just kidding).

Can anyone believe that something written on a blog is not actually factual? I do not think Ilinap is trying to be a reporter as much as expressing her views in an open forum.

As for your reference to Obama's church, it would carry some weight with the general public if any of his words or actions matched the things that may be troubling about the church but they don't. End of discussion. After all, he did not take an endorsement from Rev Wright, unlike McCain accepting one from Rev. Hagey. Compare the two Rev. and tell me which one is worse?!

Partisanship aside take Ilinap's blog for what it is worth - freedom of expression, great writing, humor and some controversy.

I personally love it!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering if anonymous has been watching TV or listening to radio lately, or even the debate last night?
Lies let's try the tax issue, how about Obama's healthcare, or his tax with small business. The McCain campaign con't to go on and on even when the are confronted about it by various news people.
Oh yeah talk about being immature/high school behavior I think you need to reread your second to last post.

Anonymous said...

Why does The Left lie so much?