Friday, May 9, 2008

My Favorite Book

I was tagged by HappyGirl to write about my favorite book. Selection was easy, writing a bit more challenging.

Scenario: Books are scarce in the world. They are illegal in some provinces. Books are difficult or impossible to replace in most circumstances. If you can replace a book or buy one, it is usually through the black market at astronomical costs that you cannot afford. Yet you have been able to maintain one of the best collections in the world. If your entire library was about to burn up (think of the firefighters in Fahrenheit 451 invading your home) and you could only have one* book to take with you other than the Bible, what would that be and why?

Simple Rules: Answer the question. Offer one quote that resonates with you. Tag five people whose response is of genuine interest to you and inform him or her that they have been tagged. Cheers!

*And it cannot be an entire series of something, that’s cheating.

The book I’d save is a first edition of Steamboat Gothic written by Frances Parkinson Keyes. Copyright 1952. I was introduced to this author when I first read this book as assigned reading during my senior year at high school. Though, over the years, I read all this author’s books Steamboat Gothic remains my favorite. The setting for Steamboat Gothic is the River Road in Southern Louisiana, not far outside New Orleans. It chronicles life along the Mississippi River beginning in 1869. The 560 page book weaves an intriguing saga of Clyde Bachelor’s life as a gambler, land owner, devoted husband, father, and grandfather spanning many years. It spins a tale of Clyde’s life from a young man rejected by a mother of questionable morals to his life as a respected gentleman.

“He (Clyde) saw, beyond an abrupt bend in the road, the house toward which he had so persistently been heading. In fact, it came into view so suddenly as to give him the triumphant feeling that, leaving aside all question of “spells,” luck was with him at last; for here before him, gloriously unaltered in the midst of the prevailing change, was the object of his heart’s desire.” (Clyde’s first sight of Cindy Lou, the steamboat gothic mansion that he made his home.)

It’s difficult to explain exactly how this book became my favorite. The short answer is that, though nothing is perfect, we can build a perfect life for ourselves in the middle of turmoil, strife, and heartbreak. This is a complex book that is well written with understanding of the time and setting.

Instructions are to tag five people. I'm going to invite everyone who has a favorite book they'd like to share with your readers to accept this challenge. Who knows, you might find a new favorite among those of fellow bloggers.


Jamie said...

I love this meme, and if I were to do it, I really think I would be stumped on which book is my most ever favorite.

There are so many in my past and present, I'm sure I've forgotten most of them.

I like the book that you list, though. I have never heard of it, but that's not saying much, I am no literary scholar.

I love reading about your likes and dislikes, they are somehow comforting to me. I guess that doesn't make much sense, but to me, it really does.

Have a great weekend Mary.


Happyone said...

Thanks for playing along. The book you chose sounds really good and I am putting it on my ever growing list of books to read.
Happy reading!!

Brad said...

This meme has my book-lut-list growing by the minute. I'm going to get Steamboat Gothic. I love histories and epic tales.

Hope your doing good!

More grandbaby pics coming soon ?

Brad said...

Mary, Give Pepy's a try - the language can be formidable but the essence of the time period is interesting. It's one of those books that you have to give a chance to and read 1/4 way in to gefore deciding to keep on. Best wishes Dear

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

That was a fun and worthwhile tag I thought. Good to think about!