Before I get into what’s on my bookshelf, I have to share with you a major triumph!
I bought two new pairs of jeans this weekend, and for some reason, the “short” inseam is nowhere near what I would call short. As a result, my pants were dragging on the ground even after I rolled them up a few inches. I had to get my sewing machine out for a quick project anyhow, so I decided to try to hem my jeans.
The first time I tried it, it didn’t work out so well. I had stitched them on the underside so I would know where the edge of the seam was, but then the right side of the jeans, what everyone else could see, was all wonky. I tried and tried on scrap pieces to fix the tension on my sewing machine, but nothing was working. Argh.
I quit working long enough to throw some food down my throat, and while I was eating lunch, it came to me! Instead of stitching the seam, I used Stitch Witchery in between the layers, which has the added benefit of sharply creasing the bottom edge, just like it is straight from the factory. Then I topstitched the seam to reinforce the Stitch Witchery and make it look professional. And let me tell you, it looks like I bought them that way!
I am so proud of myself, you have no idea. And now my jeans won’t be dragging in the muck and the snow and the nastiness outside anymore!
On to my bookshelf:
Obviously some of the books on this shelf simply aren’t mine. Grace’s books have sort of overflowed from the shelf underneath this one because she is her momma’s daughter and has too many books.
Wait, is there such a thing?
On the far right, you see Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, the uncut version published after his death. I told you there wasn’t a shelf without at least one Heinlein in my house! Next we have Jimbo Comes Home, which is apparently a collection of bedtime stories for children. I guess I should tell Kurt about that one, eh?
There are some books on this shelf that I don’t have a good reason for having, other than the fact that I pick up books as if they were stray cats needing care. Le Divorce and Fast Women fall under that category. I think what happened is that I got Jennifer Crusie confused with Jennifer Weiner, who wrote Good in Bed (an excellent book, and one I highly recommend). I have never read either of those books on my shelf. I need to find new homes for them.
I acquired Me by Katharine Hepburn when I was 15. That year we went down to Orlando, Florida, twice — the first time to see my sister graduate Navy boot camp, back when they still sent girls to Orlando (now everyone goes to Great Lakes, Illinois), and the second time to attend her wedding. Both times we stayed with my father’s friends, and in the room I stayed in was this copy of Me. I’ve always been fascinated by Katharine Hepburn, so the wife gave it to me and I still have it.
I’ve got a copy of First Steps in Cooking, one of my many vintage and antique cookbooks. It was published in 1946, the same year my father was born. Not only does it have many recipes (including one for American Chop Suey), but it also gives good tips on what kinds of kitchen equipment one needs, the best way to work in the kitchen, and even how to take care of one’s kitchen.
Shockingly enough, I have never read The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, even though I have it on my shelf. I even have The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide, which has all five books of the trilogy (and I know a trilogy is composed of just three books, but this is Douglas Adams we’re talking about), and I still haven’t read it. I did see the movie when our very own Shippie came to visit me in Washington state and just about peed myself laughing, so I guess I really ought to read the books. One day…
I’ve read The Clan of the Cave Bear so many times that I had to tape the spine to prevent it from falling apart. I used Scotch tape, though, so it still falls apart if I look at it too hard.
And then you have Gone With the Wind and Scarlett. I have to say, I wasn’t all that fond of Scarlett. I’ll stick with Gone With the Wind, thanks. I love to read that book, though, especially when I’ve seen the movie recently because the movie plays in my head as I read the words.
Oh! I just noticed. Just to the left of The Valley of Horses (I guess I should move that one next to The Clan of the Cave Bear, shouldn’t I?) is a thin pink volume called The Hunky-Dory Dairy. I first read that book when I was in elementary school. It’s about a little girl who finds herself able to visit a group of people who are stuck in the late 1800s, and whom no one else can see. I’ve always been a sucker for this type of fantasy, but one description stuck with me all these years. The girl talks about the rain in DC that bounces up off the pavement and renders an umbrella utterly useless. That is So True.
And then we have All the Weyrs of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. I have already mentioned my affinity for fantasy, though there are limits. This is why I never read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, even though I tried reading The Hobbit (the prequel, I know) three times and never did finish. But there’s something about Anne McCaffrey’s books that I adore. I started with The Harper Hall Trilogy (Dragonsinger, Dragonson, and Dragondrums) before moving on to the rest of the Pern series. And yes, I cried at the end of this book — tears rolling down my face and all. So, so sad. I always loved Masterharper Robinton.
The book to the far left is one of my copies of Little Women. There is a junior illustration version laid on top of the other volumes that I bought for Grace. The one I read when I was a kid was a lot thicker than that edition, mainly because it wasn’t just Little Women but also Little Men and Little Wives. I love that edition the best because it goes through the girls’ childhood and into their adulthood, so the goodness doesn’t end for at least a thousand pages. I adore Louisa May Alcott. I think I read Little Women for the first time when I was probably seven or eight and loved every second.
And the Shel Silverstein books? Yeah, I already had a copy of A Light in the Attic, which resides on the other side of Stranger In a Strange Land, but then I saw another copy with Where the Sidewalk Ends in a thrift store and picked them both up. Oops. One’s in better shape than the other, though. I insisted that Grace have her own copies of these books. Our elementary school library never had Shel Silverstein books on the shelves; they were always checked out. So now Grace has her own books and won’t ever need to wait for them to come back into circulation at the library.
Next week — another shelf!