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Started by Bleu11 on Dec 5, 2015 5:09:32 PM
Childhood curiosity and book/album shelves

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/fashion/our-bare-shelves-our-selves.html

What stuff from your family's book and album shelves made an impact on you?

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AlanII - 05 Dec 2015 17:19:25 (#1 of 63)

The Penguin paperback of Lady Chatterly's Lover. Was particularly impressed by the way it fell open at all the right places too.

Shadrack22 - 05 Dec 2015 17:24:40 (#2 of 63)

A couple of favourites that I discovered by choosing at random from the shelves:

Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, one of the first novels to be influenced by psychoanalysis. A first-person memoir written at the behest of his analyst. Svevo was a friend of James Joyce in Trieste.

Catcher in the Rye.

The poems of ASJ Tessimond.

nolongerstumpy - 05 Dec 2015 17:45:30 (#3 of 63)

Robert Graves: Greek Myths, and the Claudius series. Alice in Wonderland with illustrations by John Tenniel. Quiller-Couch's Oxford Book of English Verse. Wildwood Wisdom by Jaeger.

Hundredsand - 12 Dec 2015 17:35:29 (#4 of 63)

Never read it, but my mother's hardback copy of "The Agony and The Ecstasy" always caught my eye in the bookshelf.

1MELSM - 13 Dec 2015 00:52:33 (#5 of 63)

At about age 10 or 11 and eldest of several children, I was asked by my building worker dad, the sole breadwinner, "If I bought these for you, would you read them?", and I answered "Yes". So he and my mum agreed to get us a 15-volume, or whatever number it was, set of Children's Britannica which, in being wide-ranging, proved useful. Long after I stopped reading it, my siblings used it and learned.

Cavewoman - 13 Dec 2015 01:26:07 (#6 of 63)

Thoreau's Walden and various Hemingways. Loathe the guy, love his writing.

nolongerstumpy - 13 Dec 2015 02:02:17 (#7 of 63)

Walden is grate, but I could never get on with Hemingway.

Cavewoman - 13 Dec 2015 02:17:05 (#8 of 63)

He was my first introduction to pared-down writing, but he was a raging misogynist, or even misanthrope. Don't like his writing now, but was susceptible to it in my early teens.

nolongerstumpy - 13 Dec 2015 02:23:57 (#9 of 63)

Have you read Hunter S. Thompson's The Rum Diaries? I think you might like it.

Cavewoman - 13 Dec 2015 02:25:55 (#10 of 63)

OK - thanks. Will give it a try.

tooticky - 23 Dec 2015 18:50:14 (#11 of 63)

I was lucky as my parents had bookshelves all over the house with a fairly eclectic mix of books on nearly everything. Arthur Mee's Childrens Encyclopaedias, all the Arthur Ransome books,The Wayside and Woodland natural history books,Asterix the Gaul and an eye popping book on Josephine Baker (complete with photos of her in a skirt made of bananas -wonder how that got onto the shelves ?)Plus any number of fairy tales and classics like Alice in Wonderland. I didn't get bored on wet days with all those books. I suspect a lot of kids, today, aren't as fortunate as I was

Delighted_User - 14 May 2019 23:02:45 (#12 of 63)

Not strictly applicable, as I've just discovered ASJ Tessimond, and wondered how widely he was known. So I did a search here, thinking that if anyone had mentioned him, it would be Shadrack. And behold, I was right.

Shadrack22 - 14 May 2019 23:07:53 (#13 of 63)

The B roads of English Lit!

bossab2 - 14 May 2019 23:21:02 (#14 of 63)

My parents bought us a 20 year out if date multi volume Encyclopedia.

So I knew all about the world of the 1950s.

BuddhaPest - 14 May 2019 23:43:35 (#15 of 63)

I remember doing Tessimond at school, and some of the lines still come back to me - I think I have a collection somewhere bought as an adult.

Antimatter - 15 May 2019 00:17:21 (#16 of 63)

As a small, we did not have many books, but there was always the library for swallows and amazons (still worth reading) Enid Blyton, Jill's gymkhana etc. And then there were farmhouse holidays, for a steady supply of Biggles, and PG Wodehouse. My BF's dad, was a director at a printing company, so once a month we could go and help ourselves to whatever was on the print run. So, James Blish, Azimov and Tolkien.

darkhorse - 15 May 2019 06:46:38 (#17 of 63)

I read all the naughty bits...errr...several times...in the Illuminatus! trilogy, but never actually read the book.

Having read the spoiler on Wikipedia, not sure I’ll bother...

The evil scheme uncovered late in the tale is an attempt to immanentize the eschaton, a secret scheme of the American Medical Association, an evil rock band, to bring about a mass human sacrifice, the purpose of which is the release of enough "life-energy" to give eternal life to a select group of initiates, including Adolf Hitler. The AMA are four siblings who comprise four of the five mysterious Illuminati Primi. The identity of the fifth remains unknown for much of the trilogy. The first European "Woodstock" festival, held at Ingolstadt, Bavaria (place of origin of the real Illuminati, also known as Bavarian Illuminati), is the chosen location for the sacrifice of the unwary victims, via the reawakening of hibernating Nazi battalions from the bottom of nearby (fictitious) Lake Totenkopf ("Lake Skull"). The plot is foiled when, with the help of a 50-foot-tall incarnation of the goddess Eris, the four members of the AMA are killed: Wilhelm is killed by the monstrous alien being Yog-Sothoth, Wolfgang is shot by John Dillinger, Winifred is drowned by porpoises, and Werner is trapped in a sinking car.

darkhorse - 15 May 2019 06:50:46 (#18 of 63)

I recall picking up some slim novels off my parents’ shelves that were fairly good... Slaughterhouse 5 and Myra Breckinridge come to mind.

My mum did an English degree in her early twenties just around the time I was born. Her dissertation was on Aldous Huxley, yet to my shame I didn’t read a single Huxley novel from the group on the shelves.

I suppose they didn’t appear to have any bonking in them

HouseOfLametta - 15 May 2019 07:50:38 (#19 of 63)

Aldous Fuxley

RosyLovelady - 15 May 2019 07:57:16 (#20 of 63)

Most of the Swallows and Amazons books are still worth a read, with the possible exceptions of Peter Duck, We didn't mean to go to sea and Missee Lee which are far too fantastical.

I particularly enjoyed reading The Big Six when we were on holiday in the Norfolk Broads area where the book is set.

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