Monday, February 15, 2016

BBAW: An Introduction in 5 Books


Day 1: Introduce yourself by telling us about five books that represent you as a person or your interests/lifestyle. 


Hurrah, Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW) is back again! Thanks to Estella Society for reviving this wonderful week.

Day One's challenge is to introduce ourselves in five books. I pondered this one, as there are many ways it could have gone, but here are the five I ended up choosing.


Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I had to choose this Canadian classic, as it shaped my reading habits from a young age. Thanks to Anne, I was introduced to so many classics and the idea of being well-read and using big words :) I've read all of Montgomery's work, and this is still one of my favourite comfort reads. This particular cover was my own edition when I was given the full set by my aunts when I was a pre-teen.


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I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Another book about a young woman with an artistic family, this one introduced me to the concepts of keeping a journal and writing a book as if it were a journal itself. I loved the main character, Cassandra Mortmain, and the way that both Britishness and modernist art and culture infused her narrative even when it was about love and growing up. Also I adored the inconclusive ending; it was so bittersweet when I first discovered that a happy ending isn't always needed to make a great book.




Walking a Literary Labyrinth by Nancy Malone

This is a study of reading and spirituality written by a nun who uses the labyrinth as a metaphor for life. It hits all my points of interest, as I first said in my 2012 review. It's a book that I have used as a way of understanding the power of reading as a means of personal growth & the expansion of a fellow-feeling for others in our world. It's beautiful, thoughtful, and really shares my focus on both reading and labyrinths as a personal spiritual practice.




The Novel Cure by Ella Berthould & Susan Elderkin

While I find much of the tone of this book too flippant & tongue-in-cheek for my tastes, I still find it an important book. It highlights the idea of bibliotherapy for the general reader, who may not have known about it previously. The concept of novels being a way to self-medicate for common, everyday angst is one I am fully behind. I have always believed in the consolations of literature, and by talking about this concept loudly, practically, and yes, a bit cheekily, this book moves this idea forward a little bit more.



The Subversive Stitch by Roszika Parker

This classic in the women's history/textile/embroidery field has been a big inspiration to me this year. I've recently started sewing again, and reading this book got me back into embroidery as well. I love her approach to textiles as women's history, and how she points out that embroidery has been both stifling and subversive in the past. This also got me more interested in craftivism this year, all of which has been influencing my own craft practice.


So there you have it: 5 books that say a little something about me. I'll be visiting other 5 book lists to get a better sense of some of my fellow bloggers this week, too! Thanks, BBAW.

29 comments:

  1. Unique choices which I like because we are all unique in many ways.

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    1. Thanks - I'm enjoying seeing all the wide variety of books chosen for this theme, for the same reason

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  2. Ooh I cross stitch! I'll have to check out The Subversive Stitch. Great list!

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    1. It's academic but also readable, and has some great historical detail. Inspiring for a stitcher.

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  3. I remember the Subversive Stitch! Great choice

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    1. Thanks - it has led me on to many other great craft history titles, including things like Women's Work: the First 20,000 Years

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  4. I Capture the Castle is so lovely and smart. I'm glad you included it!

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    1. I'm feeling like it's time for a reread.

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  5. What a great list - such interesting books. I haven't heard of several, and The Novel Cure sounds interesting, as does craftivism.
    I can see how embroidery could have been subversive - women always found a way to do things subtly.

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    1. I'm really interested in how craft is being used, still subversively today. It's just fascinating.

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  6. These are great and I've never heard of The Subversive Stitch. I sounds really intriguing. And I've meant to read I Capture The Castle for a really, really long time. Perhaps this is the year!

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    1. For those who are readers & stitchers (I believe there are many of us!) it is a good fit! And yes, do try to get to I Capture the Castle because it is awesome :)

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  7. Oh my gosh! Subversive Stitch looks AMAZING. I feel a crafty itch coming on.

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    1. Crafty itches are the best - I've been obsessed with embroidery for the past year!

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  8. Subversive Stitch looks great! I cross-stitch myself (very unsubversively so far, but that could change!), so I'm sure I'd love to learn more about the history of that. And I Capture the Castle is always an excellent, excellent choice. That ambiguous, unfinished ending breaks my heart every time.

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    1. Yes, the ambiguity makes the ending. As Cassandra says right in the text, she likes stories that make you keep thinking about the characters when the book is done...it happens here.

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  9. Great list of books I am not too familiar with (except Anne of Green Gables, which I haven't read yet--sad to say). They all sound appealing though. The Novel cure--I use biblitherapy quite a bit and would be curious to read that one.

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    1. It's one to dip into - it may annoy you as someone who is already using bibliotherapy since it doesn't take itself too seriously - but still highlights the idea so I've found it a way to start discussions with people who've seen it.

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  10. Malone's book sounds good, thanks! My 5 titles are: http://wordsandpeace.com/2016/02/15/bbaw-2016-day-1/

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    1. It is good! Your choices are really unique as well!

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  11. You know, I may just have to look up The Subversive Stitch. The past few years I have started making embroidery projects as gifts for family members. It's not something I can do frequently- very hard on my eyes- but I do enjoy it and would like to learn more (and not just about technique).

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    1. I thought it was a great background to a stitching practice. Lots to think about, & lots to follow up on in terms of current days uses of embroidery too.

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  12. Oh, I have to look up that subversive sewing book. That sounds like my thing!

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  13. OMG I LOVE I CAPTURE THE CASTLE! ANd I love the movie as well.

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    1. Me too - I thought it was one of those times when the movie was a real success (even if I didn't like the casting for Simon). The clothes were fabulous though.

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  14. I love Anne, I Capture the Castle, and stitching. I would love to learn about some of the history of women's embroidery!

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    1. Lots in common! It's so nice to find so many other bookish stitchers :)

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  15. Three new books to go on my TBR list! Great way to define yourself.

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Thanks for stopping by ~ I hope you will leave your comments and reflections to let me know what you think!