Thursday, September 24, 2009

The essentials

Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice
Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott
The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

These are the books I am taking to college. They are the books I consider indispensable, whether because I am likely to have a sudden urge to read them or because it simply feels wrong to be without them. Bear in mind that this stack would be a lot taller if I were going farther away from home. Also consider that all of Jane Austen would be on there if I had not decided not to bring anything I know I can find online. The Complete Works of Shakespeare might actually get added to this pile, I haven't decided yet. Schott's Original Miscellany isn't really indispensable, I suppose, but it's the sort of random useful little thing that I think it might be nice to have. The Amber Spyglass would be in this pile also, except that I can't find it, I only have a hardcover (which I was trying to avoid bringing), and if I actually read the first two that'll give me time to find the third one.

The Clouds of Witness and Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers
Ha'penny by Jo Walton
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
The Cinnamon Peeler by Michael Ondaatje

These are my selections off my to-read pile that I think I might actually have a chance of getting around to. The Dorothy Sayers because they're short reads and will be a nice change from all the books I'll be reading for classes, Ha'penny because I'm in the middle of it, the Obama book because it's the university common book and I haven't read it yet (but I think it might be my next house book), and The Cinnamon Peeler because I might feel the need for some poetry.

I find it interesting to have it put to the test which books I think I can't live without. There is, for example, pretty much zero chance of my reading Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Tolkien's an old love for me, a little faded and diverged more into reading his letters and essays. But despite the fact that the books are just going to sit in by tiny dorm room taking up space, I can't live without them. The others are all comfort books, which given a college reading load is likely to be the only thing I get around to reading (though we'll hold out hope for the unread pile).

Those photos, by the way, were taken in my back yard, and look how sunny it is. Oh, Seattle, rain in August and 85 degrees on the autumn equinox.

Next you hear from me, I'll be typing from my dorm room!

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