Books: A Memoir

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today's book; "In this work of extraordinary charm, grace, and good humor, McMurty recounts his life as both a reader and a writer, how the countless books he has read worked to form his literacy tastes, while giving us a lively look at the eccentrics who collect, sell, or simply lust after rare volumes."

I found this book slightly irritating right from the start because there were 109 really short chapters. So I found it difficult to get into the story because it kept jumping so abruptly from one chapter to the next.

Despite the short chapters, there were some interesting parts of the book. For the most part the best parts were in the beginning of the book, when the author was writing about his childhood reading habits. I'm always fascinated to hear about people's childhood reading habits. So feel free to share in the comments sections dear readers, I look forward to hearing about your experiences.

Among those childhood memories were the memories of the first book he ever read. I've already written about the first book I read as a child in a previous entry (Little House in the Big Woods), and so I asked my sister if she remembers the first book she ever read. She shot me a dirty look and said, "You remember." The conversation didn't get any friendlier from there:
Me: How would I remember? What was it? Was it a Little House book?
Alissa: Yes. Little House in the Big Woods.
Me: Why are you giving me that dirty look.
Alissa: It wasn't a choice.
She claims that I forced her to read it. I object to that claim.

The author later mentions knowing how to read without having been taught how. I have quite vivid memories of learning to read because I was always so fascinated by the blow-up letters that had faces and were supposed to look like people that hung from the ceiling of my kindergarten classroom; Mrs. A and Mr. Z. I also remember the pretzels, oyster crackers, and pastel colored marshmallows the teacher would hand out whenever we got an answer right. I think I may be turning into my Mother on that one, whose childhood memories seem to all revolve around food. She can tell a ten minute story that all revolves around a Reese.

The rest of the book was kind of boring, so I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone else. I would however recommend reading the Little House books if you haven't already read them dear readers, and I promise I won't come to your houses and force you to read them . . . not that I would ever do such a thing to begin with.