Bookshelf Tag

It’s time for tag or tips or to be most accurate, build-up, bookshelf tips or tag. So I’m in, thanks to Stella Tarakson who has also tip-tagged 4 more. Now pay attention cause you might just get caught. The rules are:

“Answer the following questions about books on your bookshelf and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.”

1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. A friend told me that Tolstoy wrote it after he realised that he had fallen in love with his wife. The idea of it fascinated me. How would the romance differ? How would the love differ? I assumed that his personal realisation would inform the relationships in the novel. I purchased it soon after and it has sat unread on my bookshelf ever since.

2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

I never owned this book. Nor the dozens of books of its ilk that I began illicitly removing from my mother’s off-limits bookshelf when I was twelve. It was my initiation into the soft-porn/romance, historical novel genre. That libidinous book was Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

3. Find a book that you want to reread.

I don’t tend to re-read many books, just the good bits!

Except Shakespeare, the Bible, poetry and rhyming picture books. If I had to pick just one it would be, The Taming of the Shrew.

4. Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?

George R.R. Martin’s, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones). Don’t misunderstand my meaning. I’m engrossed by it. The problem is that each book is 900 plus pages of small print and he is still producing books in the series! I’ve finished the second book only recently – spoiler alert – and am in a mire that I won’t be able to escape until Mr Martin finishes his tale. If I continue reading the series, I won’t read anything else but if I don’t read the third book Tyrion Lannister will suffer the wounds of battle eternally. Only by reading on will his life find its new equilibrium. His life depends on me reading on .Crazy? Good fiction does this to me.

5. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

Orthodox Spirituality by a Monk of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Devotions, Prayers and Spiritual Wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen would also fit in the same grasp.

6. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

Rod Clement’s, Olga the Brolga. This is my favourite picture book. Not recommended for nighttime reading. For the first several weeks after I bought it, I read it every night to the kids. The characters steadily grew. They each had a unique voice and the rhythm of the story added to their characterisation. The kids loved it and soon knew most of it by heart.. That’s when they started jumping out of bed and joining in the telling and not falling asleep. It’s given me some wonderful memories. There have been other books not recommended for children’s sleep hygiene in my household like Pamela Allen’s, Mary Elizabeth’s Monster and her Mr Gee series and Julia Donaldson’s, Gruffalo.

7. Find a book that has inspired you the most!

Charlton Ogburn Jr’s, The Mysterious William Shakespeare

8. Do you have any autographed books?

Stella Tarakson’s, Mike the Spike. A very funny story.

9. Find the book that you have owned the longest.

Gideon’s New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs

10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

Charlton Ogburn Jr’s, The Mysterious William Shakespeare. I so wanted to hate this book. This guy needed to get a life! As if Shakespeare didn’t write the works attributed to him! I was determined to ridicule his claims, reduce his arguments and demolish the premises on which they were built. With a soft 4B pencil in hand – the type that leaves an imprint after it’s been rubbed out – I was determined to record my objections all through it’s 900 plus margins. Nine hundred and something pages to tear down a reputation and replace it with that of an obscure Elizabethan poet. If he could incense me more, I’d take a texta to the dust cover and make a Spaniard of him.

Then I opened the cover and started reading. Ogburn was logical, methodical, deeply researched, comprehensive and well written. His 900 plus pages are a faster read than George R.R. Martin’s. I soon pulled out a notepad and used the trusty 4B to raise my questions there. Thus began a course of inquiry that I stilI traverse today. I couldn’t agree with all of Ogburn’s claims but in the main he is very convincing.

All done. Now for the hard part. Who do I tag? Obviously, people I follow – tag is about following afterall. But who? It’s like I have been left with that old hypothetical question that goes something like, “You are hosting a dinner party for 5 people from the annals of history, who will you invite?”

The ones whose blog headers make me smile before I’ve opened their post. I hope you can play, no offence taken if you can’t. Let me know if you do.

Artlark – blogging on arts and fine arts, informative and inspiring

If it happened yesterday, it’s history – this is just one of Robert Horvat’s history blogs It’s broad and accessible. HIs other is The History of the Byzantine Empire

Mikeaztec – generous, academic research and writing on medieval and late roman history

Richard’s Food for Thought – “I am about being a Husband, Father, Minister, Theologian, High-Church, Low-Church, Bald, Bespectacled, Blessed, Methodist, Grateful Human Being….” and He writes poetry too!

 and last but definitely not least, if I can take the liberty of bending the rules and ask for the bookshelf to be a movie shelf, I’d like to tag movie blogger

Christina Wehner – blogging on movies, musicals, books and the american songbook

10 thoughts on “Bookshelf Tag

  1. This is an awesome idea! I had not heard that story about how Tolstoy wrote Anna Karenina after he realized that he loved his wife. It has me rethinking the various couples in the book.

    Thanks for tagging me. I am definitely going to write up a movie shelf this Wednesday! Can’t wait! 🙂


  2. Pingback: Bookshelf Tag…or, in my case, Movie Shelf Tag | Christina Wehner

    • I’ve got to come over and see yours too. I’ve been keeping a lookout for those I’ve tried to pass it onto, I totally forgot my fellow ” alumni”. Re the signed book, I’m very lucky not only for that but that I have Stella as a mentor. We are part of a cozy writers group where we all try and support each other. Watch out, here I come!


  3. It’s a great looking shelf. Looks much like mine. You’ve given a great prompt and opened up a neat door on looking into someone’s interests and ideas. I did a photo the other night just of my beside table reading but haven’t put it up yet. Thanks for your support over at food for thought.


    • I can’t wait to read your Bookshelf Tag. I really love your blog. Your challenge to pick between passages of the Bible and the Quran has blown my mind and challenged my hitherto notion that I am not prejudiced against Islam. Something to work on. Thank you.


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