August 5, 2015
I want to start of by telling you about my first entry into reading, that I can remember. My four favorite books as a child were, Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends, Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, Robert McCloskey’s Make Way For Ducklings, and last but certainly not least, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Now, these books were not what I read when I was in grade school and learning to read chapter books (more on that later). These books were the ones my Mother and Father read to me time and time again, probably because I begged them to repeat the same stories. And because I heard the stories over and over, they held a place of comfort and solace in my heart. Yes, even the poop book! J
If you haven’t stumbled across Shel Silverstein, count yourself lucky to have found him mentioned in this article. Silverstein is a well-known author who lived from 1930 to 1999. He was about the same age as my Grandfather when he died, so I have always imagined him as an older man. Always strange, when as a child, you imagine who the author of your book may be, and what he or she looks like. Shel’s face is almost cartoon like to me, with big wide eyes and dark striking eyebrows and a beard. It was a little scary to me when I first saw him as such a young child. But I can remember one great lesson from seeing his picture in the outer fold of my book cover. People, no matter what they look like, how old they are, or if they are man or woman all have the ability to feel thin. Mr. Silverstein made that real for me. Just because someone doesn’t seem similar to you doesn’t mean that you don’t share a vast amount of human experience between you. I think that is one of the great lessons of childhood.
Everyone Poops is more of a lighthearted experience for a child. All Mothers and Fathers know the struggle to convince a child out of their diaper and onto a toilet can be a challenging one. The thing about this book that made an impact on me is it kind of gave me a frame of reference for the situation. It took the fear out of it, and gave me something to laugh about and be silly over. The drawings in the book are colorful and the writing is done in such a way that makes it impossible not to smile. Children of every color, and from countries around the world are included in the drawings, allowing kids to see that, yes indeed, there are people of other skin colors from around the world, and they are all built just like you and me. This is a great starter book to introduce to your child before they potty train, or during the midst of doing so.
I listed Make Way For Ducklings on this post before some others that I also loved, for one very special reason. Reading this book as a child gave me an interest in the welfare of animals of all kinds. I remember having a strong emotional reaction to the book. I would think what it must be like to be the mother duck, trying to lead her children through the park to find the pond. How with every step she was probably worried that one of them would get lost. I would think that this mother duck is probably just as loving of a mom and I had and would do anything to protect her young. It is a wonderful story and for me, allowed a glimpse into how important it is to respect the life of animals big and small, and just the universal experience of what it means to be alive and be part of a family, looking out for each other.
I waited to touch on Madeline last, because I figure it is probably the most popular out of all that I listed. This is the story of an orphan in Great Britain, living with a large group of other girls and a mistress who takes care of them. It follows the adventures the girls have through out the city and even in the dark at night playing in their bedrooms! I want to touch on Madeline, because I think it did a great job of introducing me to the curiosity of a child, and how important it is to follow your own curiosity on adventures big and small. After reading Madeline, and falling in love with it, I can remember thinking as a kid how important it is that I be brave and strong just like she was in the book. Obviously, she was easy to look up to and served as a great role model for me. All of these books, by the way, have great illustrations that go along with them!Read more
August 5, 2015
This is going to be an interesting posts, but we all can learn a thing or two from where our books come from. Unless you’re reading from some ancient scrolls most of the literature you’ve come across is likely made out of paper. Surprisingly enough paper is made from wood which comes from trees! All you geniuses out there probably already put 2 and 2 together, but for the lesser informed and unaware this might come a surprise (or not!). Anyways enough with my condescension and on to my the purpose of this post.
I want to bring attention to a local business in my area that truly deserves this honorable mention they are about to receive. I’m from the North Georgia area and we have a lot of trees around here, many of which become hazardous with age and a lack of up keep. I just recently had to find a service to remove a rotting tree from my mother’s yard and I did my due diligence in researching and finding a reliable tree service provider. Not only did I want the best bang for my buck I wanted someone who cared about the environment and their surroundings. After speaking with many services I found the experts at Chattanooga Tree Care to be the most knowledgeable in regards to my needs. They also are a “green” company and put nearly all of their money back into the local economy.
I know this will look weird having a post about a local business on my blog, but this is my House Of Books and I can put whatever I please on it. I was so impressed with the service from this company that I couldn’t help but want to share their name with others. This blog was started merely as a way for me to unwind and there might be a lot of random stuff like this on it. If you couldn’t tell I don’t mind being rude and I could probably come up with a few choices word for anyone who doesn’t think this is a fitting post. I’ll leave that up to your imagination for now. My posts will also be full of tangents as well!
Off that tangent and back onto this one, lol. If you’re ever in the tri-state area of TN, GA, and AL and need any type of tree care these are the guys to turn to. I’ve never been so impressed with a company or service provider that I couldn’t wait to give them free publicity. They took down a rotten pine tree that was over 30 feet tall, trimmed some trees that were close to the house as well as removed a large broken branch from the front yard. All of this was done in one day and for under $1500! I don’t know what the other guys would have quoted me, but this felt like a really good deal especially considering I knew my money was going to stimulate the local economy as well. I’m a sucker for mom and pop businesses and do everything I can to support them. That’s really why this post is here. They just re-branded their service and started a new website and it needs some love, so I’m showing them some love. Hopefully this post does more than just stroke their ego and gives them some of that oh so special search love we all desire, but can’t always get. Sounds like some other kind of love I have trouble getting! JK, I have no trouble getting any kind of love I need!
If you didn’t vomit from reading my extremely asshole’ish writing persona I implore you to return soon for an update I’m working. It will actually be about a book next time! I can’t guarantee anything for the post following that, however. I’ll be just as crass and clouded as ever, I can assure you that!Read more
July 22, 2015
Welcome to the very first posting of House of Books. This website is meant to be a magical place, where your imagination can run free and hopefully stumble upon delectable nuggets of intrigue along the way. I am starting this blog as a way of sharing my passion for reading and how it has changed my life, opening my eyes to ideas and cultures I never knew existed. I am also writing this blog as a sort of meeting place for readers of all ages and experience. Each of us needs a little encouragement along the way as fellow readers. Encouragement to find the patience to finish a particularly thorny passage from a book we are reading, or maybe even the encouragement to find our own voice as a writer. So I invite all of you to contribute with comments and share how reading has impacted you throughout the years. Readers come in all shapes and sizes and just because you don’t have your head buried in an academic journal at Harvard doesn’t mean that your weekly dose of comic book indulgence or any glossy magazine, for that matter, doesn’t count as reading to me. I have found some of my most memorable reading experience have come from some of the most simple places. I want to encourage people to pick up books on topics that they may not already know about, to push your mind by letting other people’s perspectives about life seep in. One of the best things I have found by being a reader is that through this activity, I have come to realize there is no one way of getting through life. No one path, or one belief, or experience that everyone must have in order to have lived. What an honor it is to be human, and what an honor it is that we can share our lives through the telling of stories. By this practice, we leave pieces of ourselves so that future generations may come to understand they do not walk alone. As far back as speaking goes, humans have been sharing their lives, and now with words, we increase that lineage into the future. So, welcome to House of Books. Hope you will pull up a comfy spot and stay a while. Who knows, you might just walk away a changed person!