It’s the first Friday of a whole new year! Hello, and Happy New Year to You! As usual for the first-Friday-of-the-month, A Drift of Quills comes together to deliver you something wonderfully bookish—and this time we’re doing a scavenger hunt! You might have seen some others around the cyber world, but we decided to make up our own. We’re adventurous that way!
Rummaging through my bookshelves (both physical and digital) makes me feel like a dragon admiring its treasure. I have silver and gold, precious jewels, priceless collections of beautiful words at my very fingertips! The hardest part of this task? Getting sidetracked. I want to read this! No, this one! And that one, too! Oh, it’s been a long time since I’ve read <fill in the blank, there are lots of options>! I got so sidetracked, in fact, that it took me three attempts to collect the actual goodies. All righty then! Into the trove! A book with the letter “J”: I went with Jabberwocky, by Daniel Coleman. And—I confess, I haven’t read it yet! (So many choices to make in my TBR pile, so little time!) But the cover is purdy and the title appeals to me Have you read it?
A fantasy classic: I first read The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart when I was about twelve or thirteen years old. It was my mother’s fault, as so many of my early fictional excursions were. Fantasy, yes! Arthurian legend, yes! Naturally, I loved it.
A book with a dragon on the cover: So many choices …! After much dithering and asking my husband for his recommendation without any satisfaction, I finally settled on Wizard’s First Rule, by Terry Goodkind. I’ve read it a few times, but have yet to make it through the entire series because I’m still collecting the books in The Sword of Truth. (Oh, hey! Only two to go!) There are eleven in all. I should be so prolific!
The oldest book on my shelf: My copy of The Settlement Cook Book (The Way to a Man’s Heart), compiled by Mrs. Simon Kander, is the tenth edition, enlarge and revised and clearly not fantasy, printed in 1920. It belonged to my grandmother. It discusses Household Rules such as how to measure properly (Did you know that half a spoonful is obtained by dividing through the middle lengthwise?), balance rations, laying the table, the proper order in which to wash dishes, using a skewer to clean behind the sink pipes, airing a room, and making a home made fireless cooker. Hamburger used to be chopped beef. Please do not confuse the instructions for making soap with making soup. Truthfully, I’m a little afraid to touch the book. It’s in very delicate condition, but what a wonderful thing it is! I keep it in my library so it doesn’t get any more abused. Besides, my fireless cooker is a microwave oven!
A book with a shield on the cover: Oh, decisions! Decisions! It actually took some serious hunting, as most of the sword- or spear- or ax-waving heroes on my book covers didn’t have shields. Folly, I say! I also say that the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series by Tad Williams is my favorite series. Ever. I am looking for something to give it a run for the money, but so far no luck. So here it is, book two in the series, entitled To Green Angel Tower, Part 1. Love, love, love it. Also love the fantastic artwork by Michael Whelan.
A book with an animal in it: I give you Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You, by Holly Black. Lots of animals, er, creatures, in this one. Beautifully done with notes and stories about each entry.
A cover with only words: I’ve seen and admired them when they’re clever and artistic, but do I have one? I don’t think The Chicago Manual of Style, 13th Edition, qualifies as either clever or artistic, but the book is stupendously useful, even if it is out of date. I’ve got all kinds of bookmarks sticking up out of it. Every author should have a copy (probably more recent, but I won’t criticize) and use it diligently!
A cover with gold lettering:Easy. I went with Hood, the first in the King Raven series by Stephen R. Lawhead, but I could have used all three of them. Minimalist design, beautiful, and a really good read. Besides, it’s Robin Hood! When I was tiny, my dear grandmother used to call me “Robin the Hood.” She was Polish, so perhaps something got a little funky with the translating, but I didn’t understand what a hood was back then. My older sister (and first scribe) kindly supplied me with a copy of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, of Great Renown in Nottinghamshire, written and illustrated by the eminent Howard Pyle. I’ve been a fan ever since.
A book written by an author with a common last name: So … how common is “common”? I have no Smiths or Joneses, but I have two different Whites on my shelf, so I went with one of them. As it happens, I have three books by E.B. White—and two copies of one of them (which equals a total of four items, in case you’re counting). Stuart Little is one of the earliest fantasies I read, or rather it was read to me. I loved reading time in elementary school!
A red colored book: There are quite a number of red books peering at me from my shelves. It was hard to choose! And while there were books that were more red, Cloud’s Rider by C.J. Cherryh is wonderful (and totally red on the spine and back!). It is the sequel to Rider at the Gate, which I’ve read but somehow do not (yet) won. Cherryh has a unique style to her writing, and sometimes it takes a bit to get into the rhythm, but I have been sucked in to her fantasy books without the slightest whimper.
As you can probably tell, my books are predominately filled with fantasy. I love fantasy, what can I say? Maybe I need to do a scavenger hunt that excludes the genre just to prove it! What do you think?
The old year is behind us (and I cannot say I am sorry about that) and 2015 begins. What better way to move forward than to join my fellow Quills in a treasure hunt. Our search will take us through our book shelves. So, here goes! A book with the letter “J” – This one is fairly easy—Jekyll and Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. Oh yes, I know, the full name is The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but most refer to it by its shortened name. This is a great read, showing … (Read more!)
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Author of the short story, Sanguis Dei and a poetry collection, Light and Dark
A Scavenger Hunt is fine for parties and kids in college. What we have here is a Scavenger Hunt involving books, and therefore, I deem it a Snark Hunt! Since I am often easily charmed with smiles and soap … I endeavored to find ONE book with all ten.
And that’s it for this week! We hope you enjoyed this journey into our libraries as much as we enjoyed scouring our bookshelves and ferreting out these little gems. As always, we love when you share your own finds. What’s your “Book with the letter “J””?