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Member: BellesLettres

CollectionsYour library (2,232), Wishlist (14), Currently reading (4), All collections (2,232)


Tagssouth (120), gardening (105), women (47), london (46), read in 2007 (40), borrowed (37), politics and government (27), home (25), spiritual life (23), food (23) — see all tags

Cloudstag cloud, author cloud, tag mirror

About meBooks to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.
--Arnold Lobel

Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?
--Henry Ward Beecher

A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens--second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths.
--Reynolds Price

Tell me a story. You can recite it, draw it, film it, or sing it, and if you publish a good one, I'll try to read it, or at least buy it to sit on the shelf until I can get to it. I tend to like true stories best, because truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

About my libraryCould never buy another book and still die before I read the ones I have, even if I live to 100! I also have a tendency to give away my favorite books to others to read, who unfortunately have a tendency not to return them. All I ask is that you read it and pass it along to someone else.

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GroupsAfrican/African American Literature, Deep South, Ghost Stories, Past and Present, South Carolina Libraries, What did YOU buy today?

Favorite authorsWendell Berry, Roy Blount, Jr., Poppy Z. Brite, Larry Brown, Truman Capote, Pat Conroy, Hal Crowther, James Ellroy, William Faulkner, Ellen Gilchrist, Allan Gurganus, Carl Hiaasen, Henry James, Willie Morris, Orhan Pamuk, Sara Paretsky, Walker Percy, Reynolds Price, Lee Smith, Wallace Stevens, Edith Wharton (Shared favorites)

Also on43Things, Blogger, Rate Your Music

Real nameJane

LocationSouth Carolina

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/BellesLettres (profile)
/catalog/BellesLettres (library)

Member sinceNov 28, 2006

Currently readingSwinging in Place: Porch Life in Southern Culture by Jocelyn Hazelwood Donlon
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben
Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad by Frances Moore Lappe
Wendell Berry: Life and Work (Culture of the Land) by Jason Peters

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Behind Me Dips Eternity

Behind Me — dips Eternity –
Before Me — Immortality –
Myself — the Term between –
Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin –

‘Tis Kingdoms — afterward — they say –
In perfect — pauseless Monarchy –
Whose Prince — is Son of None –
Himself — His Dateless Dynasty –
Himself — Himself diversify –
In Duplicate divine –

‘Tis Miracle before Me — then –
‘Tis Miracle behind — between –
A Crescent in the Sea –
With Midnight to the North of Her –
And Midnight to the South of Her –
And Maelstrom — in the Sky –

By: Emily Dickinson
Thank you sooo much for your input to the group discussion, and for your personal note about an author I knew nothing about. I LOVE LT for this reason. I have met so many unselfish booklovers who have been more than willing to share their love of books with each other. I have peeked at the new author you suggested (Carrie McCray) and, based on your endorsement, plan to order one of her bools with the next nickel I have!

Your library remains one of my favorites and I look forward filling my library with the works of many more authors based on my friend's suggestions. My humblest thanks to you.
What seven would you pick? I loved Earley's Somehow Form a Family and Ron Rash's One Foot in Eden (marriage, maybe? Sorry, still thinking about Mendelson...)

Good question. Jim the Boy for growth, perhaps. Gap Creek for marriage? something from Wendell Berry for aging?
I'm glad you found the review helpful--The Things That Matter is such an interesting book. You have a great collection of Southern literature! (And wouldn't it be a fun exercise to replace the books discussed by Mendelsohn with some by Southern authors?). If you haven't read them yet, I highly, highly recommend Doris Betts, Tony Early, Steven Sherrill, Ron Rash, and Ellen Douglas (especially Truth: Four Stories I am Old Enough to Tell)
Conroy's cookbook is definitely going on my wishlist. Christmas is only three months away now (!)

Thank you so much for your kind comments about my blog. I am delighted that you read it. Please don't hesitate to comment on it if you are so inclined.

I used to love going to the salon with my mother when I was a little girl because I found it absolutely fascinating to watch every part of the hairstyling process. In fact, I still love to watch other women get their hair cut and styled when I am there getting my own hair done.

Thanks for the tip! I will definitely check that out. (Did you try any of the recipes?)

Thanks for commenting. I have decided to go through my library & add tags, at least to the non-fiction. You mentioned Wilma Dykeman. Didn't she write "The Tall Woman?" set in the civil war era? I think I also read Return the Innocent Earth. I went through a period where I read every thing I could get my hands on about the Civil War, then I just felt so overwhelmed by the sadness of it all, that I tried to ignore it completely. My mother's family was from Kentucky & they had people on both sides. My husband & kids watched Ken Burns "The Civil War" on PBS &that was so sad We went to SC when our daughter graduated from Basic at Ft. Jackson. I am reading CW books again, but non-fiction. I am looking forward to The March by Doctorow, his Rag Time was a terrific read. Daughter is now out of Army, but have a grandson in the Navy. Where do you keep all your books? I have some in boxes under the bed. My husband (he passed away) used to complain about all my books, but he read a lot of them, too. I have moved to a small apartment & gave a lot of books to a library we are trying to get started in our town. But I still have more to add, here. And I will do tags.
Thank you for your fantastic comments! I am having trouble dividing my reading time between "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Garp," because I want to be reading both...simultaneously! I am less enamored with "Assassination Vacation," but I think it's because I'm less interested in the subject matter. However, I think that I would really like Sarah Vowell herself!! And I greatly appreciate her keen, fervent interest in something as bizarre as presidential assassination sites :)

"Garp" is beautiful. I was initally going to read "A Prayer for Owen Meany," but a friend in my book club said that "Garp" was Irving's masterpiece, and that had read it five times and loved it every time! How could I ignore a recommendation like that? :)

What is the authorized bio of Alice Waters?? And I love that you're reading the Complete New Yorker! I heard them advertising it on my local NPR station, but couldn't imagine spending so much time reading on my computer. Maybe I should reconsider...after all, it's a complete series of New Yorkers!
Thanks for stopping by.
Thanks for writing me. Yeah, I read the Tractors book, which had its funny moments, but I guess -- like J.M. Coetzee's overly praised Slow Man or a Cynthia Ozick story I forget the title of -- Tractors was more about a British/Australian/U.S. take on "those wild, unruly, exotic Easterners." Usually the eastern European woman in these stories is: somewhat masculine in terms of unearned self-confidence while simultaneously hyperfeminine; independent, even venal re $$; representative of unchecked irrational emotion that the author admires but also fears. I think this is a very Western understanding of the xUSSR, which is far more complicated, of course. We just get these literary types because the well-off authors only meet a few expats/transplants who are by nature -- no matter from which country -- inherently more risktaking than others in their culture who stayed home. I really didnt think the Tractors book had a lot going for it, but it is a quick easy read. In the end, the protagonist just seems to kind of accept the weird Ukrainians and take back all her judgmentalness about them. I have another x-Peace Corps Ukraine friend who love the book, so maybe -- like you -- I just find a lot of current fiction tiresome, when there is SO much incredible and also much just quite good nonfiction available on so many topics. Well -- that was more than I meant to toss out there! Thanks for writing. (Kiev btw is so lovely, esp. in May, even though you can go to the now popular McDonalds drive-thrus there now. When I miss it, I go have a look at its central square, site of the Orange Revolution, on this webcam: Best, -J)
Hi. we share 14 books (at least). I am new to librarything and am awed by the people here. Also, I love your postcard. And you like Spong and many others I admire -- cool.

Your "about me" line reads "tell me a story." So, here's my book (Amazon) about living in Ukraine and learning who I really am. True story, I swear:

I'll keep looking at your very interesting list of books here. Wow.


Today is the first Sunday in Advent. While we really don't begin celebrating Christmas in our household until Christmas Eve, Advent is a time of waiting, reflection, and anticipation. I bought a good stock of candles to tide us through the shorter days leading up to the winter solstice. In addition to hauling the tabletop creche out of the attic and setting it up (sans everything except hay and barn critters, mind you), I "tagged" as many of my Christmas books as I could find. I'm looking forward to settling in tonight and beginning to read Charles Dicken's ghost stories (including the Christmas Carol). Only recently did I learn that while ghost stories are customarily told at Halloween, in the past, such tales were traditionally associated more with the Christmas season, or generally with the period from All Hallow's Eve to the day after Candlemas (Attention K-Mart shoppers: that's from Halloween to Groundhog Day for American consumers.) In medieval times, the royal court appointed a "King of Misrule" to preside over festivities during this period. It was quite a rowdy time, a holdover from the Druidic customs and those of the Roman Saturnalia. With the modern holiday decorations appearing in the stores on All Saints' Day, and the crowds at Best Buy the day after Thanksgiving certainly giving meaning to "misrule," I'd say we still haven't yet decided on the true "reason for the season!"
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