Friday, February 24, 2006

My vitual coffee table... as promised

It's been a while since I said I would take care of this, and I have done very little about it. So, nowhere near as well planned and constructed as Kathy's here goes:

Unlike Kathy, I am a fiction reader. I devour novels. On my virtual coffee table would be a vast collection of books meant for children, ranging from toddlers to teens. I have always found that having kids is wonderful excuse to reread old favourites and to become acquainted with new writers. One of my favourite stories was always The Happy Prince, and I remember being surprised to learn that it was written by Oscar Wilde. There would be the entire body of Martin Waddell's work for small children, with Once there were Giants holding pride of place. Stan and Jan Berenstain's The Bear's Picnic would be there, too. My elder son knew that book word for word before he was three and would bring it with him into our bed every morning, where he would recite it, demanding only that my husband turn the pages at the appropriate moment. I have always been a fan of Roald Dahl's children's works, particularly when illustrated by Quentin Blake so they would be there, too. Lately, I have come to enjoy Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini, a very young author, and I'm waiting impatiently for the final part of the trilogy. I would have to give space to Michelle Paver's novels: Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker. Oh, and let's not forget the full set of Asterix books.

I guess I should have a few adult books, too. You would never know it, but I am always reading at least one of these at any time. My current favourite is the Alexander McCall Smith series about the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - I was raised by a series of women just like Mma Ramotswe and how a Scottish man managed to get so completely inside the head of a Motswana woman, I will never know! The Lord of the Rings trilogy (JRR Tolkien) would have to be there, as would a good sprinkling of books by Anne McCaffrey, of whom I am an ardent fan - I loved the early Pern books and have dipped in and out of several other series. I am also dead keen on Frank Peretti's work, particularly This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness and Tilly.

A few biographies, auto and otherwise, would have to appear: Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom first and foremost. This man is a hero of mine and a man I was proud to call my president. Just as I am, the Billy Graham autobiography would be there - what a man! I can't remember the name of the book, but I once read an awe-inspiring biography of Smith Wigglesworth, which would have to be included. In fact, you could probably grab an armful of books off the biography shelf and dump them down on my coffee table. As long as they're passably readable and written by someone who has lived long enough to actually have a story worth telling, chances are I'll hoover them up.

In the non-fiction line, I was fascinated by the The Cluetrain Manifesto by Chris Locke et al. I also found a lot of helpful information in The Experience Designer by Brian Alger. Most of all, my non-fiction coffee table would be covered in blogs: Creating Passionate Users, Cool Cat Teacher, Clive on Learning, Stephen Downes' OLDaily, George Siemens' Connectivism Blog.

I know it seems cheesy and possibly even unprofessional to some, but I would be untrue to my self and my faith if I didn't also mention that symbolically central to all of this would be the Bible, for preference the New International Version with Thompson's chain reference. My own well-thumbed copy with all the handwritten notes in the margins will do just fine.

And there you have it. I know I'm going to kick myself for leaving out half the books I've thought of over the past days, so this list is by no means complete, but it gives you an idea of what I read, what makes me tick.


Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher said...

I am greatly complimented that you include cool cat teacher blog among your reading.

I love the NIV also but have begun reading and using the NKJV for my devotional blog.

These are some excellent books. How old are your kids. I've started blogging with mine and it is a lot of fun. I'd love to have kids some where else that they could read and trade comments with!

I enjoyed reading your blog today, I'm going to read it some more!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments, Vicki. I have two strapping sons in their early teens. One of them has just posted his first post about his first heartbreak on our family blog:

His ICT teacher has finally succumbed to my nagging and has got them setting up blogs at school. I don't know how it is in the US, but in the UK, learning about and with ICT is at a very basic level.