Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'FAVORITE BOOK CHALLENGE' BLOGFEST

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Teralyn Rose Pilgrim of the blog ‘A WRITER’S JOURNEY’ conceived the idea for ‘The Favorite Book Challenge’ blogfest..


The challenge is to list your five favorite books and in a single sentence explain the book’s subject matter followed by a single sentence explaining why it’s on your list. (She said that semicolons were discouraged but acceptable, and so I’m assuming that also goes for parentheses. If not, just label me a “rebel”, a “cheater”, a “nonconformist”, an “end-runner”, or an “independent thinker” – it’z all good.)


My first thought: Only five books? Fuhggedaboudit! I couldn’t possibly limit myself to a list of five.


Ahhh, but then I noticed the loophole. She also said: “You don't have to do all five if you don't want, and you can do more too. Just don't do more than ten and don't do less than one.”

OK, color me “In”.

My Number One Favorite Book:
























HOLY BIBLE From The Ancient Eastern Text
Translated by George M. Lamsa (1933)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
This is the Cosmic Psychology Textbook and the owner’s manual for “human life”, dictated and inspired by Life and Love Itself.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
This is the only book that I read from cover to cover every single year because it contains all of the answers to all of the truly essential questions in life.


The Next Nine Books Are Alphabetized By Title:






















BLACKLISTED BY HISTORY: The Untold Story Of Senator Joe McCarthy And His Fight Against America’s Enemies
By M. Stanton Evans (2007)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
With access to previously unavailable sources and the investigative instinct of a history detective who will leave no stone unturned, M. Stanton Evans publishes a book of more than 600 pages that finally and forever exonerates Senator McCarthy and restores his good name.

Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
Although some very good pro-Senator McCarthy books had been previously published, Evans digs even deeper into the facts than did his predecessors and he uncovers plenty of new material that pounds the final nail into the Liberal lie about Senator McCarthy, showing the whole world who America’s enemies were and exposing the identities of the real villains during the era of “McCarthyism”.



















THE CALIFORNIA STYLE: California Watercolor Artists, 1925-1955
Edited by Gordon McClelland and Jay Last (1985)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
Masters of watercolor painting who worked and taught over the course of three decades in California are represented by gorgeous reproductions of some of their best/most famous works.

Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
An almost countless number of full-color illustrations of nearly every conceivable style and subject matter is found in this book that I often melt into and mentally vacation with regardless of what mood or frame of mind in which I find myself.
























THE CREATURE FROM JEKYLL ISLAND: A Second Look At The Federal Reserve
By G. Edward Griffin (1994)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
Griffin, an absolute master at organizing vast amounts of information and presenting it in an interesting and easy-to-understand manner, examines the various facets of our monetary system, The Federal Reserve, and clearly shows why the United States of America has no chance of recovering from its poor health and returning to liberty and prosperity until the creature that is the Federal Reserve System has been abolished.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
Along with John Stormer’s “None Dare Call It Treason: 25 Years Later”, this is my all-time favorite book on the subject of American (and global) politics; and as I have often said, “People cannot consider themselves politically educated until they have a firm understanding of the information contained in ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island’.”























THE RESURRECTION OF THE SHROUD: New Scientific, Medical And Archeological Evidence
By Mark Antonacci (2000)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
A lawyer examines in great detail the various forms of evidence indicating that The Shroud Of Turin – the most astounding, mystifying artifact on the planet – is most likely indeed the very cloth that the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped and laid to rest in.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
The only thing better than a great mystery is a great NONFICTION mystery, and none is better than “The Resurrection Of The Shroud”, a remarkable book that re-energizes my faith when I’m feeling down and a book that explains why no amount of money on Earth could buy a person an EXACT replica of The Shroud of Turin.



















ROUGHING IT
By Mark Twain (1872)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
The genius-est of the ‘Genius Men of Letters’, Mark Twain, regales us with true stories (some of them exaggerated; some of them exaggerated beyond the realm of nonfiction) about his gold mining adventures in the Wild West of Virginia City, Nevada.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
ROUGHING IT, probably the funniest book I’ve ever read, satisfies two itches at once for me: my hankerin’ for the unequaled brilliance of Mark Twain’s writing, and my great interest in and deep love of American West history.























A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN
By Betty Smith (1943)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
A young girl – a loner – living in New York shortly after the start of the Twentieth Century, finds companionship and solace from her lonely, hard life in the pages of the books she loves.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
As I’ve often liked to say in illustrating a point about the writing skill of Betty Smith: this is probably my all-time favorite adult novel, despite the fact that I’m a male, not a female; and I grew up in Los Angeles, not Brooklyn; and my formative years took place toward the end of the Twentieth Century, not the beginning of it.



















WORKS OF HENRY DAVID THOREAU
Edited by Lily Owens (1981)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
A compilation of writings by Henry David Thoreau, one of America’s most insightful, clever, and witty philosophers, who was also a mystic, a naturalist, and a social protester of immense influence.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
Five years before he was killed by a car thief, this book was given to me as a birthday gift from my best friend, Martin Brumer; and from the philosophy of ‘Walden’ (“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root”) to the righteous indignation of ‘Civil Disobedience’ (“As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog”), this book has probably done more to fashion my view of life than any other excepting The Bible.























THE WORLD OF POOH
By A. A. Milne (1957)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
Two books under one cover, it’s a humorous fantasy about a boy named Christopher Robin and the imaginary adventures he has with his stuffed animal playmates.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
These wonderful stories not only entertain me and remind me of the pure, joyful innocence of youth, but the final chapter of the book ‘The House At Pooh Corner’ (chapter X; “An Enchanted Place”) is probably the most beautiful – and certainly the very saddest – writing ever originated in the English language.


[*Note: If taking “two books under one cover” was cheating, then just make it “The House At Pooh Corner”.]


















THE YELLOW Y
By Seckatary Hawkins, aka Robert F. Schulkers (1926)


What The Pages Are Yakkin’ About:
This was one in a series of adventure books, a la ‘The Hardy Boys’, written about a group of boys belonging to a club that meets along the banks of the Ohio River and who inevitably find themselves embroiled in some great mystery that they must solve before the town’s social leader and principal judge discovers the trouble they've brought upon themselves and forces the club to disband.


Why - How Come - What For I Loves It So:
When my Ma was a little girl, a boy in her class gave her three books in the “Seckatary Hawkins” series, which she passed on to me when I was a little boy, and my favorite of the three – “The Yellow Y” – was the first book I read more than once (many multiple times, in fact) and was undoubtedly the book that initiated my lifelong love of reading and kick-started my imagination.


SOME EXTRA STUFFS:

Two watercolor illustrations from 'THE CALIFORNIA STYLE' :







































My Ma's and Pa's inscription to me in my copy of 'A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN' :

So happy to be able to give you something that I know you will treasure for years to come.
Wub Always,
Mom

To a great son, partner & friend.
Love,
Dad

















Marty Brumer's inscription to me in my copy of 'WORKS OF HENRY DAVID THROREAU' :

8-8-84
To You, from me.
Love,
Martin

Happy Birthday

Oh, goodness, I'm writing all over this book.

But to put it in a nutshell, I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST.






















Have you ever wondered what the REAL Winnie-The-Pooh stuffed animals looked like? Here's a photograph:

















~ Stephen T. McCarthy


YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.
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6 comments:

Arlee Bird said...

What a teaser! Get the list up already.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

OK! OK! I'm workin' on it! I'm workin' on it!

Rome wasn't built in a day, ya know?! (Although, what that has to do with the price of Baked Alaska at the gas pumps I'm sure I don't know.)

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Arlee Bird said...

Your repost was a bit deceptive as it was appearing to be the same announcement on which I initially commented. Glad I took a look see for myself.

Most of these choices are no surprise as you have discussed the majority in past blog posts. I'm not familiar with The Yellow Y but if it takes place on the banks of the Ohio River and is in a similar vein as the Hardy Boys then this sounds fine by me.

The watercolors are fantastic. Now that's my kind of artwork.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

BOIDMAN ~
Yeah, when I previously wrote that my book list "will be appearing in this same spotlight", I REALLY meant it!

I loved "The Hardy Boys" books when I was a kid, but I loved "The Yellow Y" even MORE!

Yep, ain't that GREAT artwork? The whole book is filled with excellent illustrations like those, in so many wonderful different styles.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

The Red Angel said...

Very unique titles here! I read Henry David Thoreau in AP English as a high schooler and really enjoyed his work. :)

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Thanks, RED ANGEL!

I actually had the opportunity to visit Thoreau's hometown and the site of his hut at Walden Pond some years ago. It was a real thrill for me.

Even got to touch the small desk upon which he composed his classic 'Walden'. No one was supposed to touch the desk in the museum but... you know... sometimes "stuffs" happens.

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'