Keeper Shelf

Every room in my house, including all the bathrooms and the basement, has books. My mother and three sisters have similar decorating tastes.  A family acquaintance once commented, rather snidely, that it was like we lived in a library.  We didn’t keep her around long because who wouldn’t want to live in a library?

If you push me, I will admit to believing that heaven looks a lot like the Huntington Library; a lovely old mansion, seriously great books on the shelves, beautiful art on the walls all surrounded by a stunning garden.  Since it’s my heaven, I would include the chamber orchestra playing Mozart that happened to be performing the very first time I visited the Huntington Library, and a Starbucks -free, of course.

I love books.  I love the way they look.  I love the way they feel in my hands.  I love the way they smell –especially old books.

Not just novels, either, although I have tons of those. I also adore math books, especially geometry.   I’m mad about all sorts of children’s books from Pat the Bunny and The Spooky Old Tree to The Bridge to Terabithia and Nancy Drew.  And knitting books.  I have a collection of tiny old books, all about the size of my hand.

But, if I had to pick just three books for my keeper-shelf . . .

COLD SASSY TREE by Olive Ann BurnsCold Sassy Tree is the story of fourteen year old Will Tweedy, his Grandpa Rucker and Grandpa’s scandalous new wife, Miss Love all set in  turn-of-the-twentieth-century small town Georgia.  This book made me laugh out loud, Will Tweedy’s tall tale about his aunt inflatable bosom.  And cry until I couldn’t see to read, Grandpa Rucker and Will Tweedy lining Grandma’s grave with a blanket of roses.

 

 

 THE END OF ETERNITY by Isaac AsimovEnd_of_eternity

The End of Eternity is a love story.   I know. I know.  It’s science fiction.  But trust me, it is a love story.  Andrew Harlan is an Eternal whose job it is to “adjust” time for the greater good of humanity.   But every modification has a price –some people’s timelines are changed out of existence.   Harlan and other Eternals live in Eternity a place outside of time, so these adjustments have no consequences in their lives.  On one of his assignments Harlan meets and falls in love with Noÿs Lambent, who is not an Eternal.  If Harlan completes his modification of time, Noÿs will cease to exist.  Yet, if he saves her the resulting paradox will destroy all of Eternity.

 

 

Crocodile on the Sandbank THE CROCODILE ON THE SANDBANK by Elizabeth Peters

The Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first book in Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody mystery series.  Amelia Peabody is a forceful English Victorian spinster with a passion for Egypt, and cleaning, and issuing orders.  Her match is Radcliffe Emerson who has a passion for Egypt, issuing orders, and as it turns out Amelia.  (He doesn’t care so much about cleaning.)   This novel has everything I love about traditional mysteries.  The setting is historical. The POV is first person.  Peabody and Emerson are tons of fun.

So, if you had to pick three novels for your keeper shelf what would they be? 

Time Travel

Visiting another time, meeting Di Vinci, Mark Twain, or Archimedes sounds fun, on paper.   Yet, I’m not sure I would be so happy doing so in real life, especially those pops to the past – flush toilets, Starbucks, blow-dryers and antibiotics would be hard to give up.  But I enjoy the idea in fiction.

AWrinkleinTime[1]I started out time traveling young, about nine, by reading Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME. I loved that book and probably read it five or six times in a row.  I was so taken with Meg, a GIRL, who was good at math, so good that she could help other children with their math homework. The time traveling part was just a side benefit.

Soon after I read PORTRAIT OF JENNIE by Robert Nathan, a haunting very short novel about an artist and a little girl who aged oddly.  THE TIME MACHINE by HG Wells followed and gave me nightmares for a week –Morlocks! My reading lists were rounded out by PEBBLE IN THE SKY and END OF ETERNITY both by Isaac Asimov.

But my very favorite time travel novel is THE MIRROR byMirror_[1] Marlys Millhiser. This novel is the story of Brandy and Shay –grandmother and granddaughter, who both look into an antique mirror on the eve of their weddings and switch places.  I’ve never read any of Marlys Millhisner’s other novels, but they look interesting.

Time Travel has been a fun plot device in lots of TV shows I’ve enjoyed over the years, from Sam and Darrin traveling to Salem in BEWITCHED, to the many episodes of STAR TREK, DR. WHO and of course QUANTUM LEAP.

BillandTed[1]

Movies are included in my time traveling adventures.  I love BACK TO THE FUTURE.  I’m laughing just typing the title for BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE.  A writing bubby and I dragged a gaggle of our kids and several of their friends to see this movie.  We sat several rows behind the kids laughing our heads off, while the kids, ranging in age of seven to thirteen, sat there looking blankly from the screen to their clearly nutty mothers.  I also enjoyed THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT.   The time travel movie I’ve enjoyed the most is the made for TV movie, THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING –which probably dates me more than BEWITCHED.

In searching for an image for THE GIRL, THE GOLD WATCH & EVERYTHING, I found out the

TheGirl[1]movie was first a novel by John D. MacDonald.  The same John D. MacDonald who wrote the Travis McGee hard boiled private detective novels.  I was stunned, and now I really want a copy of the novel to read.

I found other gems while looking on the Internet for time traveling tidbits.  Andy’s Anachronisms  is a website completely devoted to time travel in popular media.  I also found Time Travel Institute a website that discusses possible theories behind time travel.

one_with_the_darknessmd

I saved the best gem for last, a fellow OCC/RWA member, Susan Squires, who is an excellent writer and really nice person, has a series of time travel novels involving a time machine built by Da Vinci.  I hadn’t realized Susan was writing time travel because I’ve moved across the country and rarely attend meetings. But I know now and Susan’s books are on my To-Be- Read pile.  I can hardly wait to start them.

Do you have a favorite time travel novel, short story, TV show or movie?

Would you like to travel in time?  Where would you go?

Imaginary Erdős Number – Numberphile

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