Friday, December 16, 2011

A Book That Meant a Lot to You

First a question, men out there: do you put on a sport's coat to go to the dentist if you are not going to work before or after your visit?



Laurie Colwin's HAPPY ALL THE TIME is one of those books you force on other people. She also wrote some great books about cooking and several other novels. When she died suddenly of a heart attack at an early age (48) , it made the book seem even more special.

What book means a lot to you? Not necessarily the best book you ever read, but the one that spoke to you long ago and still does.

26 comments:

John said...

I don't wear sports coats and I don't wear ties at work. In fact, I own only two ties - one is for weddings and one is for funerals. That tells you something about my life and formal attire, doesn't it?

pattinase (abbott) said...

This was supposed to go up tomorrow. Dates tend to run together this time of year.

Yvette said...

I love the two Laurie Colwin books I've read, HOME COOKING and MORE HOME COOKING. She was a very special woman and an extremely talented writer.

The book I force on everyone all the time is USED AND RARE by Nancy and Larry Goldstone.

It's a book about the specialness of book people, the book trade, readers and even, marriage. I can't tell you how incredibly wonderful this book is. You just have to trust me.

Jerry House said...

Sports coats, white shirts, and ties went walkabout from my closet many years ago. Don't miss 'em.

As for a book that was special to me, HOUSE OF GOD by Samuel Shem is one of many. I've used its "buff and turf" method quite successfully at work.

Without checking, I think that Kitty's choice would the same, although in a tie with Ken Follett's PILLARS OF THE EARTH. She had already read and loved the Follett when we were the only ones to show up at one of his signings in New Hampshire.

Anonymous said...

I don't need no steekin' sport coat.

TIME AND AGAIN by Jack Finney is one I've been known to push on people. I noted that Stephen King gave it a shout out in the afterword to 11/22/63.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That Finney and THE THIRD LEVEL. Have never read the others.

Randy Johnson said...

I don't wear suits, ties, or sports jackets. I wear something comfortable and ties, suits don't qualify. A sport coat is not bad, I just haven't owned one in years.

Todd Mason said...

I tend to push the boundary of business casual at work. I'm not alone thus. The last time I bought a suit was for my grandmother's funeral...turned out my brother, father and I were the only ones in a suit, as everyone else in the family dressed more casually.

Why on Earth would one wear a coat to the dentist's, particularly, given the potential of drooling or even bleeding on it afterward?

I think I'm ready to stop giving books to people...they are too often seen as burdens. I'm not sure anyone I've given a book to in the last several years, with a very few exceptions, has read it yet, and possibly never will.

Todd Mason said...

I like Colwin's work, too. And I'm 47, which makes her fate a bit sobering on this day I've quickly, belatedly written about the late Les Daniels, and we've just lost Christopher Hitchens, who once played a sort of prank on me and his ex-wife simultaneously as the result of a brief discussion.

Charles Gramlich said...

I almost never wear coats. The only time I wear a dress coat is for funerals, weddings, and meetings with my superiors at work.

Anonymous said...

FROM TIME TO TIME is the sequel - written 20 years later - to TIME AND AGAIN. I also have ABOUT TIME, a short story collection (includes "The Third Level").

Happily, I haven't had to wear a jacket & tie regularly since working in an office as a teenager.

Jeff M.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Every book written by the late spiritual preceptor Eknath Easwaran who, along with his wife Christine, founded the Blue Mountain Centre of Meditation in California several years ago. Few books have uplifted me as much as Easwaran's.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Phil claims he gets treated with respect if he wears a sports coat. I think he gets treated like an old guy more likely. He wore a sports' coat in high school though. I have the pictures to prove it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It is almost impossible to chose a book for another person. Either they have read it or don't want to read it, I find. The only one I have good feelings about buying a book for is my son-who is the most widely and eclectically read person in our family.

Rob Kitchin said...

Three books that I have regularly forced onto people over the years:

DIVORCING JACK by Colin Bateman
NEUROMANCER by William Gibson
LA CONFIDENTIAL by James Ellroy

All three are books that I thought at the time were great and still do. The three of them helped wean me off spy and thriller novels and helped shape the kind of fiction I wanted to try and write.

Yvette said...

And yet, Santa (in the guise of my daughter) always brings me books I want to read...

Possibly because she asks me for a list of titles. :)

Cap'n Bob said...

I wore my oldest rags to work before retiring as I tended to get dirty. I'm not sure my sports coats even fit me anymore.

I'm not sure any book spoke to me in an appreciable life changing way. FAREWELL, MY LOVELY got me going as a private eye fan, so mayne that counts.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Lists are good.

Read #1 and #3 and my husband read #2. All great books.

Dana C. Kabel said...

Guess I'm an oddball. I'm comfortable in jeans and t-shirt or suit and tie. I have to wear the former most often, as I work in construction. So I guess I feel like I get to shine a little when I put on the ritz.

Dana C. Kabel said...

Books that marked my soul for eternity...I wore out my copies of Tolkein's The Hobbit and The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck when I was a kid. But Lawrence Block's A Ticket To the Boneyard was the one that hooked me into crime fiction and forever changed my life.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have to admit, it is nice to see men shine once in a while.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That and the Sacred Ginmill just knocked me out.

Mike Dennis said...

YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1938) by Dorothy Baker
THE FOUNTAINHEAD (1943) by Ayn Rand

The Dorothy Baker novel inspired me to become a musician, which I did as a full-time career for thirty years. She made me understand that it was in fact possible, that I had only to step into music and it would embrace me.

The Ayn Rand novel inspired me to think for myself and to follow my own dreams, pursue my own happiness, and to realize that my achievements (or failures) are my own and belong to no one else.

Al Tucher said...

It used to be Catch-22. For years I re-read it obsessively, but I haven't in a while. I'm not sure what happened.

MWA-NY tends to hold dinner-speaker meetings in the last dress-up kinds of places in New York. Suits and ties are not required, but I don't feel right without. Otherwise, I seldom wear them.

Richard R. said...

Unfortunately, I've been to the dentist a LOT just recently, and putting on a sports coat is the farthest thing from my mind. It's a little chilly there, but a couple of long sleeved layers, usually a shirt and sweat shirt, do nicely. Then it's into the car and home to take pain killers as soon as the Novocain starts to wear off.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I feel your pain.