Since we have almost reached the midpoint of 2011, I thought I’d reprise something almost forgotten. I’ve updated a years old post from the former blog for this juncture.
Some time ago in 2009, author Declan Burke posted this intriguing meme:
“For simplicity’s sake I’ve kept it to one book per author, and the idea is that the last book on your list is the book you’d most like to die reading, if you had to die reading.
To wit: A long, long time in the future, in a galaxy far away, the doctor says, “Sorry, but you’ve only got a month to live.” What ten books would you re-read in your last month?”
Corey Wilde (a compadre who is no longer online, but who is far from forgotten) and my good friend Jen picked up on it. All of them, including their commenters, have some wonderful and thoughtful things to say, along with the books for that time. Me? I only wish I could be so eloquent. I think I’m in the same league as another good friend (and fellow Craisie to us all), Naomi:
“I have no idea what I would want to read then. My reading mood changes so fast.”
Though to her credit, she then mentions some interesting choices:
“But Shel Silverstein sounds like a good idea, and maybe some Oscar Wilde. Has anyone ever read the poetry of Samuel Hoffenstein? It’s kind of like Ogden Nash’s work but meaner. I haven’t read it in a long time but I remember it made me laugh which is what I’d want to do if I knew I was about to bite the dust.”
I believe I would mix some old and new for everything, but the last two books on this list. For the old, I’d have to pick something from my preferred series — and since it’s one per author, it’ll likely be either L.A. Requiem or The Forgotten Man. The former because it’s been my favorite, the latter because it just keeps rising IMO with each re-read. Next, The Odyssey — because Odysseus has long been the admired character from my childhood… and he must get home. I’d probably throw in something of Dickens or Hemingway, too. Maybe, something from non-fiction history, for that matter.
For the new, I’d pick something from the waiting stack since I’ve never read them. And because it’s a reminder to me that time moves in only one direction: forward. However, the last two books on the list would be reserved to the choices of others. Each of my children would get to pick one and I would have them read it to me. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Where the Wild Things Are, Goodnight Moon, or Love You Forever — stories that I read them when they were small and I was putting them down to sleep. You see, I’m an old sentimental… and I believe in symmetry.