Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Your Library is Your Portrait

Yesterday I posted my review of Lethal Legacy by Linda Fairstein. Today I wanted to use something from that book as a post topic. In Chapter 24, Linda use a quote from Holbrook Jackson: "Your library is your portrait." Ironically, as Mike Chapman so acutely points out, the character who makes reference to this quote is the same one who owns the book made from dried human skin. This is why I love Linda Fairstein's work!

Anyway, I had to sit and ponder this quote - because I have a lot of time for pondering, you know! And I thought about the portrait I paint with the books I read. I think the books I read paint more of a portrait of the part of me that is locked inside...the part I've never wanted to let out. The part that wants to rebel. I've always been the "square." Remember Huey Lewis's song, "Hip to Be Square"? My theme song! I didn't break the rules - I still don't break the rules. I don't like confrontation, but I can work up a darned good argument in my head over issues I'm hot about! It's in there - the rebel is. I think that's why I'm critical of the weak female characters, the "damsels in distress." I gravitate toward the strong characters who make a statement. That's who I WANT to be! And I love the "outcast" characters, the ones who don't necessarily care what the "rights" and "wrongs" are according to the masses. Now, that's not to say I like the characters that seem to lack emotion. I like the characters who are willing to do what they believe is right despite common opinion - Joe Pike...Lincoln Perry...Win Lockhorn...Spenser...and especially John Ceepak. He's the one who people mock because he's the "square," but he does what he truly believes is right (hmmm, you know I'm reminded of someone else from literature who is like that - Atticus Finch?). And what draws me to Ceepak more than the others is that he doesn't have to break the rules to do what he believes is right - he gives me hope! Of course Ceepak is much better with confrontation than me, but I'm still working on it.

So, that's the crime fiction section of my library. We musn't forget the sappy romantic that is buried somewhere deep down inside there, too. Because on my shelves you will find George Eliot, Jane Austin, the Brontes, modern romance, though. I much prefer the classics...the white knights, the Mr. Darcys. *sigh*

And of course, there is the part of my portrait that includes my love of intelligent humor! The original American stand-up comedian - Mark Twain - fills my shelves. As does Ken Kesey and John Irving - well, select John Irving anyway. Nothing feels better than a good laugh. And many of my modern crime fiction favs also have a talent with intelligent humor.

The non-fiction on my shelves fills that nagging part of me that always feels the need to KNOW stuff. It doesn't even have to be earth-shattering stuff. I just like to LEARN!

I'm beginning to feel like my portrait is a Picasso abstract...

so many colors, so many layers, so many facets. It's a good thing there are so many different kinds of books.

So what does YOUR portrait look like?


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