Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thursday, Tuesday, 13, 10, Whatever

Gypsy did an interesting Thursday 13 last week and I thought I'd give it a whirl. I don't know how I'll do, this is one where I really might not make it to 10, though I do get 2 shots at it. Anyway, for those of you who didn't click through (shame on you, click through and spread the love!) she listed and linked to 13 books that "bring to mind books I’ve read that have an inherent sense of place, specifically my place, my region, the corner of America where I live. The following books aren’t necessarily placed in my town, but they’re where I’m from."

For this one I'm doing the place where I came from - a small town in NH.

1. A Separate Peace (I'm actually from the town where this is set.)

2. A Prayer for Owen Meany (Ditto.)

3. The World According to Garp (This is probably a prudent time to say that I dislike the work of John Irving pretty strongly. People who think that Owen Meaney is the best book they've ever read and it moved them and changed them? I do not get them. Can we get matching CAT scans to compare and find out how 2 such different people can exist in the same species?)

4. Here on Earth (Probably the book that best embraces the feel of where I grew up.)

5. The Last Summer (Of You And Me)

6. The Stephanie Plum Novels (Totally not set in the same place as where I'm from but the feel, again, very similar.)

7. Practical Magic (Very, very different from the movie.)

8. The Bostonians

9. Prep (Again, both literally and literarily set in my town of origin.)

10. The Weight of Water (Whew. As expected, this was tough. I had to go to the bookshelves to finish it. It's sort of like going to the mattresses but with fewer automatic weapons.)


  1. Oh, Dear GOD in HEAVEN! The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett! I actually wrote a paper about this book's incredibly strong sense of place, and about how, if I were far away from home and homesick, I would want none other than this book to help ease my mind.

    I've only read three of your ten (Separate Peace, Garp, and Weight of Water).

    This was a good one...

  2. I am going to agree with you on the John Irving novels. People seem to love and rave over them. I have read several (I keep trying!), and each and every one of them makes me feel "uncomfortable." I do not know any other way to describe it. I don't like his works.

    And, Faulkner and Welty are from where I grew up. Yet... They do not evoke feelings of homesickness.

  3. I am one of them Father John.
    Owen Meany did change me.
    I love his work. I find myself still thinking about the characters in the Fourth Hand and wondering what happened to them.
    To each... his own.
    And I am happy to have him and I do have all his books hardcover first edition. It was one of my first collections to complete.

    I like the list. Interesting.

  4. Anonymous6:31 PM

    apparently I'm blog challenged.

    Can't stand John Irving either.

    How about Dead Zone (New Market, Durham etc - some events that he wrote about actually happened according to Grandma the librarian).

    Make way for Ducklings?

    Spencer mysteries?


  5. Do you know, I've never read any Orne Jewett? I think that might get my birth certificate revoked.

    Gert, more power to you but I just don't feel it. And I COME from there. I know every single place that squeaky-voiced freak rode his bike and yet it doesn't give me the emotion of any of it. Same with almost all of them, mostly Cider House, which was so long and so boring that it made me unreasonably angry I still can't speak of it politely. And yet, I keep reading them! I keep thinking that the NEXT one I read will suddenly crack it open for me but so far not so much.

    I really shouldn't have overlooked Stephen King. Wow. Almost every book he's every written perfectly captures the feel of the area. Dead Zone is awesome.