Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THANK YOU SO MUCH! + Favorite Books

Thank you so much to those of you who have commented and said such kind things! It means a lot to me to hear from you and know that there are kindred spirits out there with whom I'm connecting via the book. It's a fantastic, mysterious process when a writer writes in one space and time, and the reader experiences what was in the writer's heart and mind in a different space and time, yet there is this connection through the pages. I've always been fascinated with that. I always used to say, when I was a kid, that you can go almost anywhere and 'experience' almost anything through books. And you can get inside another person's head through a book more than through any other vehicle. While you're reading, you're totally absorbed in the same thoughts that absorbed the write while she was writing.

Steven King writes about this in his book, "On Writing", which is one of the best books about the process of writing a book that I've ever come across. I use his "method" when I write. I mean, hey, this guy has sold some 96MILLION books so he's doing something right, right? I'd say!

All that to say, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the kind words you've written to me - both through the blog and those of you who have written to my publisher (yes, they forwarded your letters!).

Here is a list of some of my all time, life time favorite books and book series: First of all, the books listed on MY book are all great, which is why we went to those specific authors asking for their opinion on Wesley the Owl! So I HIGHLY recommend all of those books!

In the Shadow of Man - Jane Goodall (Plus every other book she's written, of course)
Never Cry Wolf - Farley Mowat
Mind of the Raven - Berndt Heinrich
James Herriott's books (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.)
All 9 of Laura Ingalls Wilders' books. Read as an adult and you'll see them in a whole new (scary!) light as a parent taking kids through such dangerous conditions! Wow!
The Number One Ladies Detective Agency series
An American Homeplace, and other books by Donald McCaig (Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men)
The Good, Good Pig by Sy Montgomery
Grayson, and Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox (wow, she really did those swims!)
Redmond O'Hanlon's book about Borneo
Running the Amazon - Joe Kane
Hawk Hill - Suzie Gilbert
Sightings: Extraordinary Encounters with Ordinary Birds - Sam Keen
Into Thin Air - Krakauer
Deep Survival - Lawrence Gonzales
How Dogs Think - Stanley Coren
The Gift of Fear - Gavin de Becker
The Singing Life of Birds - Dr. Don Kroodsma
The Emotional Lives of Animals - Marc Bekoff
Flyaway - Suzie Gilbert (soon to be released)
All of the Ann of Green Gables books
Little Women
The Big Year - Mark Obmascik
Fish that Fake Orgasms - Matt Walker (full of stuff I learned in Biology - wierd facts about animal behavior)
Pride and Prejudice
Merle's Door - Ted Karasote
That Quail, Robert -
Kingbird Highway and Flights Against Sunset - Kenn Kaufman (also I like his field guide the best. It's easiest to use and the pictures are ACCURATE!)
Rascal - Sterling
Nobody's Horses - Don Hoglund
the books by Tory Hayden (about working w/ special needs kids)
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
Miracle Dog - Randy Grim
From Baghdad with Love - Jay Kopelman
An Beal Beacht - (The Poor Mouth in English) by Flann O'Brien HILARIOUS!
I love Garrison Keillor and his sharp understanding of human nature. His newest book, Pontoon, is indeed Kafka'esque-ish dark humor. I laughed until my abs hurt.
The Hunt for Red October - Tom Clancy (he wrote it while working in a slow post office desk job, spending his nights doing research. wow! How inspiring!)
Pools of Bright Water

Hmm. I'll poke around my bookcases and get the authors on the ones where I didn't list them. Some of these books I've bought in stacks because I give them away so often. The ones I buy in stacks and give to people are:
An Beal Beacht/The Poor Mouth
In the Shadow of Man
Never Cry Wolf
The Gift of Fear
Deep Survival
That Quail, Robert
and I give the Laura Ingalls Wilder books to the kids I know.
The Good, Good Pig
The Emotional Lives of Animals

I don't loan out books. I buy and give them away and replace them for myself. If it's that great, I figure, the author deserves my buying them!

Man, there are so many books. The ones I keep in my permanent library cover the walls in most rooms almost to the ceiling.

In fact, when I was a kid, I was almost killed/injured by books during the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. We were located almost on the faultline. The house next door split right in half!

We were naive about the severity of earthquakes and I had books all the way up to the wall w/ my bed shoved against that. The bookcases were made of bricks and board. Our family could never keep up with the flow of books. I also had stacks of books on the floor, so when the earthquake hit, my mattress started sliding across the stacks of books as if I was riding the whitewater on a river on my mattress. In slow motion I remember looking up and seeing the wall of books coming down on top of me, but at the exact same time a strong arm shot into my room and pulled me out the door before the books and bricks landed on the bed. It was my Dad grabbing me just in time. My Mom had run in and grabbed my sister and we all crawled (you couldn't walk w/ the earth jumping around) to a point in the house that my Uncle Warren O'Brien (who became the head of civil engineering for all of L.A. County) had deemed the strongest point. The point most likely to remain standing in an earthquake. Whew! Close call!

So now I keep my bed away from the towering bookcases but they remain a steadfast part of my life.

How does one even begin to list their favorite books? I just tried but that doesn't even scratch the surface of old favorites. Maybe it'd be better to do it by author?

1 comment:

Liz said...

Hi Stacey,

Speaking of favorite books.....yours is one of my ALL-TIME favorite books. I work at an independent bookstore in Boston and decided to check "Wesley" out when the book arrived at our store. Within 2 pages I was completely hooked. I developed a full-fledged crush on Wesley (that won't go away) and your story has changed parts of my life. I've always been a HUGE bird lover but now, at 35, I'm taking it very seriously. Next week I am going on my first owl-banding (saw-whet) excursion (can't wait!!!) and plan to get more involved and learn as much as possible about owls and birds. If not for your book I may have never been so inspired to take steps to make a career (or at least a major hobby) in wildlife. I am so grateful and excited. I look at the world in an entirely different way now. THANK YOU!!!!!
Also, I've made "Wesley the Owl" my Staff Recommendation at the store where I work and I will try to put it in as many hands as possible over the holidays. Everyone should know Wesley!

Take care, and thanks again for your super awesome book and for sharing Wesley with us.

Obsessed with owls,
Liz from Boston

ps. I will DEFINITELY be buying a Wesley plushie, no matter what he looks like.