Thursday, April 26, 2007

3M's List

My final two selections have been added.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
I just finished this. It has several "something about me" qualities. It is set in Lexington, Ky, and I live less than an hour from there. The author is a UK professor and mentions the school and the Wildcats, and my husband got his undergraduate degree there and is a UK fanatic. Like Paul (the boy twin), when I was an adult I found out I had a sister that I never knew about. Like David (the husband and father), I felt like an "imposter" in my (brief) professional life. He is a doctor in the story; I was an engineer. This was probably due to his poorer family background, which I can also relate to. Like Norah, I suffered from postpartum depression. You could say I really related to all the main characters. Besides all these "similarities," I really loved the book, too!

The Echo Maker by Richard Powers
This book is set in Kearney, Nebraska, where my sister currently lives and is not too far away from where I grew up. Powers did a good job of describing the remoteness of the region. The main "something about me" here, though, and this is getting a little too personal, is that the main character suffered from Capgras' and Cotard's Syndromes. Capgras Syndrome is the belief that your loved ones have been "replaced" by imposters, while Cotard's Syndrome is the belief that you have already died. I experienced these two syndromes while I was in college. Freaky, huh?

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
This is the book that started my reading addiction. My wonderful 2nd grade teacher, Miss French, read this to my class, and we were mesmerized and enthralled by it. A beautiful, beautiful book.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
This book really affected me in college as I sought answers to my "little crazy episode" above. Who can argue with Narnia creator C.S. Lewis?! No, seriously, Mere Christianity gives one of the best defenses of Christianity available. It is not a long book, but it is a little dense. If you need something lighter, try More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell.

Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland
Did you know there is a phenomena in which people cry uncontrollably in front of paintings or other art? I didn't know it either until it happened to me. I took my 7th grade class (back when I was a teacher) to an art museum in Nashville where they were having a special exhibit on impressionism. I was looking at this painting, and lo and behold, I started sobbing without any warning. It was so beautiful. It was like I was seeing it in 3-D. I couldn't believe the beauty of it. What was the painting, you ask? It was Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir. If you just see this in an art book, you may ask what the big deal is as there doesn't seem to be anything special about it. See it in person and you'll see a huge difference, believe me.

The book of that title by Susan Vreeland will be out in early May. It was given a starred review by Booklist. You may see a review and summary at Amazon here.

Lest you doubt my word about the crying phenomena, check out Pictures and Tears: A History of People Who Have Cried in Front of Paintings.

12 comments:

Chris said...

Wow! That's a condition that I've never heard of before. I'll have to look that up. The books sound really good.

Lisa said...

Another wow! See, this is just the thing we would never, ever know about you if we didn't do this challenge!! The Echo Maker is on my list for the NYT Notable challenge, so maybe I'll save it and read it later in the year. Some very very interesting picks.

My son and I just finished E.B. White's three children's books, ending with The Trumpet of the Swan. They were all just fabulous!

kookiejar said...

I know I wasn't supposed to ask, but I have to, you had Capgras Syndrome?

I've read 2 of your three ('The Echo Maker' and 'Charlotte's Web') and the other is in my TBR pile, so that's a strong contender.

3M said...

Yes, I had it for about 2 years. I didn't tell anyone about it at the time because I thought they'd "put me in the crazy house". I didn't know until this book that it even had a name! I also believed that I was dead, and that, at any minute, someone was going to let me in on the joke!

When I look back on it, I don't know how in the world I did my engineering studies at the time. School has always been easy for me, though. It's real life that's the problem.

kookiejar said...

That is very interesting, 3m. Thanks for sharing your story. Maybe, you should write a book. :)

Madame Rubies said...

I did not know that Kim Edward's was at UK. I am choosing Memory Keeper's Daughter now. I have a KY book on MY list too. :)

Lisa said...

That's fascinating about the crying thing. I had no idea. I love Susan Vreeland and will have to put this one on my list.....I love your choices!!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

When you took your class to the art museum, did you live near Nashville? I'm in Chattanooga, only a couple of hours from Nashville.

I've read Mere Christianity, though it was years ago, but I was excited to see Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland on your list. This book has been on my TBR list for over a year, waiting for it to come out. Vreeland is an excellent writer, and I enjoy learning about the artists she writes about.

I read Girl in Hyacinth Blue before going with a friend to see a Vermeer exhibit in NYC. We had read several books about Vermeer and then examined his paintings. Such an art lesson! I didn't get into it quite that deeply with The Passion of Artemisia, but I enjoyed the book. And now Renoir. I can hardly wait to read about the people in "the luncheon party" and examine the art itself.

I have collected enough books during this challenge to last more months than we have. What to do? What to DO?

3M said...

Bonnie, I live about 3 1/2 hours from Nashville just south of Cinci.

I know--these challenges can be damaging to the pocketbook!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

3M, maybe someday we can meet in the middle and see each other face to face. I've actually done this with a number of book friends, and one I met that way is now my best friend.

We Southerners (American Southerners, that is) always want to "place" new folks, as I tried to explain to my friend in the Netherlands yesterday. Now that I've "placed" you, I can add that one of my uncles lived in Cincinnati for most of his life, and his family is still there. So I've probably been through or near your town in my travels.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Hey, hey, hey! I checked my library online and discovered Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland is on order, so I placed a hold on it. I am number ONE in line for it, but I have no idea how long it will take to arrive there and be processed. Even if the timing isn't right for our "Something About Me" challenge, I'll be learning something about you, 3M. Thanks for choosing this book.

soleil said...

you know, that crying thing happened to me when i saw the vertigo of eros by matta. it was a touring exhibit of pieces from the MOMA in NY while they were renovating. the exhibit only went to houston and berlin. so i drove all the way to houston (5 hours from fort worth) to see such famous paintings by van gogh, dali, picasso, etc. and this was the one that did me in. it was so beautiful and expressed so wonderfully everything i was feeling inside at the time. i swear i sat in front of that painting for 45 minutes, tears streaming down my face. i was not aware that this was common at all.