Thursday, May 3, 2012

My One Bookshelf by Tom Cleaves

What does my one bookshelf hold? Interesting question since I don't even have a bookcase. All my books are stacked on the floor, in the corner, or on the table. Does this bookshelf have to include only books I currently own or have read? If that's the case, then I only have a few I can choose from. If I was asked this a few years ago, before my apartment building burned down, then I'd have some three hundred books to consider. But I will do my best to give you my bookshelf using only what I have today.

The first book on my "shelf" is Tales of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. It is one of my favorite books of all times. It is a tale of a man, who in my mind, is the ultimate and true hero, Sydney Carton.

Next are two "journey" books, Homer's The Odyssey and Dante's Inferno. Are our lives similar? A journey to our "real" home, paved with obstacles, or the latter, a journey through our own hell, that we would not survive without guidance.

The next book is Moby Dick by Melville. Do we have our own inner Moby Dick that we are so obsessed with that we lose all sight of reality and rationality?

The next books I have piled together are very important to me: The Jungle by Sinclair, Handmaids Tale by Atwood, and The Good Earth by Buck. All really good books, that tie together the theme of women's rights. Of them, Handmaids Tale, affected me the most.

The next three books, reflect who I am. Atlas Shrugged and Anthem by Rand, and Walden by Thoreau.
And that's my bookshelf right now. The books I've read and enjoyed and discussed. Next year it could be totally different.
Tom Cleaves is an avid book reader and philosopher. He is an administrator for the Tea & Pee Bookclub, although, he often doesn't get much of a say in the books that are chosen. He's hoping to change that in 2013.