(yep we’re going from dead-serious to mostly-living-not-so-serious in 2.5 seconds)
(also I know that this is posted at the very end of day 2…I had camera complications and then the pictures still look horrible and I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and effort for nothing but EH)
(was this post even worth it?)
(yes. yes it was. *deep breaths*)
I’ve wanted to talk about my library for a while now. It’s three shelves of variety that I’ve collected and bought over the years – some fiction, some non-fiction, and some stuff that’s only remotely book-like that I don’t know where else to put.
I could just take some pictures, gush about how they look remotely aesthetic when they’re all sitting together, and call it a night. But I like to think I’m a little more creative than that. Because what are you supposed to do with that information besides immediately forgetting it?
So I decided to come up with some awards. And “some” turned into 25. And the awards turned into a challenge, should you choose to accept it. Turn down the lights, grab some popcorn, and let’s give it up for The Personal Library Awards™!
(okay it’s not actually trademarked, I just learned the alt code for a ™ and wanted to use it for effect.)
Newest: The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart
Straight out of 2016. This book was…okay. I don’t exactly regret it, but it wasn’t the best thing I have ever read. Which was kind of disappointing, because I bought it brand new and I sort of feel like I wasted my money? Oh well.
Oldest: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
This award is for my physically oldest book – this first-edition copy of my favorite hist-fict that I got in an antique shop. It’s from 1943. As in, this book is 75 years old. They don’t bind them like they used to.
Childhood Favorite: Album of Horses by Marguerite Henry
Even when I was a little horse potato and knew nothing about them, I loved this book to death. It’s basically some nice paintings and some fun little anecdotal stories about the different breeeds of horses. And it was actually successful in extending my woefully poor attention span.
Most Loathsome: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Ugh. Okay, classics are usually the best. They’re usually rolemodels that inspire me to write stories as great as they are. I’m not going to go so far as to say that Great Expectations isn’t a great story, but I can’t stand it. It’s way too wordy, the characters are all jerkfaces with absolutely nothing to stand behind, and it has an unsettling tone I can’t put a finger on. It’s the last Charles Dickens novel I’ll finish (because yes, I finished it).
Most Obscure: At Agincourt by G. A. Henty
I’m going to guess you’ve never heard of this book. That’s okay! I’m still not sure if I like the resolution of it, but it definitely kept me reading, even though the type in this edition is ribosomically tiny. Also I accidentally slammed the backseat of an SUV down on top of it and I actually cried about it.
Biggest Surprise: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba
Going into this, I was thinking I was going to yawn the whole way through. I ended up finishing it in one sitting and realized that I had actually been really riveted the whole time! Who knew windmills were so interesting.
Biggest Disappointment: Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzan is my favorite Disney movie. So that means I’ll love the books, right? Correction: I would have loved the books if they weren’t so horribly cliched and just…ugh. I only keep this one around because its format is so gloriously beautiful. But the pretty cover is honestly the only good thing about it. ALL 800 PAGES OF IT. Okay, I’ll stop ranting.
Longest: Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson
Non-fiction homemaking encyclopedia. It’s more interesting than you’d think and weighs in at 884 pages. Lots of information and useful stuff that I’ll probably need later.
Shortest: Felicity Learns A Lesson by Valerie Tripp
Fun fact: this book got me into AG dolls. It’s only 67 pages, but it certainly talks about a lot in that time frame – bullying, disloyalty, the Boston Tea Party, and not knowing what to do when your values are called into question. These American Girl books are seriously underrated.
Prettiest: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Firstly: this book’s a classic and if you haven’t read it, you should. Secondly: I’m in love with the way this book looks. The colors are so well coordinated and the beautiful design carries over into the pages, too. Yes, I do judge books by their covers. And I hate myself for it. But don’t we all?
Ugliest: The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
I actually don’t think I finished this one? I think I forgot about it. Even though I’m not sure how I forgot the mustard yellow, bright orange, and strange circus animal motif. THERE AREN’T EVEN ANY CIRCUS ANIMALS IN THIS STORY. Who even designed this cover? It’s ancient, and I got it for free, so I can’t complain…but still.
Largest: The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams
I can’t get over how amazing the information in this book is. I also can’t get over how physically big it is. It’s about nine by eleven inches and I think it must weigh five pounds. It feels like fifteen when I’m hauling it around, though.
Smallest: Pocket Horses by DK
This is another book I lived by as a kid! And it’s really really small – about four by five inches. And apparently you can get it on Amazon for literally a dime? I can’t tell if that’s amazing or sad. Maybe it’s amazingly sad. I liked it.
Most Abused: CHA Composite Horsemanship Manual by the Certified Horsemanship Association
If you want to learn to ride, seek out and devour this book. It’s chock full of actually useful information, not just the stuff that sounds good on paper. I have used it so much that the pages are falling out of the binding.
Most Read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I think I’ve read this one (both parts!) at least ten times. It doesn’t get old, though! I’m surprised I like this book so much, seeing as I’m not usually a fan of the genre, but I grew up on this one and still love it. No movie adaptation can beat it. =u=
First To Be Hypothetically Donated: The Complete Encyclopedia of Horses by Josee Hermsen
I’ll give this one credit that it’s trying to be a horse encyclopedia. That’s not an easy feat. But the editing in this book is really weird. Miscaptioned photos, poor grammar….I can’t even.
Last To Be Hypothetically Donated: Freehand Figure Drawing For Illustrators by David H. Ross
This book is amazing. Enlightening. Game-changing, if you’re an artist. And there is SO MUCH information in it, I think it’ll probably take a lifetime to learn it all. I need it. *protectively shields it*
Funniest: The Watsons Go To Birmingham: 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
I don’t want to admit it, but I read Christopher Paul Curtis’ books when I want to laugh my head off. Yes, they have themes and plots, but honestly the humor in them trumps everything else.
Most Boring: Wings by Tom D. Crouch
I bought this book at a Goodwill just because the cover was pretty. (Back on this again…) It looks great, but it’s pretty much a four hundred page research paper on flight. Not that I don’t like research papers, I just lost interest. Maybe I’ll pick it back up again. In ten years.
Most Useful: Scouting for Girls by The GSA
Yep, the original. Survival tactics, star maps, instructions for cooking a three-course dinner. And doesn’t everyone need to know how to cut perfect stars from cloth? (I still can’t seem to get it to work…)
Least Useful: A Healthy Horse: The Natural Way by Catherine Bird
I inherited this book and it’s 150 pages of herbal remedies? Yeah it’s not really useful to me, seeing as I don’t own a horse. It’s also kind of fruity – I always expect to see yoga poses suggested to enhance the cures, even though it doesn’t touch on that. Can horses even do yoga? Hm.
Most Powerful: The Giver by Lois Lowry and The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
I had to split this award. I had to. I couldn’t decide which was more important: The Giver‘s thoughts on the worth of human life, or The Bronze Bow‘s emphasis on the power of hate – and forgiveness. Both are excellent and you should go read them the first chance you get (if you haven’t already).
Most Frustrating: When London Burned by G. A. Henty
This is a reprint of a very old book. I have nothing against it plot-wise – actually it was pretty solid…once I got through the forest of typographical errors. Did they even give it a read-through? IT’S AWFUL AND IT DISTURBS ME.
Honorable Mention: Wolves At Our Door by Jim and Jamie Dutcher
Wolves At Our Door is a memoir about a couple who lived near a pack of wolves in order to make a documentary about them. The end result is much more interesting than it sounds and than I expected. Definitely one of my favorite true stories.
Favorite: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Annnnnd….time for my favorite book. I always come back to Treasure Island. Something about the aesthetic, or the story, or the characters just keeps dragging me in. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it – or dreaming about being on the open seas, with all the danger and glory and….gahhh. I love this book. Fight me.
Did I just decide which of my books was my favorite? Wow.
I’m really glad I decided to do it this way instead of just listing them off. These twenty-five aren’t my entire collection, but they’re a good sampling of it. (We didn’t even get to Counting by 7s…!)
I had a lot of fun making this post, and I hope you do too.
That is, if you accept my challenge.
I would love to see your own versions of The Personal Library Awards™!
I don’t really consider myself a “bookish” person, so I’d be interested in what spins you guys would put on this idea. Would you add awards? Take some away? And, of course, which of your books would win the awards? Honestly, I’d love it if some of you more competent book bloggers would take this idea and run with it!
Do you dare to undertake a round of The Personal Library Awards™?
Sayonara for now,