From Russia with Books and a Kick in the Butt (Alternatively You Can Just Scroll Down to Get a Book)18
April 8, 2013 by Katia
An entire wall in my mother’s apartment in Tel-Aviv, where I was born and grew up, was covered with book shelves. Rows and rows of them. Some of the books were placed so high you couldn’t even reach them without an adventurous spirit like my auntie’s and standing on a ladder. In the 70’s when my family was immigrating you had to apply for a special permit to leave the Soviet Union. They were given three days to pack up their shit and scram. Most of their valuable possessions stayed behind, but the books, including a dark covered 19th century encyclopaedia describing realities that were no longer relevant, fallen governments, extinct species and renamed cities, successfully relocated to a barren white wall in a stone tiled, humid, brightly lit Tel-Aviv apartment.
One of my early childhood memories involves me playing by the elevators of our apartment building with my next door neighbour. A man stepped out of one of the other apartments, which housed a small accounting business, exactly at the same time as the door to my apartment opened. He peeked in and asked “is this a library?” “no, it’s a private home” was my six year old response. Books were the landscape of my childhood and the (only) adventures I went on, growing up in a slightly over protective family consisting of three motherly figures: mom, grandma and grandma’s sister – auntie.
I love books. I get excited discovering new authors. I’m one of these book pervs, who will sneak a peek behind your shoulder on the subway to find out what you’re reading and come up with the most awkward tactics to hide what they’re doing. I also read the book ads. This is how I learned about Lev Grossman. On the Toronto subway.
Here are some of my favourite books in no particular order.
Newest discoveries – a.k.a. Duh a.k.a. Да
- Neil Gaiman – American Gods
- Lev Grossman – The Magicians series
- Jeffrey Eugenides – The Marriage Plot
- James Ellroy – American Tabloid
- Elsa Morante – House of Liars
- Amos Oz – The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
- Hanif Kureishi – The Buddha of Suburbia
- Zadie Smith – On Beauty
- Amy Tan – The Opposite of Fate
- Douglas Adams – The Salmon of Doubt
- Anne Fadiman – Ex Libris
- Mikhail Bulgakov – The Master and Margarita
Have you read any of these books? What are your favourites?
BOOK GIVEAWAY: I wrote two posts about being a parent and they ended up in a book! If you’re a parent, I think you’ll enjoy reading it. To win one of the five copies I’ll be giving out join my Parenting Signs contest – thanks, Jenn, for the idea!
Some of the unexpected ways in which my life has changed since having kids ended up in those two posts featured on Life Well Blogged: sometimes people step on my boob, I usually have company when I use the washroom or shower but when I don’t, I never forget to put the kiddy protection sleeve on the faucet.
Share some of your own funniest parenting signs. I’ll post the best entries with links to your blogs and 5 readers will win a copy of Parenting Gag Reel. I’ll announce the winners next Monday.
You can send your parenting signs to me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tweet them to: @KatiaDBE
Or post them on my Facebook wall at: http://www.facebook.com/IamthemilkBlogFriendsAndReaders