I love books, and that goes without saying really. I’ve always got one around; most times I am surrounded by them, including now. Am I a collector? I wouldn’t say that, obsessive more likely. I own well over 500, not including graphic novels, but there are a few that stand out, crowning achievements of my obsessiveness. All are first editions, only one is signed, but all are dear to me in one way or another.
4. Jaws by Peter Benchley
Jaws is where my interest in sharks came from as a child. Not the book, but the movie always pushed me in that direction. I read a lot about them when I was a kid, and strangely enough, a lot of the books, about the mighty fish were tailored to children. I first read Jaws in high school as part of outside reading for English class. I stole the copy I had read from, well, I won’t say where, but let’s just say it was a major sin. It wasn’t Benchley’s characters that were an enjoyment for me, it was the tone. There is something about horror’s in daylight that are equally, if not more terrifying than one’s committed at night. I love sharks, and as a gruesome little tribute, this first edition of Jaws is a collection standout.
3. Lost Horizon by James Hilton
Interesting back story on this one, I first heard of Shangri-La from Talespin. In the episode entitled “Last Horizons” Baloo finds himself in the mysterious city of Panda-La, a peaceful city in the mountains that later tries to wreak havoc on Cape Suzette (I don’t remember that in the book, but nice twist anyway.). Before that we had Hilton’s novel, a book that was inspired by his travels through Tibetan lands. So much so, that one town in the area changed it’s name to Shangri-La after the novel was published. Hilton’s story is full of so much fun and adventure, but also a utopia that works, one that hopes to one day pick up the pieces of a war torn world and bring it peace and knowledge. The themes always spoke to me, and oddly enough it was the books sequel, penned by Eleanor Cooney and Daniel Altieri that first caught my attention. It couldn’t hold a candle to the original, but it’s significance in my life led me this far.
2. Healer by F. Paul Wilson
The LaNague series isn’t one of Wilson’s most widely known, but it is his first, and surprisingly, this books is last in a trilogy. I have many autographed pieces from Wilson, but this being his first, first edition, and signed make it something I gush about to fans of Wilson and friends alike. I’ve never had a chance to read it, but next year, I’m declaring the “Year of Wilson!” where I will read and review every single book Wilson has published, and you better believe I have ‘em all in hardcover and paperback. KYFHO!
1. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This book purchase I take as a bit of fate. I was looking for it, I searched Ebay, was the first result in that search, and surprisingly won it after a bidder just gave up trying to outbid me. I reviewed this book last month, being the first time I had ever read it; to say it changed my life is certain, but not yet fully realized. The plight of this girl in hiding is just as powerful as those who were in the camps themselves, made more so by the constant danger she was in. It was the first of such memoirs at the time, since, many have come forth to tell their gruesome and tear worthy stories . The effectiveness of this diary is how it doesn’t tell the reader to feel a certain way, instead, she chooses to relay her personal experiences, fears, and ambition, doing so with so much tension and hope that it’s hard at times to continue, given the plight of Anne and her family. The book’s compassion is where it truly shines brightest and is most tragic in the events that take place outside the manuscript. It’s haunting and beautiful with every read and remains, so far, one of my all time favorite books.