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Another book meme…

Thanks to Coturnix, I’ve been tagged with the latest book meme…Here you go…

Number Of Books I Own: Oy. This is a tough one. Coturnix claims 5,000; lord I wouldn’t want to store that many. I’ve pared down a lot after several moves, selling many when I moved to NC from NYC, and once again in another move down here. We have them in two rooms, two big bookcases, and now we’re about to load up a third small one. I’d say 750? I gave away a lot of the ones that I read once, and knew I would never read again. Oh, like one of those awful James Patterson books someone gave me for a present one Christmas.

Last Book I Bought: Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Last Book I Read: Good night, I have a lot going on at once! I did finish Keith Boykin’s Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America as a counterbalance to On the Down Low: A Journey Into the Lives of “Straight” Black Men Who Sleep with Men, by J.L. King. Boykin is rightfully tough on King, who is seen as exploiting the media’s need to place the spread of HIV in the minority community on the Down Low, when there are a lot of factors at work, including the DL.

I’m still working on The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, by Kitty Kelley and a couple of others. It’s hard when I’m already reading weekly newsmagazines as well, plus blogging. Need more hours in a day!

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me: OK. This list has to reflect a lifetime of reading, right? Well there are plenty of books to consider, let’s forget the intellectual stuff and pick the whimsically favorite ones.

* Harriet the Spy. I loved this book. Dyke in training on the cover.

* The Nancy Drew series. And I’m talking about the old-school hardback edition, with the yellow spine and the painted covers. Who can’t love a book series when the gal’s best friend is a chick named George? I’m sure I saw lesbian themes in there.

* David O. Selznick’s Hollywood. Big, big coffee table book (1980 first edition, hardcover, 425 pages) with luscious color and black-and-white pictures from Hollywood’s Golden Age, plus interesting back story tidbits about Gone With the Wind, including pictures from the screen tests of actresses that tested for Scarlett O’Hara including Paulette Goddard (good choice), Joan Bennett (pretty good choice), Bette Davis (omg, no) and Tallulah Bankhead (big mistake). This f*cker is heavy, and it moved with me over and over because I love it so much.

* The Celluloid Closet, by Vito Russo. I read this book when coming out, and it neatly dovetails with my interest in film history. Russo’s take on homosexuality and gender roles in Hollywood films from the 1920s to about 1980 (in the tattered edition I have) was a landmark book in its time. (It was the basis for the 1996 documentary, narrated by Lily Tomlin). The most entertaining part of the book is the glossary in the back, where it lists the homo-erotic or homo-subtext in major films.

I’m blanking on #5 for now. I’ll come back and update later.

In the meantime, I’ve got to tag a few folks. First, Shakes Sis, who I’ll forgive if she doesn’t have time. Ms. Julien, since I’ve not written in a while…and how about local blogger ae, whose blog Arse Poetica is infinitely interesting.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding