Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved books. My favorite gifts were often books, and I would disappear into my room to read them. I loved Maggie Muggins, all of the Nancy Drew series, Treasure Island, Black Beauty, Greek Mythology, Heidi, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, and so much more. I escaped to the worlds of all the imaginery places and characters. One moment I could be in Switzerland and the next I could be on a pirate ship in the Caribbean. I became addicted to books.
This Christmas I received three wonderful books. "Annie Liebowitz at Work", an autobiography by Annie Liebowitz, the photographer. Annie Liebowitz has lived an amazing life, in addition to being one of the world's best photographers. Who else but Annie Liebowitz would ask the Queen to remove her Crown? The Queen's reply: "What do you think this is?" I always get the impression when I see photographs of the Queen that she is just slightly ticked off about something, and is about to holler "Off with her head!" The images Annie captured of the Queen are beautiful and very human. Annie Liebowitz has led a life as interesting as many of the subjects she has photographed, and I can hardly wait to read of her adventures.
The second book I received is "The Year of Living Biblically", by A.J. Jacobs, a writer for the "New York Times" and "Esquire Magazine". A.J. Jacobs is Jewish, but he grew up in a secular home. "The Year of Living Biblically is about my quest to live the ultimate biblical life. To follow every single rule in the Bible – as literally as possible. I obey the famous ones:
The Ten Commandments.
Love thy neighbor.
Be fruitful and multiply.
But also, the hundreds of oft-ignored ones.
Do not wear clothes of mixed fibers.
Do not shave your beard.
Stone adulterers."... A.J. Jacobs
The third book I received is "Dreams from my Father" by Barack Obama. Yes, I really, really do want to like him, and I am hoping this book will do the trick. I should, however, learn to keep my opinion about him to myself. As Mark Twain says in his essay, "The Privilege of the Grave", "As an active privilege, free speech ranks with the privilege of committing murder: we may exercise it if we are willing to take the consequences."
I am looking forward to reading this book, because I am earnestly hoping it will change my mind about Barack Obama. Intelligent, well-read, well-informed people appear to really like him. Maybe there is something I have missed. I'm sure of it.
So, now I have three books covering all the bases - art, religion and politics. Does it even get any better than that?