Books are part of my heartbeat. My thoughts, feelings, and language have been molded by them. I buy books by the arm load and have trouble parting with most of them–except to give to a fellow book lover. Of course THE BOOK is the Word of GOD. Above a book it is GOD’s message. Divinely inspired and living.
I was privileged to hear one of my favorite authors speak The Alexander McCall-Smith of “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” I was in love with his books, but when he came out in a kilt, I feel in love with him. It has to do with my Scottish roots; I am sure. Alexander McCall-Smith was asked which book had most influenced his writing, and his answer was, “the Anglican Hymnbook.” My answer to the same question would have to be “the King James version of the Bible.” I grew up with “thees” and “thous” and “hither to fors.” I love the richness of the language of the King James Version of the Bible.
The second two books that have become a part of the rhythm of my thoughts is Kipling and Joel Chandler Harris. I was a MK (missionary kid) and I remember my mom reading “On the banks of the great grey-green, greasy, Limpopo River all set about with feber-trees sat an Elephant’s Child. . .” the day we drove to the Brazilian Botanical Gardens. The book came alive through the reading and became concreted in my thoughts when we toured the Botanical Gardens. So if you hear me say, “O Best Beloved” or “‘satible curiosity”, it’s the Kipling rhythm coming out.
My mother often read aloud to us, and being born and raised in the South she could read with a southern dialect when the writing required it. And so, we were introduced to Uncle Remus and Brer Bear, Brer Fox, and Brer Rabbit. If I ever slip into a southern drawl and use some southern talk, it is Uncle Remus holler’n at me ‘cross the years. He sure like to spin his yarns on summer porches and winter fi-airs.
Here at My Whit’s End we have our own online book club. Come join us while we read together.
I’d love to hear which book or author has most influence you. Add it in the comments section and thanks again for coming along.
“THE EDUCATION OF LITTLE TREE” by Forrest Carter
“OUT OF AFRICA” by Isak Dinesin
I. Kamante and Lulu
II. A Shooting Accident on the Farm
III. Visitors to the Farm
IV. From An Immigrant’s Notebook
V. Farwell to the Farm