The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.
Today’s bookshelf comes from Bushwick artist Julia Massey. Julia has graced the Bushwick stage a number of times. She’s a master songwriter, bursting with vibrant pop-hooks that will kick you where it counts. You will love her album A.L.I.T.E. (I know I do!).
Now… on to the books!
How do you organize your books?
At the moment, I put the books I am comfortable with seeing abused on the lower shelves and the ones that I care more about on the higher shelves because my one year old is crazy for books and regularly conducts “inventory” cycles with our book shelves.
Be honest. What percentage of your books have you actually read?
Probably 20%. In my defense, I share a bookcase with three other adults whose books I very happily get to share.
What’s your favorite book on the shelf?
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I haven’t read it in decades, but whenever I look at the cover I think, “I’m glad that book was written,” and I feel glad that it’s available at all times. It is the book that introduced me to eastern philosophy which was an important step for me as a person on this planet.
What book do you plan on reading next?
Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World by Sharon Chang. Sharon is a phenomenal (local!) writer/scholar/activist who has been writing for many sources for many years, but this is her first published full length book. I promised myself that I would read it next.
What is the most interesting book on the shelf?
The Art of Andrew Wyeth by Wanda M. Corn. I bought this book in a vintage shop because I knew his painting Christina’s World, but I’ve since learned much more about his life and works with this book. He reminds me of my other idol (whose works are also featured on my shelf), Emily Dickinson. I’m very interested by artists who created in relative isolation and then got discovered far later or posthumously.
Emily Dickinson eh? What’s her best poem?
#254 (“Hope” is the thing with feathers). Honestly, though, it’s really hard to pick the best one. That one comes close, but I haven’t read all of her poems yet. I bet there’s another one in her collection that would move me as much.
Please tell me you’ve read I BROKE MY TRUNK! That sounds amazing. What’s it about?
I HAVE read “I Broke My Trunk!” Approximately one thousand times, actually. My son is crazy about the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. This one features a seemingly endless story from Gerald (aka Elephant) to Piggie about how he broke his trunk. Gerald offers a very very long explanation of how he might have broken his trunk by holding up what eventually amounts to two hippos, one rhino, and a piano on nothing but his trunk only to reveal SPOILER ALERT that he actually broke his trunk on his way to tell Piggie the story. You’d think it ends there, but the punchline extends to Piggie laughing his twirly tail off over this revelation and breaking his OWN snout while on his way to tell someone else the story Gerald just told him! Classic.
The Princess Bride was I think the 2nd Bushwick Seattle show we ever did. Which character in the book would you say you most relate to?
It’s hard to separate who I’d most like to BE from who I most closely relate. I hope someday I’m a bit like Inigo Montoya because he somehow manages to have respect for an go deep with the person he initially thinks killed his father. That first sword fight made me think, “yeah, that’s how I’d want to be in a sword fight to avenge my father.” Right now, I most relate to the Grandfather because I feel like I spend a lot of my time trying to sell really cool stories to small children.
Why is R2D2 wearing a Katy Perry wig?
I’m not sure, but he’s going by.
I normally stay away from book titles that are in all caps, but you should know that I just added I BROKE MY TRUNK! to my reading list.
Until next time.