Lost in Books has a fun book meme going this week. Here goes:
1. My own! I’ve spent almost eight years hanging out in Lewis and Clark’s world, writing two historical novels and reading dozens of books on the men, the Expedition, the West they explored, and the intrigues of early America. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and actually meet Meriwether Lewis and William Clark — to see what they really looked like, what their voices and accents sounded like, how they conducted themselves. And to get on the Missouri River in that keelboat and trek into the unknown on a wild river, to see the kaleioscope of the wild night sky, to see thousands of buffalo on the plain, to see the Great Falls of the Missouri in all their rampaging glory. Wow. That would be a dream come true.
2. Aboard Patrick O’Brian’s HMS Surprise. I’ve spent about four years savoring my way through O’Brian’s amazing 20-book Napoleonic War saga of Captain Jack Aubrey and Doctor Stephen Maturin. This year, I expect to finish the last four books — waahh! I would love to set sail on a creaking old ship, held together by luck and skill, watch the men harness the wind in the complex array of ropes and sails, walk with Stephen on unknown islands and have him tell me about the birds and creatures, and stand by Jack’s side as the smoke and the cannonballs fly.
3. Narnia. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis were my favorite books as a kid. In fact, I was going to re-read them a couple of summers ago and they completely fell apart. I need to buy a new set. I think all kids dream of leaving their ordinary world behind and going someplace where they can have adventures. In the magical woods of Narnia, there was so much at stake! Crumbling castles, evil queens, giants, gnomes, and intelligent talking animals — all depending on ordinary children to find their inner courage and make things right. Really, what more could you want?
Looking at this little list, I see a lot of common themes: adventure in faraway and undiscovered lands … intrigue and conflict … brave loyal heroes and undying friendship … forts, spies, war and rebellion, and nature at its most elemental … characters in jeopardy and lots of action. Guess I haven’t changed much over the years!