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What’s On My Bookshelf With Author Caroline B. Cooney

January 4, 2013

In 1990 THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON was first published and went on to become a very popular bestselling series.  I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I discovered the book (and the movie) but I do remember absolutely loving the story of 15 year old Janie who sees her face on the “Missing Child” photo on the back of a milk carton and with her boyfriend begins to unravel the secrets of her past.

Now 23 years later, author Caroline Cooney, who has written many young adult books since, concludes the Janie series with JANIE FACE TO FACE, on sale next Tuesday, January 8th. 

Today we are very excited to welcome Ms. Cooney to Random Acts of Reading to share with us what’s on her bookshelves.

In Connecticut I had bookshelves built into every room, including the halls. I had thousands of books and loved every one. Even with all those bookcases, I had books stacked on the stairs ready to go up or down and library books sprawling on the counter. When I moved to a smaller house in South Carolina, I cut back by half. It was painful to part with books I’d known and loved – or else bought, and never read, and meant to get around to loving – for years.

Now in South Carolina I have only nine bookcases.

Three are solid with history books. I love New England history, ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and British history.

Two bookcases are solid with books in Latin and Greek – I went back to school to relearn my high school Latin and start ancient Greek. Julius Caesar and the Letters of Cicero are my favorites and I have many translations of them, plus my own translations which I wrote out in notebooks.

Another bookcase is for my hobby of reading the Bible in Latin (the Vulgate) and Greek (the Septuagint and the New Testament.) I’m not very good, even after years of struggle, so this bookcase has dozens of reference books to help me with Biblical Latin and Greek.

Another bookcase is all knitting books, embroidery and quilting. I don’t do much needlework any more and the day may come when all those are passed on. Then I will have all those beautiful empty shelves to fill.

Then there are the music bookcases. I have sung in concert choirs that perform great sacred works, so I have dozens of masses, requiems and cantatas. I have the scores of Broadway musicals for which I was pianist (not on Broadway, though! Usually at high schools). I have stacks and stacks of organ and piano music.

The ninth bookcase has fiction. I used to save all the fiction I bought, but now I pass it on unless it’s such a treasure I know I’ll reread it. I have a lot of historical fiction set in ancient Rome and Greece. My first several books were historical fiction in ancient Rome. Nobody ever wanted to publish them, and I think I’m lucky that happened, because I fell into writing suspense for Young Adults, the best place anybody could ever be.

I love to buy books. It’s always my special treat. If I finish a really difficult chapter or a really annoying chore – or if I just finish dinner – it’s time to go to the bookstore. I love to buy on line too; I get a lot of mysteries from a bookstore I access on line. But it’s so much more rewarding to touch the books, and leaf through them, and have the heady experience of staring at all those titles and yearning to read every one, and having to settle for only a few.

Of course I’m at the library constantly. So often I find a book at the library and decide that whether or not I read the library edition, I have to own this book, too. That happened last year with a book called Making Haste from Babylon, by Nick Bunker, a history of the Pilgrims so riveting it started me on my next book – the amazing incomparable adventures of the children who will eventually sail on the Mayflower.

If you’re like me and you love the Janie series, click here to read a post the author wrote for us last spring about the history of the books.  And if you leave a comment below we’ll enter your name into a raffle to win a complete set of the series.  Thanks to Caroline Cooney for joining us today! 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2013 9:33 am

    I’ve heard of The Face on the Milk Carton but haven’t read any of this series. It sure does sound good, though. I’m hoping Caroline Cooney will come to Fiction Addiction in Greenville since she lives in South Carolina now!

  2. January 4, 2013 1:49 pm

    I adore all of the Janie books and I’m thrilled to pieces that you’ve written a new one, Caroline! Can’t wait to read it. And I recommend your books all the time — just recommended What Child is This in December.

    My bookshelves are predominantly filled with fiction. How wonderful that you still buy books instead of e-books.

  3. Genevieve permalink
    January 4, 2013 10:23 pm

    I love Caroline B Cooney’s books! I read so many of them between the ages of 11 and 17. It’s crazy to think that there’s another Janie book coming out, I remember when What Janie Found came out!

  4. bn100 permalink
    January 5, 2013 12:21 am

    Very nice post. The book sounds intriguing.

  5. January 6, 2013 7:09 pm

    Always fun to get a glimpse into what books authors have on their shelves 🙂 And Caroline’s books sound fascinating. I’ll be adding the titles to my to-read list…

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