About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Nutbuk has tagged me to do a book meme, something new to me. Since the camera refuses to work at the moment and a photo of the yard might be too depressing to take, let alone post, let's stay in the airconditioning. Here are the questions:

1] One book that changed your life?

2] One book that you have read more than once?

3] One book you would want on a desert island?

4] One book that made you laugh?

5] One book that made you cry?

6] One book you wish had been written?

7] One book you wish had never been written?

8] One book you are currently reading?

9] One book you have been meaning to read

10] Tag 5 people to do the meme.

1] One book that changed your life? Hawaii, by James Michener. Although it might not be mind-expanding for a current high school sophomore, in my long-ago teenage life, this book arrived like an explosion. I was fascinated by the ideas of evolution and the birth of an island, by scientists who could not only trace the migrations of people across time and oceans but also track subsequent changes in their language. Michener touched on genealogy, real estate, geology, economics, leprosy, history and agriculture, introduced wonderful characters of other races, other religions, who ate unusual and followed different customs; he taught me what the word tsunami meant, and showed wars from other vantage points than that of old movies or the history books at school. I wanted to learn more about all these things, so I had to get more books and keep reading.

2] One book that you have read more than once? Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein, that beloved old curmudgeon. His writing reflects many of the sexist attitudes of his generation, while still letting women be heroes, and he has a deadly eye for the foibles of mankind. Plus there’s always some sex in the later Heinlein books. "Anne the Fair Witness" makes her first literary appearance in this book. She is one of the many Annes for whom Annie in Austin is named.

3] One book you would want on a desert island? Although a good answer is the Bible, at my age a large-type, annotated Collected Shakespeare might work better and weigh a little less. Logically, it should be something like A Guide to Poisonous Plants on Desert Islands. Thank goodness I no longer need to bring Do It Yourself Obstetrics!

4] One book that made you laugh? Crocodile on the Sandbank. This is one entry from the long and romantically comical archeological detective series starring Amelia Peabody and written by Elizabeth Peters. This is very arch, pseudo-British humor. You've been warned!

5] One book that made you cry? Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. Buckets. Absolute buckets.

6] One book you wish had been written? A final chapter to the Brother Cadfael series. I’d like it to have been written by Ellis Peters while she was in her prime, but saved for publication until after her demise.

7] One book you wish had never been written? How can one undo what has been done? Maybe I’d wish away those books that encouraged home gardeners to use an arsenal of poisonous chemicals for the home garden.

8] One book you are currently reading? A Southern Garden by Elizabeth Lawrence is half-finished in one room, the original Giant by Edna Ferber has been restarted in another room, and just finished is a new collective memoir called Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?, from Chin Music Press.

9] One book you have been meaning to read? My husband has recommended The Future of the Past by Alexander Stille. Newsday is quoted on the cover, “An exhilaratingly panoramic, inescapably poignant snapshot of a world poised in a Janus moment, where technology is both bane and saviour of the past and present.” I promise I’m going to get to it soon!

10] Tag 5 people to do the meme. I’m not sure who reads this blog except those who comment. If anyone does the meme, let me know because I want to see someone else's answers! Carol, RSorrell, Pam/Digging, Blackswamp Girl, Firefly or Zanthan - would you like to take a turn? Christopher, your answers would undoubtedly be fascinating to read. How about it?

Thanks from Annie


  1. Indeed Hawaii can be fascinating! My hubby & i are planning to go to 'Big Island' to svaor what's it like in a real volcanic eruption & see primitive plants in there. Hubby had been there already once & i am really thrilled to go hopefully before the year 06 is out! Thanks for posting your meme, very interesting!

  2. I might give this a try, but it is going to take some time to collect my thoughts (if I am the Carol you are referring to.)

    I will say that I've read all the Brother Cadfael, though it has been awhile since I did so.

  3. I would do this but unfortunately I can't remember much of what I've read over the years. I blame it on reading voraciously and eventually all that info just overflowed my brain! However, your mentioning Hawaii by Michener reminded me that I felt the same way about his book "The Source" which made a huge impression on me back then ('60s?) and which I feel I should re-read in light of all the Middle Eastern events of today. So many books, too little time!

  4. I think I'll pick up the meme over on Words Into Bytes. I absolutely agree with Black Beauty...I cried every time I read the chapter where Ginger dies. I had fun discussing Stranger in a Strange Land with you the other night. Isn't it fun that it influenced us when we were younger and we chose to pick it up again.

  5. Check in with me later. I will do it. I have to agree with oldroses, my mind was never geared to remembering much of what I have read.

  6. I will definitely do it, but like Carol I will need a little time to collect my thoughts... so many books from which to choose! :)

  7. I'll do it too. I'm not usually into these forms of chain letters, but I love books and this will make me think about them in new ways.

    I wish, like M. Sinclair Stevens, I had a separate blog to do the meme---someplace more relevant than a garden blog. Oh well!

  8. Annie, I will have to try Stranger in a Strange Land again, since it's one of your faves. I read it long ago but don't remember much about it.

  9. I'll do it... I'm thinking. Check for my responses in a day or two.

  10. Nutbuk, the Big Island is the only part of Hawaii we've seen. We stayed at Kona when my daughter ran a marathon there. We drove to the Volcano Park where lava flowed, loved the Greenwell Gardens and the Place of Refuge. The coffee and macadamias were pretty fabulous, too! Have fun!

    Carol in Indie - yes, please, I was thinking of you, if you think it would be fun.

    LostRoses, I liked "The Source", too - already married with kids by the time I got around to the paperback. I liked long books when rocking fussy babies.

    Pam and MSS, you wrote wonderful memes on your sites and have added titles to my reading list.

    Christopher, RSorrell and Blackswamp Girl, I'm looking forward to reading your answers if you have the time.

    Isn't it funny that James Michener and his wife Mari ended up living here in Austin in their later years? They're buried in Austin Memorial Park and their donations to the University of Texas were enormous. Philo & I were at the new Blanton Museum of Art last week, where major funding came from the Micheners.

  11. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on my book meme. You and I have several "likes" in common. Giant was a remarkable book and movie -- riproaring entertainment with a lot of hard truth in it.

  12. Oh, Pooks, the movie is tremendous fun, but the book is even more wonderful in some ways. I saw the movie long before I read the book, so can't help but hear Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson and James Dean speak the lines as I read, but the casting department sure ignored Edna Ferber's idea of her characters. Medium-sized & blond for Bick, and a thick-necked James Dean would not have been so smashing on the screen, would they?


  13. So did you already know that Chin Music Press is a small publishing firm in Seattle that is run by my former classmate and fellow cheerleader Yuko Enomoto and her husband? I have not had a chance to read any of their publications, but maybe I can borrow "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?" next time I am in town.....
    Your DIL


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.