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Books Forever

Updated on March 15, 2015

Celebrating Books Forever

Through this lens, I want to celebrate books. I believe we all have at least one favorite book, one old friend. As adults, I believe we should have the right to read what we want. I do not believe in banding books. I do believe it is the parent's responsibility to see that their children read appropriate books for their age group.

I want to remind folks that books continue to be banned in the United States. When they take away how we think, what we read, what we say, we are but empty shells. Our ability to freely choose what we read is being diminished along with what we think and what we say. We are losing our freedom, and we must speak out!

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Rod Mc Kuen - One of a Kind.


Rod McKuen was born in Oakland California at the tail end of the depression. At eleven, he left home to work at jobs that took him throughout the western United States as Rodman on a surveying unit, cowhand, lumberjack, ditch digger, railroad worker, and finally rodeo cowboy. His first attention as a poet came in the early fifties when he read with Kerouac and Ginsburg at San Francisco's Jazz Cellar.

He served 2 years as an infantryman in Korea and returned as a singer of folksongs and eventually his own material at San Francisco's Purple Onion. Before becoming a best-selling author and songwriter in the 1960s, McKuen had been a contract player at Universal studios and a vocalist with Lionel Hampton's band amassing a considerable following as a recording artist and nightclub performer.

McKuen is past president of The National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse and came out publicly in his 1977 best selling book FINDING MY FATHER about his own abuse at the hands of a sadistic stepfather. Born in a Salvation Army hospital and not knowing the identity of his father, FINDING MY FATHER, one of the poets few work of prose, begins with the line "Having been born a bastard gave me an advantage over all those people who spend their entire lives becoming one. It's nice to have a head start."


A Safe Place to Land

Stanyan House

NOTE: Rod is still going strong. Check out his upcoming concerts

Remember who is fighting for your freedom!

Great Books by Rod McKuen

Lots of poetry and a biography: Finding My Father. Seven books total.

Banned Books Are Dangerous!


Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting an Establishment of Religion, or Prohibiting the Free Exercise Thereof; or Abridging the Freedom of Speech, or of the Press; or the Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble, and To Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances." - First Amendment

Banned Book Week!

The Story of the Birth of Union 76

Call me old fashion.....I love the Union '76 Ball!

Union 76 is a chain of gas stations located within the United States. The Union 76 brand is currently owned by ConocoPhillips. Union Oil Company of California, dba Unocal, the original owner and creator of the Union 76 brand merged with Chevron Corporation in 2005.

Lyman Stewart (1840-1923) was the president of Union Oil Company and one of the co-founders of Biola University. Stewart was the financial founder of Biola from its beginnings as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in 1908. Lyman Stewart was an intensely religious man, sometimes reproving his drillers for profanity. It took no time at all for their sublease in Dewitt Canyon, just east of Pico Canyon, to become known as "Christian Hill." THIS IS A WONDERFUL HISTORY OF THE STORY OF OIL -The Fabulous Life and times of the Union Oil Company of California. Also, when in Southern California, visit: Union Oil Museum

The House That Jack Built


My son loved this story when he was a young boy and could resite it!

And a excerp from "The House That Jack Built"

"This is the priest all shaven and shorn,

That married the man all tattered and torn,

That kissed the maiden all forlorn,

That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,

That tossed the dog,

That worried the cat,

That killed the rat,

That ate the malt

That lay in the house that Jack built."

Another Take on The House That Jack Built! - Another House of a Difference Story!

THE YEARLING - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Genre(s) Young adult novel

Publication date 1938

Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)

Pages 416 (Mass Market Paperback)


The Yearling is a 1938 novel written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1939.

A story about a young boy, living in the Florida backwoods befriends an orphan fawn. The fawn, who the boy, Jody, names Flag becomes his constant companion as years progress. The story revolves around the life of Jody as he grows to adolescence along with the fawn, experiences the rough life of a farmer and hunter, and those decisions require of him as he faces maturity.

Will Rogers and Cousin Spi

Where am de winders?

A funny story!

From "My Cousin Will Rogers", while building a cabin..."Then sent for Hayward to bring on his Shingles.

Wellsir, when ole Hayward got there an took a look at our house, he doubled up like he had cramps an started laffin like crazy. If I could write laffin I would show you how it was, but that is another kind of art.

I says, don't laff like that! You wanter shake our house down? While Will gets kind of indignant an says, What in the world are you laffin at?

Haywards big eyes look like agates in a china saucer full of water as he sputters, I juss...wanter know...where..

But he get all choked up an can't finish.

Will an me stood waitin in disgusted impatience while Hayward pulls out a big red a yellow checked hankerchief an wipes his eyes an blows his nose.


I just wanter know, says Hayward, where am de winders? An he doubles up once again.

Will looks at the house a minutes an he scratches his hair. Then he grins kind of foolish like--I reckon you've seen him do it. Well, he drawls, it does kind of look like we forgot the winders.

Long Live His Glory and Long May His Story Be Told.

Wyatt Earp (1848-1929)

WYATT EARP...By Richard E. Erwin. 1992. Published by OK Press, Carpinteria, CA.

After retiring from his career as a Criminal Defense Lawyer, Erwin set out to find the truth regarding the life and times of Earp. He presents here solid evidence, based on old newspaper accounts, public records, documents buried in museums, state and national archives and libraries and reports of other researchers, to substantiate his view of what he believes to be The Truth About Wyatt Earp.

Author and Attorney: Erwin spent more than 45 years as a Criminal Defense Lawyer. Erwin argued this Ventura County capital case, People vs. Rockwell, before the state Supreme Court. In 1976, the justices ruled state's death penalty law was unconstitutional affecting the lives of many on death row.

Here Erwin presents solid evidence through research of documentation, museums, archives, what he believes to be the truth regarding his subject, Wyatt Earp.

A Sub-treasury of American Humor.


Great reads by: Marjorie Rawlings, Sinclair Lewis, Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker, E.B. White, Washington Irving, Clarene Day, e.e. cummings, Benjamin Franklin, Ogden Nash, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Vincent Benet and William Saroyan.

Yes, this is the same White, well known for children's books: White also published STUART LITTLE (1945), depicted an independent and adventurous child, the size of mouse, who is born into a human family. After various adventures Stuart goes in search of a bird whose life he had previously saved. CHARLOTTE'S WEB (1952) was about the friendship between a young pig, Wilbur, and a spider, Charlotte A. Cavitica. She craftily saves him from the butcher's knife through the message, ''Some Pig'', she weaves in her web - only to die alone. In THE TRUMPET OF THE SWAN (1970) a mute swan learns to trumpet and becomes a celebrity. In these works White explored such themes as loyalty, tolerance, and rural living.

2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions

by Charles Earle Funk

just for fun

To Skin the Cat.

In America, as any country boy knows, this means to hang by the hands from a branch or bar, draw the legs up through the arms and over the branch, and put oneself up into a sitting position. As we must abide by the record, we cannot say positively that the name for this violent small-boy exercise is more than a century old, but it is highly likely that Ben Franklin or earlier American lads had the same name for it. No one got around to putting it into print until 1845. One can't be certain why the operation was called "skinning the cat", but maybe some mother, seeing it for the first time, saw in it some resemblance to the physical operation of removing the pelt from a cat, first from the forelegs and down over the body.

Hook, Line and Sinker!

Due to the gullibility of folks in general who were told fishermen stories about the big one that got away, with not only the hook, but the line and the sinker, this story or phrase stuck. Up and down the states, buying into this phrase, many were joked at as having fallen for the fish tale, "hook, line and sinker." Later, the phrase came to mean in every day talk, anyone who is just plain gullible about anything.

Credit: 2107 Curious Word..Charles Funk


I love references. If you have one that you think I might enjoy, please add it to the Guestbook. THANKS!

New Titles for your Consideration

Dr. Seuss


An American writer and cartoonist, better known by his pen name, Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel published over 48 children's books, which were often characterized by his imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter.

Some of my favorites are: Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and The Foot Book. And, I must quote from Green Eggs and Ham:

"Sam, I am. That Sam-I-am! That Sam-I-am! I do not like that Sam-I-am! Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like green eggs and ham. Would you like them here or there? I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am." Copyright Dr. Seuss 1960


Just for Children

Books Loved by Children of all Ages

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson

The Master Artist by Carol Moore

Wolstencroft the Bear Wolsteincroft the Bear by Karen Lewis - A free read-on-line with illustrations

Crayola Fun Site

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater

Horses by Kulling

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow

I will Surprise my Friend by Mo Williams

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Good Night Sweet Butterflies: A Color Dreamland by Bentley, Cahoon, Gerth

Read Dave Barry for Fun. Laughs. Giggles.

Buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth. Source: Dave Barry Barry in Cyberspace

The Light and the Glory

By Peter Marshall and David Manuel

A historical writings that gives its readers an overview of the development of our nation and examine the theory of God's plan for American.

The authors make their case that America has been afforded a divine destiny. Columbus' view that God was calling him to bear the light of Christ, the Euro-American victory over Metacomet, King Phillip, and the preachers of the Great Awakening are all seen in light of God's plan for His new nation...a new Israel.

At varience with the teachings in many public schools and academic institutions today, the authors present copious amounts of research to support their opinions. Were the Puritans sin-obsessed hypocrites that modern writers depict them? Did they believe they were a new chosen people? And was it God's will for Christians in the Colonies to take up arms against England or was it rebellion? Countering these claims and more, The Light and the Glory presents a uniquely Christian lens through which to view the founding, settling and current state of America.

The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax ...

Alice in Wonderland

"Alice in Wonderland"

Original edition (1865)

Author Charles "Lewis Carroll" Dodgson

Illustrator John Tenniel

Country England

Language English

Genre(s) Children's fiction

Publisher Macmillan

Publication date 1865

A work of literary nonsense written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, considered a classic example of the genre and of English literature in general. It tells the story of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantastic realm populated by peculiar and anthropomorphic creatures.

Credit: Wikipedia

E-bay Wonders

Great gifts for any occasion.

John Steinbeck

One of my all time favorites

John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (February 27, 1902 – December 20, 1968) was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and East of Eden (1952) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). He wrote a total of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, six non-fiction books and five collections of short stories. In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

credit: Wikipedia


My favorites are: Mice and Men, Travels With Charley, Tortilla Flat, The Long Valley, and The Pearl.

The Most Important Thing

Books are our friends. Introduce them to your children. Read to your children. Read yourself. Become informed. Give a book as a gift. Have fun!

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    • Northbright profile image

      Norbert Isles 

      7 years ago from Philippines

      I am a book lover too and like Rod Mc Kuen's poetry.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      7 years ago from Concord VA

      I love books! Lensrolling this with all of my book lenses. :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      I love books too! I always have several waiting for me. Would you believe I am down to my last 3 that I have on hand and haven't read. I really do need to act on that. I don't want to see the day that I don't have a choice of books to read.

    • howdoyouspellst profile image


      8 years ago

      I just love books. They're so special, teach us so much, and can take us anywhere we want to go. Nice lens, thanks!

    • missbat profile image


      8 years ago

      I don't know that I could ever single out just one book as my favorite. I've filled many a bookcase with my "favorites". Great lens!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice thread! 5* and thumbs up on Stumble!

    • GonnaFly profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Wow. Where do I start with favourite books? The Bible is first but after that we have read so many great books (I still read aloud to my children even though they are teenagers now), some that make us laugh (Tom Sawyer - soooo funny) and some that make us (or rather me) cry. Thanks for getting us to participate here. 5*

    • blue22d profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      [in reply to worldbuilder] Thank you for the nice comments. Poetry can bring us up when we are down and I have relied on it many times. I've noticed you have joined Squidoo. I encourage to develop some lenses, things that interest you the most, to start. You will enjoy it and I am waiting to visit.

    • worldbuilder lm profile image

      worldbuilder lm 

      9 years ago

      Being exposed to Rod McKuen gave me a love for poetry that has sustained me for decades. Thanks for highlighting him!

      This is a fantastic lens, job well done!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The House that Jack Built! had not thought of that in many years! Thanks for the memory!

    • allinfoisfree profile image


      9 years ago

      I love books! Thanks! 5 *'s

    • schwarz profile image

      Rae Schwarz 

      10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Although your lens mentions book banning, it's not really about books that have been banned. I'm choosing to decline our lens for the banned book group.

    • recoveringengin profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice lens. Great comments on so many books. I lensrolled this one on my Best Leadership Ever Lens.

    • EelKat13 profile image


      10 years ago

      Banned Books rock! esp Harry Potter and Tailipo, my 8 fave banned books! :)

      Never could figure out why people want to ban books. I mean if they don't like it, will no one's forcing them to read it!

    • Kanga LM profile image

      Kanga LM 

      10 years ago

      Great lens! I have many, many favourite books. I find it difficult to pick just one!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      HI, .. nice.. I did listen to Ken singing.. wow what a voice.. thx for keeping me informed..


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