...in list form, naturally.
We'll start with...
#5, from We Were Tired of Living in a House, by Liesel Moak Skorpen:
"So we packed our bag with sweaters
and scarlet leaves and gold
and a frog who was a particular friend
and precious stones that caught and held the sun
and seashells singing like the surf."
#4 is from Lucy's very favorite picture book, Christina Katerina & the Box, by Patricia Lee Gauch:
"Christina Katerina liked things:
tin cups and old dresses,
worn-out ties and empty boxes.
Any of those things, but mostly boxes.
bakery boxes with see-through lids,
Best of all she liked big boxes."
#3 hails from The Great Redwall Feast, by Brian Jacques, though to be honest I could have chosen any of his books. Every time he starts listing food, my mouth begins to water:
"'Chop up the chestnuts,
add some more apples,
pass me those damsons, and that meadowcream!'
His high squeaky voice
rises up to the rafters
'mid lovely aromas, and wispy white steam.
"Breads and cheeses,
nuts and salads,
soups and pastries, pies and flans,
tarts and trifles,
cakes and puddings,
ovens, cauldrons, pots and pans.
"Stews and sauces,
jams and junkets,
candied fruits and honey sweets.
festive fare and banquet treats."
Now we arrive at #2, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J. K. Rowling:
"Hagrid wouldn't let Harry buy a solid gold cauldron, either ('It says pewter on yer list'), but they got a nice set of scales for weighing potion ingredients and a collapsible brass telescope. Then they visited the Apothecary, which was fascinating enough to make up for its horrible smell, a mixture of bad eggs and rotted cabbages. Barrels of slimy stuff stood on the floor; jars of herbs, dried roots, and bright powders lined the walls; bundles of feathers, strings of fangs, and snarled claws hung from the ceiling. While Hagrid asked the man behind the counter for a supply of some basic potion ingredients for Harry, Harry himself examined silver unicorn horns at twenty-one Galleons each and miniscule, glittery-black beetle eyes (five Knuts a scoop)."
Lastly, the master of list-making comes in at #1: T. H. White, with this [long but brilliant] selection from The Once and Future King:
"There was a real corkindrill hanging from the rafters, very lifelike and horrible with glass eyes and scaly tail stretched out behind it. When its master came into the room it winked one eye in salutation, although it was stuffed. There were thousands of brown books in leather bindings, some chained to the bookshelves and others propped against each other as if they had had too much to drink and did not really trust themselves. These gave out a smell of must and solid brownness which was most secure. Then there were stuffed birds, poppinjays, and maggot-pies and kingfishers, and peacocks with all their feathers but two, and tiny birds like beetles, and a reputed pheonix which smelt of incense and cinnamon. It could not have been a real pheonix, because there is only one of those at a time. Over by the mantelpiece there was a fox's mask, with GRAFTON, BUCKINGHAM TO DAVENTRY, 2 HRS 20 MINS written under it, and also a forty-pound salmon with AWE, 43 MIN., BULLDOG written under it, and a very life-like basilisk with CROWHURST OTTER HOUNDS in Roman print. There were several boars' tusks and the claws of tigers and libbards mounted in symmetrical patterns, and a big head of Ovis Poli, six live grass snakes in a kind of aquarium, some nests of the solitary wasp nicely set up in a glass cylinder, an ordinary beehive whose inhabitants went in and out of the window unmolested, two young hedgehogs in cotton wool, a pair of badgers which immediately began to cry Yik-Yik-Yik-Yik in loud voices as soon as the magician appeared, twenty boxes which contained stick caterpillars and sixths of the puss-moth, and even an oleander that was worth sixpence--all feeding on the appropriate leaves--a guncase with all sorts of weapons which would not be invented for half a thousand years, a rod-box ditto, a chest of drawers full of salmon flies which had been tied by Merlyn himself, and another chest whose drawers were labelled Mandragora, Mandrake, Old Man's Beard, etc., a bunch of turkey feathers and goose-quills for making pens, an astrolabe, twelve pairs of boots, a dozen purse-nets, three dozen rabbit wires, twelve corkscrews, some ants' nests between two glass plates, ink bottles of every possible color from red to violet, darning needles, a gold medal for being the best scholar at Winchester, four or five recorders, a nest of field mice all alive-o, two skulls, plenty of cut glass, Ventian glass, Bristol glass and a bottle of Mastic varnish, some satsuma china and some cloisonne, the fourteenth edition of the Encylopaedia Brittanica (marred as it was by the sensationalism of the popular plates), two paint-boxes, three globes of the known geographical world, a few fossils, the stuffed head of a cameleopard, six pismires, some glass retorts with cauldrons, bunsen burners, etc., and a complete set of cigarette cards depicting wild fowl by Peter Scott."
Besides the fact that I just love making lists, I bring this up because lists are something that can make or break a book for me. If you can make your lists interesting (funny, beautiful, insightful, etc.) I will love them. If they are dull I will skip over them. If I have to skip over too many...I'll stop reading.
So how do you feel about lists? Any favorites you'd add?