Thursday, August 03, 2006

Books II

(Apologies to those friends and family members who already got my email about this. You can ignore this post).

Okay, The Hobgoblin thinks he was the last person tagged for this meme, but he was wrong. I’ve been unofficially “tagged” and thought it would be a good thing to save for a day that I’m feeling lazy. Didn’t know that day would come so soon, but that’s what this heat will do to a person, I suppose.

My biggest question when I first thought about this was, "Only one?” However, it’s an improvement over the single desert island question that people have been asking all my life, so I should quit whining. I was also thinking it would be fun to do this with movies and plays, too, but then what happens when you get to the desert island question? I’m assuming you can’t bring your movie screen and projector on the island with you (even if you have a generator to run the projector), and then if it’s been deserted forever, I doubt you’d have too many people for a cast, let alone auditions and call-backs (well, if you didn’t end up on this desert island due to a Princess Cruise wreck or something). So, books really are the best medium for this. Even art doesn’t work. How do you carry the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel onto a desert island? (As you can see, that desert island question is just a nuisance no matter how you look at it. I vote we get rid of it). Thus, these are my choices.

1. One book that changed your life.
Native Son. In about a million different ways.

2. One book that you've read more than once.
Three Men in a Boat. At this point, I’ve lost count.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island.
It used to be the Bible, but Leviticus and Numbers would get awfully tiresome after about the 2nd read (although I suppose I could just skip them and read Song of Solomon and Revelations twice as many times or something). So now it’s Don Quixote. Everything I’d ever want in a book all rolled up into one tidy little package.

4. One book that made you laugh.
I wonder if it counts to say everything David Sedaris ever wrote when it’s one day all compiled into one big treasury. If not, I’ll just say Me Talk Pretty One Day, since it was the first one I ever read.

5. One book that made you cry.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray. Buckets.

6. One book that you wish had been written.
Something else by Harper Lee.

7. One book that you wish had never been written.
The Davinci Code. I think that’s self-explanatory.

8. One book you're currently reading.
Wild Swans. Absolutely fascinating.

9. One book you've been meaning to read.
Les Miserables. I keep picking it up and putting it back down.

10. Now tag five people.
I’m only tagging three: Sarah (who needs to give me her URL), Jess (who needs to create her URL), and Danny. And then I’m going to do what everyone else has done and tell you that if you’re reading this and haven’t done it yet, consider yourself tagged.


Rebecca H. said...

I really, really need to read Don Quixote!

Emily Barton said...

Oh yes. I actually toyed with the idea of putting it under most of the categories (changed my life, made me laugh, made me cry, desert island), but that wouldn't have been as much fun.

Anonymous said...

ryc: I know! I actually found myself in the middle of a Barnes & Noble actually-- no joke-- telling a book to f*** off because it scared me so bad.

Enjoyed your answers!

Anonymous said...

okay, I'm going to do this tomorrow! More soon...

Emily Barton said...

Jordan, well, that's a good way to get stares at B & N. And, Courtney, looking forward to seeing your choices.

Anonymous said...

Agreed! I own that new translation of Don Q, read the first few episodes, liked it and then put it down and never picked it back up. Emily, this is a fabulous list -- I think the best thing about this exercise is how much it inspires you to go out and read other things.

Emily Barton said...

Bloglily, I agree with how it inspires you to go out and read other things (not that I really need inspiration. That's kind of like talking about a baby needing inspiration to drink her mother's milk). It's also interesting to see where there's overlap. Apparently, David Sedaris makes a lot of people laugh.

litlove said...

Aw, I was just about to tag you, and you've already been tagged! Love your answers though. And yes, Don Quixote, a book I've never really considered before... I was put off by a sister-in-law who bought it because she was going on holiday and wanted the biggest paperback she could find for the least expenditure. It looked so ugly and unloved. Still, you're in the process of rehabilitating it for me!

Emily Barton said...

Just to let you know: it took me ages to get around to reading DON QUIXOTE, too. I was turned off by the way it was taught in introductory Spanish courses (basically, nothing but that damn windmill scene, which makes no sense to a thirteen-year-old when taken out of context). I was inspired a few years ago after seeing "Man of La Mancha" on Broadway, borrowed it from a friend, couldn't stop laughing/crying/marveling and went around annoying everyone I know by talking about its being the best book ever.

mandarine said...

My Mum told me that if I wanted to make it through Victor Hugo's monumental novels, it was all right to skip, skip and skip -- she should know: she teaches French literature. Lengthy descriptions and historical context are fine for a re-read, but they tend to get in the way for a first attempt.

I hope you can manage to read Les Misérables. Equally engrossing and much shorter are The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Ninety-Three. And remember: skip.

Emily Barton said...

Mandarine, I will keep that in mind as I approach The Hunchback of Notre Dame later this year.