Saturday, January 31, 2009

Second Go-Around with the One Book Meme

Thanks to Eva, a book meme. Yea! (Because, you know, I’ve been falling down on my job as The Queen o’ Memes.) I’ve actually already done this one, but (as these things do when buzzing around the blogosphere), a few of the questions have changed, and doing it a second time gives me the chance to choose different books (always a good thing when I’m told I can only choose one).

One book you’re currently reading: In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent. (now halfway through it and still loving every word – even the slightly violent bits. Definitely a contemporary classic).

One book that changed your life: The World According to Garp by John Irving (not sure if it changed it for the better or the worse. That’s what reading that book at age fifteen will do to a girl. If nothing else, it certainly moved me from the world of Seventeen magazine to the world of contemporary adult literature).

One book you’d want on a deserted island: We’ve been over and over this one, right? Since there’s no such thing as The Collected Works of David Sedaris, it will still have to be Don Quixote (I just haven’t changed my mind about that).

One book you’ve read more than once: The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (by the time I was twelve, I’d lost count of how many times I’d read it, and I wanted to live in NYC every. single. time. I read it. You see? My obsession with NY started at a very young age).

One book you’ve never been able to finish: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (I keep thinking I ought to give it another go, but other books keep getting in the way).

One book that made you laugh: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (the first of his I ever read, and I had no idea what to expect. I loved it, so much so that, even though everyone tells me the movie is great, I refuse to watch it).

One book that made you cry: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (I cried at age thirteen and again at age forty-three).

One book you keep rereading: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (oh yes, that’s another one that makes me laugh, and it’s about time for another re-read).

One book you’ve been meaning to read: (it's not easy to choose one from a million and one, but here you go) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (technically, that’s not one book. Oh, and I still haven’t read Les Miserables, which was my answer to this question last time).

One book you believe everyone should read: The Bible (I don’t care what Harold Bloom says about Shakespeare. So, so much literature stems from The Bible, including Shakespeare, and it's a fascinating chronicle of the evolution of law and civilization).

Grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence
“Australian Aborigines became numerate enough to work as stockmen and operate in a money economy within a few years of contact with white men.”

That’s from What Counts: How Every Brain is Hardwired for Math by Brian Butterworth and gives you absolutely no clue what a fascinating and readable book it is. (For this very reason, I’ve never been a big fan of these “pick a random page from the closest book and post sentences from it on your blog” exercises -- despite having done it once. I’d much rather choose my own quotes to give others the flavor of a book.)

Nobody ever actually tags anyone for these things anymore (because they're all too busy tagging each other for things on Facebook, where it's much easier to do so), right ? I'm following the new trend and tagging no one. However, I would love to see how everyone who reads my blog responds to these same queries.


Eva said...

I really need to read A Treet Grows in Brooklynn soon!

Watson Woodworth said...

When I was ten we lived down from a movie theatre and my sister (14) & I snuck into The World According to Garp enough times to memorize it.
Still haven't read the book yet, though.

Rebecca H. said...

There are a number of books here I haven't read, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I Capture the Castle. Maybe I should try them. And the math book sounds great -- I really enjoyed the last math book I read! (The one you lent me, which I still have ...)

litlove said...

I've seen this meme around but I haven't done it yet (oh and I tagged you for a meme on the weekend too, oh blogging Queen). I must read that Elizabeth Enright, as I have an NY fantasy, even though it may never be fulfilled. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I loved the film 'The World According to Garp' since I was a kid and finally read the book a few years ago. It's definitely worth a read, even if you've seen the film. It made me a big John Irving fan.

Anonymous said...

Jeffrey Lent's coming out with a new novel in March -- it's called AFTER YOU'VE GONE, and is a beautiful love story without the violence of some of his earlier books: