Tagged?!?!???!!!!!!! Books and more books! October 14, 2006Posted by oktyabr in opinions, personal.
Meowkaat tagged me! Now since I know her personally and had my wife close at hand to guide me I was instructed that what I must do to fulfill this bizarre obligation is to fill out a 10 point questionaire. How fun! Anyway, here it goes:
1. One book that changed your life- hardest question first.
Hmmm… Tough decision and I think I would have preferred TEN books that changed your life! I think though, that if I had to pick one (~sigh~) it would be “One” by Richard Bach. This book is tough to categorize and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone looking for any light reading… not that it wouldn’t be ok for that… just that this book had it’s true impact on me at a time in my life when I most needed to read something like it. It’s a book about love, soul mates, quantum physics, alternate universes, seaplanes, and a lot more… but read at the right time the important thing it contains is what you might find out about yourself.
2. One Book That You’ve Read More Than Once.
BAHAAAHAHAH! I’ve read a million books more than once, mostly because my memory is thankfully porous enough that I can read a book, not see it for another 10 years and then be halfway through it before I realize that I’ve read it before! So I guess it’s the “just pick one” scenario… Steven King’s The Stand, unabridged. In my opinion possibly his best work ever although it’s really hard to mention this book without giving a nod to the equally excellent Swan’s Song by R0bert McCammon which is of similar scope and premise… in fact, usually when I re-read one of them I follow it with the other.
3. One Book That You’d Want On A Desert Island.
Ok, taken literally it would probably be the Wilderness Survivors Guide: or similar but I don’t think that’s quite what this question was posted for… For keeping my brain actively engaged with literary material I would have to say The Golden Bough by James George Frazer (paperback, abridged).
Whether or not his writings can be taken at face value is besides the point. He writes in a way that really sucks you in… makes you think about what you are reading… and being something like 880 pages doesn’t hurt either! I’ll let this excerpt from a review sum it up:
” Frazer’s The Golden Bough is one of the great books of our culture written by one of the great scholars of our time. To read it is to share in the adventure of mankind’s cultural odyssey, and to undergo an enlargement in one’s own sympathy and understanding for one’s fellow beings….It is a book to be read and re-read.”
— Professor M. F. Ashley Montagu
4. One Book That Made You Laugh.
Easy! While I’ve read many books that made me laugh one author in particular beat down the rest in my mind to be the feature of this answer… Douglas Adams (R.I.P.) If you’ve never read any of Adam’s work before then you are *required* to start at the beginning… The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Adams was a genius at writing entertaining books that could be enjoyed by all but like peeling an onion there are actually many layers to his works and this particular series contains a suprising amount of quantum mechanics, superluminal theory, cosmology, philosophy and more, all wrapped sweetly in memorable characters and situations like powdered sugar and fresh strawberries on a simple and yet complex french crepe. They are silly, ironic, sci-fi/fantasy written for everyone but perhaps enjoyed best by the closet intellectual that would never admit to enjoying them.
5. One Book That Made You Cry.
Uhhh… To be honest I don’t read things that make me cry. If it seems like it’s aimed in that direction I toss it at my wife and find something else. Of books that I remember having that sort of impact on my emotions Sophie’s Choice by William Styron floats from the darkness to the top of my memory.
6. One Book That You Wish You Had Written.
Wow. That has GOT to be a tough question for anyone that reads a lot. Ok, here goes… Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. I positively adore Carl Sagan (R.I.P.) and have read pretty much everything he’s ever written, most of them many, many times over. No one in literary history has had such a firm grasp of what it takes to make a “hard science” subject matter easily digestable to the common layman. Pale Blue Dot is exceptional, even in Carl’s works, for providing an illuminated path for us to follow… where we should be going and most importantly, why. In my opinion this book should be required reading for all high school seniors.
7. One Book You Wish Had Never Been Written.
Blah! If I’m not hooked by the end of the first page I stuff the book back on the shelf. If I read it it HAS to be good or at least entertaining. I’m sure I could list many books of a political nature but that would just be filler. I have no honest answer to this question.
8. One Book That You Are Reading Right Now.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This is contemporary fantasy and Mr. Gaiman has carved out a unique niche for himself. You won’t find any elves or dragons in this book but you might find a leprechaun and who knows what else (I’m not done reading it yet!) I got hooked on Mr. Gaiman’s writing after reading the truly excellent Neverwhere, which like American Gods has a certain surrealistic “Alice in Wonderland for the 21st century” feel about it. I would most compare him to a cross between Clive Barker and my top nominee for “First Lady of Modern Fantasy” (yeah, she is THAT good), my beloved Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
9. One Book That You Have Been Meaning To Read.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare No, really! There is a reason this sort of literature is considered “classic” you know! 😛 Besides, I’ve had a hardbound collection, vintage 1955, from Yale University Press in my collection for decades now and while I have read a few of the volumes, one or two more than once, I have yet to lock myself up during a particularly wintery week and see how far I can get through the entire collection. 😉
10. Tag five others that you would like to do this meme.
You know what? I don’t really *know* five others that #1 blog, and #2 haven’t already done it! So guess what…
If YOU have read through this entire post and have not already done this “meme” then YOU get to be one of the lucky five! Simply comment on this post agreeing to your participation and of course, include a link to where we can read your answers! (suckers!) Thanks 😀