Lazy Luddite Log

10.10.06

Book 'em Danno

I have been 'tagged' by friend Bowie to undertake a new internet meme. Regular visitors to this site may know that I am something of a meme skeptic but this meme seems pretty harmless so what the heck. It asks me the following:

One book that changed your life: Lord Of The Rings by J R R Tolkien played an importannt role in turning me into a fantasy fan and setting the course for much of my life following that. I had it lent to me by my school librarian at the age of 12 and she decided to overlook standard borrowing rules and told me to just bring it back once it was finished. From there came an interest in everything from more fantasy tales to drawing fictional maps to writing poetry.

One book you've read more than once: Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan is one book I have returned to on a few ocassions. I could also list it as 'One book you've read that made you think' and maybe such a catagory needs to be added to this meme. Reading non-fiction can be as rewarding as fiction.

One book you would want on a desert island: Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams in my five-in-one volume would help keep me amused and sane if I was stuck on a deserted island. I would also want to have my towel with me...

One book that made you laugh and cry: The History Of Love by Nicole Krauss was something of a departure for me in that it is contemporary fiction rather than the speculative fiction I am more in the habit of reading. It is a difficult story to describe as it follows the life of an elderly man who in his youth wrote a manuscript which, unbeknownst to him, was subsequently published, and also follows the life of a teenaged girl who was named for the central character of that manuscript. It made me both laugh and cry which is why I am combining those two questions into this one. This is a pretty accurate review of it.

One book you wish you had written: Well all the Harry Potter books of course! Think of all that lovely income that J K Rowling is getting. Of course in "wishing" I had written it I would also wish for all the skill and self-discipline involved in an undertaking like that.

One book you wish had never been written: Cannot think of anything in particular. I am sure I could compile a list of 'repugnant texts' and most of them would be political or religious texts but I would just as soon have them exist so that they can be repudiated.

One book you are currently reading: I am part way into Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray but I have somehow stalled on it recently. In another mood I may well get into it but just now I am wanting something with more modern expression and with that in mind I have borrowed the Discworld novel Thud! by Terry Pratchett just to tide me over till I can get back in the mood for the other. I have never totally got into the whole Discworld cult but I do enjoy (in particular) the novels involving the Night Watch so this one should be fun.

One book you've been meaning to read: Oroonoko or any other novel or play by Aphra Behn.

I have discussed some of these books in this old commentary post.

I am supposed to "tag five people" but rather will just ask anyone who feels like it to publish this meme themselves. Try adding my question of 'One book that made you think'.

With all this talk of books I have an admission to make: I only ocassionally read books. I have lots of friends who have one or more books on the go at any one time. They read while walking the street. They read while cleaning their teeth. They read in the toilet. I have somehow never established and maintained the habit of always reading. But I find that knowing avid readers makes it seem like I am one of them. The other day someone I was with referred to Ray Bradbury, whom I have never read, but I quickly asked "is he the one who wrote Martian Chronicles" and was right, and only because I have hung with bookworms so much of my life.

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2 Comments:

  • On books that one would wish were never written, I think "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" would deserve a place. It is an anti-semitic tract, written about 100 years ago, and despite being pretty comprehensively debunked within five years of its writing (it was shown to have been based on scenes from several fictional books) it still holds great currency in the Middle East.

    By Anonymous Conrad, At 02 November, 2006  

  • Well yes that text is particularly repugnant. And rather than just say awful things it attributes those words to a marginalised and victimised group and has done so to devastating effect. I have a hunch however that groups like the fascists (whether religious or secular) who use it as a justification to persecute Jews would always find some excuse.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 18 November, 2006  

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