Monday, August 07, 2006

The Bookish Meme

Morgan tapped me for a book meme, and just so you don't think it's all cute ice skaters and reality tv in my world, here goes:

1. One book you have read more than once:
There are plenty of these. I'm a hoarder when it comes to books, and one of the reasons is that I love to go back and re-read them. I'd have to say that probably 75% of all my books I have read more than once. So I'll pick a book that I've read lots of times.

It's not Literary. It's not high brow. It's almost a little embarassing to admit. It's a detective novel about a New York wiccan amateur detective called "Speak Daggers To Her" by Rosemary Edgehill. It's fun, the dialogue is full of some great one-liners and snaps along at a cracking pace, and the characters are quirky and enjoyable. Sort of Beach Reading. I've read the sequel "Book of Moons" a bunch of times also.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:
Something escapist. Something long. Something involving. Something that would stand up to lots of re-reading. I think I'd have to opt for the 3 books in 1 combined edition of "The Lord Of The Rings" by Tolkein. Predictable?

Either that or "How To Survive A Desert Island (& Ensure Rescue) For Dummies".

3. One book that made you laugh:
Hard to pick just one, but I'll go for "Good Omens: The Nice & Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Again with the witches! Cackle-out-loud funny. Early reading of all the Hitchhiker's books produced a similar effect, but "Good Omens" stands out as a very funny book.

4. One book that made you cry:
By now you all know that I'm a weeper, right? I mean, I cry during Oprah and Opera for chrissakes. So there are a number of books that have turned on the waterworks. I would have to agree with Morgan about Tim Conigrave’s autobiography "Holding the Man". So very sad! As I said, there are others. I'll update this if a better example comes to mind.

5. One book you wish you had written:
In terms of Filthy Lucre, I'd say whatever is topping the Best Seller list. A Harry Potter book or two would be nice. Ka-ching! In terms of books I like, books I admire and wish I had the skill to write, "Wicked" be Gregory Maguire. Dark, gothic, full of 'magical realism' (to use an over-used term), and a book that taps into my love for all things "The Wizard of Oz". Plus a fabulous read. Oh, and witches again. I never realised it until now, but there's a trend...

6. One book you wish had never been written:
I can't actually answer this because I believe in the freedom of speech of authors to write what they want. I can tell you one book I started, against my original intention and better judgement, for the lame reason that it was a gift and I felt like I 'should' at least try it, and then promptly threw across the room. "American Psycho" by Bret Easton Ellis. Some people love this book. Many words have been about the Literary Merit of it. It's shit, IMHO.

7. One book you are currently reading
"The Neutronium Alchemist" by Peter F Hamilton. A huge and far ranging SF novel, the middle book of a trilogy, and a cracking good read.

8. One book you have been meaning to read:
Just one? Um, they are legion. Any of the original Wizard of Oz universe novels by L Frank Baum jump to mind. Or maybe Tab Hunter's recent biography. That and just about any title on a list of Classics. You know, Worthy Reads. That sort of thing. Books that aren't Beach Reading, or SF, or Fantasy...

9. One Book That Changed Your Life
A little hardback book of collected sayings and thoughts by HH the Dalai Lama called "Ocean of Wisdom". (The name "Dalai Lama" can actually be translated as Ocean of Wisdom.) It was the first Dharma book I ever read and my first introduction to some of the thoughts that are core to Buddhism. I still remember sitting on a train reading it and it was like an epiphany. It was my Aha! Moment.

10. Now tag five people:
I don't like to tag people, but I would invite anyone who is interested to play. Either give me your results in the comments, or leave a comment with the tag to your entry if you have a blog.


morgan said...

Lots of witches... a definite theme.

A better link for the Peter F Hamilton book might be the Wikipedia entry for the trilogy or the official website.

btw, I mistook horder for whoreder, but I think you mean hoarder :P

The Other Andrew said...

Gah. One one hand - thanks for corrections. On the other hand - Hello, Mr Critical!


Sunshine said...

I was gonna do this meme but when I realise all my answers would be Harry Potter, I gave up. :P

Therin of Andor said...

Cool meme, Andrew and Morgan!

I've added my answers here.

Ur-spo said...

Reading is one of my favorite pasttimes -maybe my all time favorite thing to do.
I would be glad to do your MEME.
Given the week ahead of me, I will have to do it later this week; gives me time to think too.
I very much enjoyed your responses-I want to read some of those you mentioned.

Michael said...

Ooooooh, as I think we've already discussed, I'm MAD for Good Omens. I read that on a skiing trip and then tried to pass it on to my friend. He said, "Dude, you've read me all the funny parts." Yeah, I'm THAT guy. But he was wrong. I only read him about half the funny parts. Run, don't walk, to your local bookseller if you haven't read this one yet, y'all. After you finish that, if you're still in the mood for something really funny, pick up Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Thank me later.

yaniboy said...

Here's my go...

And I gotta say that I actually didn't like Good Omens as much as I like the rest of Pratchett's work (particularly the Death and Witches stuff)... it was good... but not up there for me...

And I also have to disagree with you about American Psycho Andrew (which unintentially now sounds like a really twisted action figure)... I won't say I "enjoyed" the book... but I was very much drawn in by in and couldn't put it down... I curious as to the point in the story that it actually got hurled across the room though...

The Other Andrew said...

My brother from a different mother. We have the same taste in so many things, yes?

Yaniboy, I had a LOT of problems with "American Psycho", which I suspected I would. But I am that guy who hates gory and/or violent films, so right off the bat that told me it wasn't going to be for me. That level of graphic violence, and CREATIVELY graphic at that, I found utterly repulsive. People have argued that the violence was a tool, a device to show his alienation from societal norms... blah de blah... all I can say is, it's not for me. I don't want those images in my head.

luscious loulou said...

Just found this re Wizard of Oz: " orgies, drunken behaviour and general dwarf debauchery"... all part of a new play in Dublin by Irvine Welsh, the Trainspotting guy.

"Irvine Welsh's new play Babylon Heights, which has its European premiere in Dublin this week, portrays the backstage lives of the dwarves who played the Munchkins in the legendary Judy Garland film."

Both cool and timely, eh? :P

yaniboy said...

Of course, the fact that there were no drunken orgies between the little people backstage at the Wizard of Oz should never get in the way of a good story...

Jodie Sorrell said...

Look the Wizard of Oz, but it doesn't make my Readie Meme:

Love your work TOA!

Jodie Sorrell said...

I've just read that back again and it's 'spose to be;
Love the wizard of Oz!

Edna Wilt said...

My answers can be found here:

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ahhhh books I love and reread all the time - The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. I would take them to the island, too. and I wish I had written them.

*love* Good Omens! Coz and Ob lent me that. surprised? man it's so funny. combines the best of Gaiman and Prachett. which is great, because some Gaiman is way too dark for me.

books I wish were never written are the totally crap Thomas Covenant books written by some lame SF bloke. dear god, who recommended them to me? I think it was someone I'm still friends with. a shame, because they deserve a smack. a very big smack. those books are painful in the extreme. I didn't finish the trilogy: I value my life.

I bought Holding the Man when it was first published. I have no idea why, I just did, and I read it and thought it was beautiful. haven't read it since, though.

as I get older I find challenging books harder and harder. books like Lords of the Flies, Animal Farm, 1984 - all books that are really important to read, and I'm glad I've read them. but I don't want to read them again...