Monday, October 09, 2006

CC (finally) Answers PG's book meme

PG over at her lovely blog Half the Sins of Mankind tagged me with a book meme awhile ago, but I wasn't paying attention and forgot to answer it. I sometimes do that with blog memes, but I really enjoy answering them, so please feel free to tag me with them.

1. One book that changed your life?
I've peeked around at how other people have answered this question and they seem apologetic about giving a kid's book as an answer, but for most of us, our thinking changes the most obviously in childhood. One of the formative books of my childhood was Mr. Revere and I, a story about Paul Revere from the perspective of his horse. The horse starts out a loyalist, but by the end of the book has become a patriot. I recall still having a basic little kid black and white mindset when I started the book and genuinely seeing the world as a more complex place when I finished it.

2. One book you have read more than once?
Well, I go through Roberton Davies' novels about once a year. (OK, not Murther and the Walking Spirits, but everything else.)

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
My wedding album, though it would depress me somewhat. Failing that, the Beekeeper's Apprentice because Sherlock reminds me of theCSO.

4. One book that made you laugh? Richard Russo's Straight Man though I have leant it to many people and never found anyone who liked it as much as I did. It's a novel about academia that very much matches my perception of what academic departments are like.

5. One book that made you cry?
Y'all know this is hard for me to admit, but Anne Lamott has a book called Operating Instructions that made me bawl when I was about seventeen. If Lamott wasn't basically a talented writer, she wouldn't piss me off so much. Operating Instructions is a journal of her pregnancy and thr birth and babyhood of her son Sam. The twist is that her best friend is dying of cancer. As the baby becomes more independent and more a person, the friend is becoming less so. Trust me, you'd cry.

6. One book you wish had been written?
I was working on a combination spy novel/coming of age story when I was in college that wasn't half bad. Never finished it, though.

7. One book you wish had never been written?
That's a hard question. Nora Ephron's Heartburn, a thinly disguised tell-all about the breakup of her marriage to Karl Bernstein, really shouldn't have been written. Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird gave me some writing advice that really was the worst advice in the world to give me as a writer and derailed my fiction writing hobby completely for about ten years. Pretty much everything Stephen King has written since Carrie is crap.
The Bell Curve would be a contender if anybody took it seriously.

But I have to agree with PG that all of that pretty much pales in comparision to the actual damange caused by by The Protocols Of The Meetings of the Learned Elders Of Zion. So ultimately, I have to go with that.

8. One book you are currently reading?

Poisons: From Hemlock to Botox and the Killer Bean of Calabar
PG's fault for asking. (My next novel is a mystery.)

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Zadie Smith's White Teeth has been on my shelf forever.

OK, five people to pass this on to?

Clyde at A People So Bold

Miss Kitty at Ms. Kitty's Saloon and Road Show

Laurie R. King at at Mutterings

Fausto at The Socinian

Jason at The Wild Hunt

My own beloved blogmates TheCSO and Linguistfriend have this meme by association and are invited to answer.



Obijuan said...

re: The Protocols . . .. Check out Will Eisner's graphic novel The Plot for a really well done history of the hoax.

indrax said...

I just read The Protocols last night. I'm still digesting it, but I'd say it's not as disturbing as the Turner Diaries.

Chalicechick said...

No, the protocols aren't as disturbing as the Turner Diaries, but the Turner diaries are only really taken seriously by nutcases.

In some Arab countries, they still teach from Protocols in the schools.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering. I liked Straight Man, but it has that middle-aged man's obsession with sexy young women and his own dilapidated body that gets old for me in all the New England adultery fiction (Updike, Roth).

Jason Pitzl-Waters said...

Since I don't usually do the meme-thing on my blog, I'll answer right here in your comments!

1. One book that changed your life?

Man, that is a hard one. I guess if you go back to when I really started taking reading seriously it would have to be either "Bulfinch's Mythology" or "D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths". Both awoke an enchantment with a world that seemed more magical than my life growing up in Omaha, Nebraska.

2. One book you have read more than once?

There are several, but I'll go old-school and say "The Lord of The Rings" trilogy.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

An impossible question! Maybe "The Paganism Reader"?

4. One book that made you laugh?

"Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet.

5. One book that made you cry?

I hate to admit this, but the first time I read "The Mists of Avalon" I cried like a baby. Same thing with the third book in "The Fionavar Tapestry" (for different reasons). I don't know if I could even get through Mists now, but as a teen I was completely hooked.

6. One book you wish had been written?

Not really. I wish more of the elders of modern Paganism had written autobiographies before they died.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

"The Malleus Maleficarum" (The Witch Hammer)

8. One book you are currently reading?

"The Barbarian Conversion: From Paganism to Christianity" by Richard Fletcher

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

I've been meaning to read the Buddhist scriptures at some point.

Anonymous said...

I love Good Omens, I just re-read it a couple of weeks ago. Apparently ice cream in the UK really isn't very good -- an American who just came back after living there for years says,
'In my humble opinion the Brits just don't know how to do ice cream. What
passes for ice cream in the UK are "ice lollies" -- these
push-up-made-at-a-factory-shelf -life-of-who-knows- how- long things.
The Italians on the other hand....'

Then again, my feelings on ice cream are such that I've decided that if I made a movie about the apocalypse drawing nigh, set in NYC, instead of doing what Ayn Rand did and having the electricity grid blink out, I'd show the Mister Softee man realizing he can't do his job anymore and show his van driving off with a trail of melted ice cream left on the black road behind him.

"Mists of Avalon" didn't make me cry, though I can identify the part that would have made me cry if it were going to: when Morgaine realizes that Viviane has betrayed her trust by having her sleep with Arthur. I bawl easily over familial tragedy... Sally Fields in the cemetary at the end of Steel Magnolias totally got me.

But Jason (and others), if there had been no "Malleus Maleficarum," could there have been a "Good Omens"?

Lilylou said...

Goshamighty, CC, thanks for tagging me with the book meme. I'll have to give it some thought. Just got home from a great ministers' retreat and am catching up.