12 August 2006

One book

(From Kevin)

One Book:

1. One book that changed my life: Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters. My reasoning is similar to Kevin's if later in practice. I never read much for pleasure as a kid. My mom suggested this book when I was looking for something to read on a plane when I was in or just out of college. I got hooked on reading- it's still my favorite mystery series.

2. One book that I have read more than once: Just one? Most recently, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

3. One book I would want on a deserted island: Maybe Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I enjoyed it the first time around, and I know it would take me a while to get through.

4. One book that made me laugh: Most any of the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters.

5. One book that made me cry: There must be at least one but none are coming to mind. There are books I found upsetting (like Blindness by Jose Saramago), but I'm not likely to pick grief-inducing stories generally. I'll go with Hamlet by Shakespeare.

6. One book I wish I'd written: either Yoga for People Who Can't be Bothered to Do it or Out of sheer rage: wrestling with DH Lawrence by Geoff Dyer. If I'd written either, it'd also mean I was rather well traveled.

7. One book I wish had never been written: Billy Budd by Melville came to mind first because I hated it so much, but I think Kevin was onto something when he said Dianetics. Of course, in the ultimate act of blasphemy, I would wipe out all religious texts (I'm sure some are fine, but I'd want to be fair). I think too many people rely on/use them to excuse their own rigidity and intolerance.

8. One book I am currently reading: The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer and The Great Book of Archaeology

9. One book I have been meaning to read: I've been wanting to reread Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere by Michael Kimmelman because the artists' comments on other people's works made me feel better about my own artistic struggles and it's a really fascinating read.

10. One book I think everyone should read: This crossed my mind when I read it, so I'll go with: Exterminate all the Brutes by Sven Lindqvist, translated from the Swedish by Joan Tate. It should be an accompaniment to Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Steal if you like!

One year ago at TTaT: mogh*go's
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  1. Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with D.H. Lawrence?!? Never heard of it. I will have to check it out as Lawrence wrote my favorite short story of all time ("The Rocking-Horse Winner" for anyone keeping score)

  2. I wouldn't expect you to have. I came across Dyer's books purely by chance at the library when I was in SF.

    Dyer is a Lawrence fan too... he travels to places Lawrence lived around the world for inspiration for his book, but ultimately it's more about his journey.

  3. How weird, I just grabbed a book meme from Matt, and here you are, doing the same thing, only it came from Kevin..

    I'm impressed people have actually read books that've changed their lives..

  4. Scholiast: My life-changing book feels a bit like a cheat since it just got me into reading, but given the bigger picture, it's really quite something.

    I look forward to checking out your answers!

  5. Your thoughts on Billy Budd as a book that shouldn't have been written made me laugh a particularly evil howl here. I feel the same way, having been forced to read it in 11th grade English class. Ugh!

    I'm a mystery freak, and I can't believe I've never read any Elizabeth Peters novels. I must remedy that!

  6. Merujo: You so nailed it. I had to read B.B. in HS too. For the test our teacher inexplicably changed her style completely requiring all this knowledge of and ability to pull up direct quotes. My 66 was one of the highest grades, so she gave the class another shot at it. I suffered through reading the damn book twice! and with especial care the 2nd time. gggrrrr.

    In better thoughts though, do check out E. Peters. Crocodile on the Sandbank is first.

  7. I LOVE Elizabeth Peters. Her Amelia Peabody series just kills me.

  8. They're so good! Her writing entertains me in ways few other authors consistently manage. And it's always good to know there's another Peabody series fan out there.