Friday, August 18, 2006


Da Nator recently hit me with a book-related meme. I wasn't able to get onto it immediately (story of my life, I know, although in this case additional lube wasn't going to help). However, I'm now free as a bird, so I thought I'd give it a bash.

I haven't made a huge amount of effort to stick to the "one book" limitation for each question. I've never been much of a one for favourites. If people ask me what my "favourite" colour is, or my "favourite" piece of music, I can't really answer. I find the idea of favouritism restrictive and not a little childish.

So. Onwards and upwards.

1. One book you have read more than once:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

The Crysalids by John Wyndham

I have to confess, I'm a sucker for re-reading books that I've enjoyed. So, Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, and all of the Harry Potter books have been devoured at least twice each, along with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. In the last year, I've spent a lot of time being apart from my Lovely Husband™ either because he was on the other side of the world, or because I was working away. This has entailed a lot of long, lonely hours, so I bought books, read them and re-read them. Included amongst this list of recent read/re-reads is a series by Kelley Armstrong about supernatural folks living amongst the general populace in a contemporary US/Canada setting, and the first four of Garth Nix's Keys To The Kingdom series.

2. One book you would want on a desert island:

I think it would have to be the Worst Case Scenarios Survival Handbook - Extreme Edition, in those circumstances. Or perhaps one of the various bushcraft or SAS survival manuals. Especially if the latter involved pictures of men in uniform :-)

3. One book that made you laugh:

Misfortune by Wesley Stace - but only a little

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie - quite a bit, although it was obvious why some folks got upset by it; and boy did I ever delight in how Rushdie uses language

Various bits of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle - a lot

4. One book that made you cry:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. There are scenes in there that I can't read without tears pricking my eyes. And some that I simply cannot read aloud with being reduced to a red-eyed quivering mess. I can even (and I know this is true, because I tested it out last week) find this book in a bookshop, read one particular chapter, and end up with tears streaming down my face. Okay, so I'm a big poof. So sue me.

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom. I got almost all the way through this thinking that it wasn't going to get to me, and right at the end, in went the knife, and *twist*. And then came the waterworks.

5. One book you wish you had written:

Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. I have never been so in awe of a piece of writing as I was reading this. Amazing, erudite, witty, clever, funny, well-researched, inventive, delightful, informative, ingenius ... I could go on. I know it was published as three books, but as the author himself noted, he was grateful that he found a publisher willing to bet on his ability to write what was, in effect, a 3000 page novel.

6. One book you wish had never been written:

The Bible. The Qu'ran. The Book Of Mormon. Dianetics.

(Have I missed any of the bad ones?)

Oh, and A Life Of Erwin Schroedinger by Walter J Moore, which has to be the most tedious biography ever committed to print. By the half-way point I was struggling to keep going. Round about two thirds of the way through, I finally snapped and hurled the book against the wall in an effort to distance myself from the sheer tedium of the thing. Schroedinger was an amazing scientist, and his physics was worth recording and commenting on. His life, alas, was not.

7. One book you are currently reading:

The Play Ethic by Pat Kane. A manifesto for a different way of living, brought to you by a former member of Hue & Cry. I only got it yesterday, so I'm only a couple of chapters in and couldn't possibly comment on it yet.

8. One book you have been meaning to read:

The Qu'ran. To get the low-down, and try to understand how much of what we hear is twisted from the original meaning, and how much (in terms of homophobia and mysogyny) is actually built right in there.

9. One Book That Changed Your Life:

Books don't change my life. I do. Sure, books can enhance it, and I love them. Words are my playthings, tools and friends. But even if a book inspires me to change, it is I that have changed my life, not the book that inspired me to do so.

10. Now Tag 5 bloggers:

This is probably trickier than any of the other questions, because I don't know how many of my regular readers are inclined to play along with such games. I'll go for the following:
  • Tickersoid, the man who's got to be a bit gay - so we can find out how Welsh steel workers occupy their minds.
  • Dan at Project 76 - this may be something of a busman's holiday given Dan's profession, but we might see some gems.
  • Inexplicable DeVice - although I'm not sure whether I'd rather have the host respond, or the witch himself. I suspect that neither of the subconsciouses will be up to the job.
  • Nick, with his Unnatural Vision - who knows what such vision might see in our bookshops that we mere mortals miss.
  • CyberPete from SayHey, his camp camp.


Tickersoid said...

Yeay, I'm first.

Crikey I'm top of the list. I may have to actually read something. Not exactly my forte.
Unless I base the whole thing on the 'Janet and John' books I read at school.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Oh Christ! The pressure!

Actually, I'm glad you've tagged me/us - now I/we have something to post about. Ta!

Your answer to number 8 is something I/we've been meaning to do, too. However, my/our innate laziness have prevented me/us, so far...

Dan Project 76 said...

I haven't even read 10 books!


I may have to adapt it and do it on Sunday...

First Nations said...

*cracking up* yer a better man than I, Gunga Din!

I didn't have the guts to cop to 'The Little Prince'.

nails me in the heart every time, that one does.

CyberPete said...

Oh dear, I um thanks?
This is going to get interesting, thanks for tagging me. I'll try and see what will come of this.

The fact that I haven't read any of the books you've mentioned except for parts of the Qu'ran, a tiny bit of the Hobbit, the Harry Potter books multiple times and I did read the Bible many many years ago.

CyberPete said...

makes it a bit scary (forgot the last bit)

The Lady Muck said...

I've also been meaning to do number 8. I wonder whether borders does it on a cd...

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Thank you, Qenny, for a great post. My tag-ees have come up trumps (except for m'Lady - but I expect she's got other, more pressing, matters on her mind at the moment).

Jay said...

I haven't cried over a book since I was 17 and overdosing on historical romances, so I'm a-gonna pick up the Little Prince for sure.

I tried the Bible when I was in school and got lost somewhere in the middle of the "Bob begets George" list in Genesis. As for the Quran, I think I'll wait for the musical.

Qenny said...

Well, that was a lot of fun. Normal service will resume shortly.

BEAST said...

Pffft none of these books have any picture for me to colour in

****throws crayons on the floor****

****flounces off in a huff****

Megan said...

Beast your funny!
Wow you've figured out alot what books you like.
AAh hard to decide for me. I like the books you do some I haven't heard of.