Thursday, September 28, 2006

for the love of a good book

Via Ezra Klein, I finally see a 'meme' that I can go along with, regarding literary loves and hates. This is, by the way, in honor of Banned Books Week. I found this very challenging to fill out because there are so many things I could be filling in. Note that meme is i and I know I am missing from my memory. Meme is in scare quotes because althoughsuch questionnaries spread memetically but are not, in and of themselves, memes. Of course this illustrates the difference between connotation and denotation, but I digress from semantics to bring you my choices:

1) One book that changed your life?
A hard one to start off with, but I would have to say the Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins which turned me away from superstition and towards scientific explanations for natural phenomena. Dawkins shows that Darwin makes it okay to be an atheist and a scientist, a fact which has not escaped notice from the religious right.
2) One book that you have read more than once.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose poignancy and romantic humanism is absorbing and intricate.
3) One book that you would want on a desert island?
I have to agree with Ezra that no one ever answers this question in a literal way, as in what they would really need to survive, in which case I would answer the SAS Survival Handbook. But if I were to answer the underlying subtextual question of what would i read if i had all the time in the world to read it and only that, then the answer would be a toss-up between the Collected Works of Shakespeare or the World Anthology of Male Pornography.
4) One book that made you cry.
Hmmm...there actually was a book which made me cry, Like a Rock and a Hard Place, even though now it is believed to be not realy true.
5) One book that made you laugh.
Parts of Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake.
6) One book you wish had been written.
An American Utopia in 10 Easy Steps by someone far smarter than me, if it is an existing book I wish I had written, I'd have to say the Handmaid's Tale .
7) One book you wish had never been written.
Ugh, the entire Left Behind series.
8) One book you are reading currently?
Diary by Chuck Palahniuk, which I just got from my local public library yesterday.
9) One book you've been meaning to read?
Palestine by Joe Sacco, which I also got from the most excellent Millis Public Library yesterday.
10) What book do you routinely recommend but haven't actually read?
The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, which I couldn't find an English edition of in the Netherlands, but whose excerpts are mind-blowing exposures of Bush Administration evil.

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