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21 April 2008 @ 04:06 pm
Meme (About Books! How Can I Resist?)  
It's less about how many have you read and more about the whys of what you read.

One book that changed your life
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 
It's not my favorite book by any means, but it was the first book that I really read with a critical eye. It was also the first book where everything seemed to click for me while sitting in English class. I finally got how one could pick out themes and symbolisms and I really fell in love with the idea of critical reading that completely the changed the way I approached all books henceforth. Granted, not EVERY book I read got a critical read, but Hawthorne's was the first where I really did it.

One book that you’ve read more than once
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. 
I've read this book quite a few times now. For a long time, it was my comfort book when I'd had a bad day and needed something familiar to cheer me up.

One book you’d want on a desert island
Just one....ummm....I'd probably go with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Picking an anthology feels like cheating. Plus, Mitchell's book spans across continents and eras so if I'm stuck on an island, I can at least travel in my mind.

One book that made you laugh
Lamb by Christopher Moore
It's the hilarious story of Jesus' teen years as told my his snarky best friend, Biff. I caught myself laughing outloud on subways when I read this. I saw others doing the same as well. We often give each other knowing nods when this happens.

One book that made you cry
Number9Dream by David Mitchell
I can't really explain why without spoiling the book, but it was toward the end and I think my being so surprised at my own crying only made me cry harder.

One book that you wish had been written
The planned sequel to Good Omens. Never happened. Damn Gaiman for moving to the States.

One book that you wish had never been written
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Right, so I tend to be kind of hyper-sensitive when it comes to books written about Asian characters. But even having reined in my feelings, I still found this book to be nothing more than an "Asian Fetish" disguised as literature.

One book you’re currently reading
Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar
It's still pretty guilty pleasure-y, but the writing style has picked up a bit.

One book you’ve been meaning to read
Oh, so freaking MANY. But the most recent thing to go on my list is The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel, which is basically one man waxing poetic about the beauty of libraries.

Total number of books owned
An exact number? Are you joking? Let's just say a lot. Like..."Can Build a Pretty Solid Fort With This Number" A Lot.

Last book bought 
All Souls by Christine Shutt
It involves a teenage girl with red hair dying of cancer and the varying lives of her prep school classmates as they try and come to grips with her illness while navigating their own lives.

Last book read
The Learners by Chip Kidd

Five books that mean a lot to you
1) Number9Dream by David Mitchell - I'm sure people who've read any of my other book entries are starting to get a bit sick of me constantly raving about Mitchell. But...I can't help it! I love his work. And this was my very first David Mitchell book that started the entire crazy obsession. 

2) Man Walks Into a Room by Nicole Krauss - I treasure this book all the more now that Krauss seems to have...gone somewhat cloying in her writing style now. But this debut novel of hers is one of the BEST examples of a novel where the use of very few words can pack a real punch. I also just randomly picked up this book at a bookstore so I'm so pleased it was really just by chance I discovered it.

3) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner - It was one of the last books I ever read for a college English course. And while I'd spent pretty much my entire academic career hating Faulkner, this book made me see why he's so celebrated. Granted, I still think his other books are a bit of a chore, but Sound and the Fury is just gorgeous, imaginative, powerful, and it just leaves you with that heavy feeling of having gone through a LOT by the time it's over. But you'd probably go through the ordeal all over again quite happily. 

4) The Prydain Chronicles by Alexander Lloyd (Special Shoutout to The Black Cauldron) - This was the first fantasy series I read that really got to me. It wasn't as allegorical as The Chronicles of Narnia but Lloyd wrote wonderfully about adventure, growing up, destiny, fate, legends, magic and romance that as a young reader, I was totally hooked. Still today I look back on this series with immense fondness. 

5) D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D'Aulaire - I got this book as a Christmas present when I was about 6. I actually got around to reading it when I was about 7 or 8. And it was the beginning of my love for mythology that hasn't stopped since.

 

 
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Paulaelectrictoes on April 21st, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
I'm not going to post it myself 'cause I can't think of answers to half of those...

But I do know which book I wish had never been written - Jack Kerouac's On The Road, I just... can't read it...

You have, however, given me plenty book ideas for what to read when (if) I finish all my set texts. Not that I haven't already got hundreds waiting.
formerly lifeinsomniac: MoranSortedjoonscribble on April 22nd, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
Yay! I always love it when I can convince people to pick up a book I'd loved.
The Writer They Call Tayawanderingbard on April 21st, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
This meme reminds me of one I did ages ago on my personal journal. It's here. I'm linking because I think it's something you might enjoy doing. The only one I've read on your list is Good Omens (which is your fault, of course). No wait...I totally read D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths. I got it in the bargain bin at...somewhere when I was younger. I loved that one! I had totally forgotten about that. Awesome!
formerly lifeinsomniac: bunnysamajoonscribble on April 22nd, 2008 01:29 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I'm totally doing this one later.

Heh. I always love being accused as the one who introduced an unsuspecting reader to Good Omens. At this point, Gaiman and Pratchett should be paying me a PR fee.
(Deleted comment)
formerly lifeinsomniac: bookdeathjoonscribble on April 22nd, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
Lamb is hilarious. Sadly, it's really the only book of Christopher Moore's I ever enjoyed, but man, I laughed.

I really need to sell a bunch of my books. I have ones sitting on my shelf that I'll never read or never read again at any rate and it's just taking up valuable space. I seem to buy books compulsively. Especially since there are so many used bookstores around me. It's like, "Why sure! For only $3 I'll totally get that book on Sumerian architecture!"
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: DF_Readingguardian_chaos on April 22nd, 2008 03:11 pm (UTC)
Ah, I remember The Scarlet Letter! This was one of the first books I read to analyze, also. Granted, it was for a school assignment, but it still counts. I think. :)

Reading your book!posts always makes me think that I don't read enough. Such delights to be found on this list! And I haven't read most of them.

My comfort book series used to be the Animorphs. I read all of those one summer, minus one or two because the library didn't have those missing books in the series. Fun times, those! If a bit adolescent in nature. *g*
formerly lifeinsomniac: PotKettleBlackjoonscribble on April 22nd, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
I also read The Scarlet Letter for class and it was really through my fantastic teacher back then that I finally learned what critical reading meant and why it was important.

Reading your book!posts always makes me think that I don't read enough. Such delights to be found on this list! And I haven't read most of them.

Well, get to it! Hahaha, no, but I am glad you've found some books on my lists that sound interesting. I tend not to shove books at people, but do an encouraging, "Oh..you should read this. It's good. No pressure." Because I tend to hate it when people thrust books at me stating I MUST read this. Now. This is why I can't ever belong to a book club.