Friday, January 25, 2008

Not It! (my first reading meme)

Debi tagged me for this (gee, thanks ... no really ... thanks). It was started by Eva, who may or may not like my answer to a couple of questions based on her own answer to the first one.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

This one is easy. Anything by Stephen King. (Sorry, Debi, who tagged me for this.) Mind you, I’ve never really tried to read anything by him, but from what I know of various of his works, I’m assuming I wouldn’t like them no matter how well written thay might be. (I could also say Moby Dick, but some of the “reviews” I’ve heard from English majors who had to read this were not what I’d call positive, which is why I've never even tried to read it.)

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

I would invite Dov Landau (Exodus), Ender (Ender’s Game and sequels), Harry Potter (Harry Potter series) on a hike in the mountains, away from other people. They’re all young people who were called on to do very heroic things they otherwise would not have done. I think it would be interesting to hear them talk about how they dealt with the battles they did not look for but still won. And all had to take the lives of others along the way—how did they deal with this afterwards?

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Something by Faulkner maybe? Actually, how about A Night to Remember by Walter Lord, the story of the sinking of the Titanic. When it comes right down to it, that’s a pretty boring book, especially if you’ve read it aloud to a three-year-old night after night after night.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I’m sure that I must have nodded knowingly in some conversation on Stephen King at some cocktail party, dinner, or similar gathering. Other than that, I can’t really recall a specific incident.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalize the VIP).

Let’s go with the book most often lifted from middle school libraries, Ender’s Game. It deals with so many universal themes—young people and how we treat them as well as what we assume about them, education, war, our inhumanity to things we cannotor do not seek to understand, the power of the media to influence thought. The list goes on and on.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

It would probably have to be Aramaic or Greek so as to be able to read at least parts of the Bible in the original. Why take someone else’s word for the translation?

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Only one? Okay, let me make this an either-or. If it has to be prose, let’s go with The Little Prince. If it can be poetry, I’ll pick Hailstones and Halibut Bones.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

I’d heard of dance marathons (They Should Horses, Don’t They?), but never of a reading one. Read for 24 hours straight? I’m not sure I’m ready to do it myself, but maybe I could work my way up to it. The problem is that there are oh so many things I could think of to try to do as much of as possible in a 24-hour period.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favorite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

My dream library has to have a turret with lots of windows and natural light streaming in. That’s where I can sit in a cushioned chair and read or sit at a large oak table, references spread out around me, and write. I step down from the turret, and books line the walls. I actually prefer the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress one, because I love prowling the stacks. Aha! There’s the book I’m looking for. But wait! This book beside it, on the same or a related topic, also looks interesting. And this one. And that one on the other side! While it would be nice to have some autographed copies, leather binding, first editions, and the like really don’t make a difference. The fantasy would be having them all in one place and easy to trawl through. Oh yeah, and the turret—that’s a must have in my dream library.

Tag 4 people for this meme...

Come on! I just got here and haven’t made a lot of friends yet! Can I just name one? I’d love to hear Annie’s answers to these questions.


Debi said...

Yep, I just knew you'd come up with great answers to this one. Sounds like I really do need to get to Ender's Game more sooner than later...time to raid Annie's bookshelves?

Debi said...

This was so much fun, Jean! Thanks! And I mean that!

I'm so glad that you started a blog!


Chris said...

So glad to see you're blogging, Jean! I loved your answers...especially the ones involving Ender. I'm a counselor who works with kids, so I liked your answer to the second question. Very thought provoking! Love your library by the way too ;) We can all dream, can't we?

Eva said...

I enjoyed reading all of your answers! I was waiting for you to bash Jane Austen or something (since you said I might not like them), lol. I think your mountain hike sounds very interesting.
Thanks for participating!

Carrie K said...

I have never heard of Hailstones and Halibut Bones. I feel so uneducated.

Those were great answers! I've done marathon reading, but never a read-a-thon. I'll stay cheering them on.

Welcome to the blogging world, btw!

kreed said...

So gld debi mde you do this had some great answers! And so good to see you blogging - see, that wasn't hard, was it?!?!

Framed said...

I always thought Dov Landau was very bitter, understandably so, but it would still be interesting to spend time with that trio.

I loved Enders Game. I would never have read it before I started to read book blogs.