Saturday, September 02, 2006


This Book Meme has been circulating throughout what Agent Bedhead calls the blogidohexidone for the past year, or so it seems. Most recently, Lisa of Lemons and Lollipops decided to play, and since I’m a booky kind of guy, I might as well play too. So here goes:

A book that changed my life:
There is no single book that changed my life; my worldview and my interests are partly the product of hundreds of different books. Could it be the Merck Manual, or the Compton’s Pictured Encyclopedia I used to read as a little kid? Or perhaps The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells, which helped open my eyes to a world of imagination. Who the hell knows?

A book I’ve read more than once:
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke comes to mind. Of all the books I’ve read over and over, that one tops the list simply because I’ve probably read it more times than any other. Still waiting for the movie version, which I will hate.

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island:
The Fireside Book of Humorous Poetry, edited by William Cole. It’s a humongous 1959-vintage anthology containing the finest assortment of Funny Poems I’ve seen anywhere, and I’ve loved it ever since my Snot-Nose Days. If I had to be stuck on an island somewhere, I would want something to help me laugh.

A book that made me laugh:
A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore. I mention it here because it’s the latest in a long series of books that have made me laugh. Anything by P. J. O’Rourke will do just fine in that regard.

A book that made me cry:
Lost Boys, by Orson Scott Card. I won’t spoil it for you, but if you can read the last chapter without getting misty, you have a heart of stone and a complete lack of human emotion.

A book that I wish had been written:
Brothers in Abraham: How the New Islam Learned to Live in Peace with the People of the Book, by Ahvnot bin Bornyet.

A book I wish had never been written:
The obvious choice would be The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but in terms of lives lost, I’d go with Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. A thoroughly honest piece of writing, it is at the same time thoroughly evil and thoroughly deluded.

I’m currently reading:
Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi. I haven’t decided if it’s too “girly” yet.

A book I’ve been meaning to read:
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman.

What turned me onto fiction?
My parents were both voracious readers, back in the day, and it’s hard to imagine my not following their example. Even today, the shelves of my Dad’s house are filled with books - Heritage Club editions, many of ’em - and plenty of classics among them. In terms of what I read, I seem to have inherited my mother’s love of science fiction...but not her love of the Mystery Novel.

This meme has been doing a fine job of propagating itself without the hateful necessity of my “tagging” anyone. Nevertheless, I would be fascinated to see what Eric and V-Man - two literary Bloggy Giants - have to say on the matter. This does not constitute a tag, merely an expression of if you wish, any and all.

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