Book(ish) meme(ish)

I'm grabbing this from Beth, but like her, I'm not going to tag anyone. If you do this sort of thing, by all means...

One book that changed your life: The Collector, by John Fowles. There's a strong chance you haven't read this book, and there's no real reason to. It's about a guy who gets bored of collecting butterflies, and so he decides to collect a beautiful woman instead. (Some people might call this kidnapping.) But what got me is that it's written twice: Once from the collector's viewpoint, and once from the collected's viewpoint. It's really a lesson in multiple perspectives.

One book you have read more than once: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. This was my introduction to the cyber-punk genre. It's set in a world that is hyper-capitalist and (therefore?) all kinds of corrupt, and all the religious zealots are out at sea (literally). There are alternate realities (pre-Matrix, of course), and it very much predicts MMRPGs and VR capabilities. You probably need to be at least mildly a geek to enjoy it, but as someone who doesn't read sci-fi or fantasy novels, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

One book you would want on a desert island: My Complete Illustrated Shakespeare. Pretty sure I don't even have to justify that to you.

One book that made you laugh: If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell. I'm a big fan of Bruce. One of the nicest celebrities I've had the opportunity to interview, super-nice guy, super-funny guy, and I'm a sucker for a really bad movie (and he's made plenty).

One book that made you cry: The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. No, I'm not kidding. This book includes kids stabbing each other to death because when one child plays the butcher and the other one plays the pig, the butcher kills the pig. This doesn't end happily ever after, people.

One book you wish had been written: I'm still working on books that have been written. I know the point to this is "what do you wish you had learned," so I'm going to give a cop-out answer and say, How to Spot a Jackass at 20 Paces: A Guide to Making the Right Choice About With Whom to Surround Yourself.

One book you wish had never been written: Tie: Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy and The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. I actually held a grudge about Return for four months. I didn't for Heart of Darkness only because it's a quick read, even if it is miserable.

One book you are currently reading: Trust Agents by Chris Brogen and Julien Smith. I've got a couple going, actually, but that's the one I'm recommending (so far).

One book you have been meaning to read: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It's sitting on my shelf, yet I keep going to my local library. Maybe I'm scared of it or something.

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2 Comments

  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has “book fear”. I have “How Doctors Think” by Jerome Groopman in my pile. I think I haven’t read it yet because I’m worried that I’m not thinking the way I should be. 🙂

  2. I had a weird block about Heart of Darkness. This is the only time I’ve ever cheated in school: I kept trying to read it but I couldn’t. I would get a few pages in and I would become so powerfully tired I would suddenly fall asleep. A friend read it for me and told me what to say if called upon. In this class, we also watched movies based on books and compared, contrasted, all that crap. So I tried to watch Apocalypse Now twice, and fell instantly asleep both times.

    Now it’s about 15 years later and I still haven’t read it. The end.

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