Friday, April 22, 2005

Book Thingamajig

Shelley tagged me for this bookish meme, so here goes.

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be saved?

The Collected Writings of Thomas Paine (Common Sense, The Crisis, Rights of Man, The Age of Reason, etc.). We’d need something to inspire a revolution. Paine did it before; he can do it again.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Well, I’m really not a crushy sort of person, so I don’t recall ever having had a crush on a fictional character. Instead, I’ll just list some of the characters I’ve found memorable for one reason or another.

  • Hans “Neither Genius nor Dunderhead” Castorp (from The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann)
  • Fleda Vetch (from The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James)
  • Ferdinand Lopez: bat guano investor and blackguard (from The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope)
  • Bridget Jones (from Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding)
  • Amit Chatterji: an extremely likable fellow, probably the closest I’ve ever come to having a crush on a character (from A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth)
3. The last book you purchased?

Dish: How Gossip Became the News and the News Became Just Another Show, purchased only because the library didn’t have it and I needed to read it for my book club. I got it from Amazon for 39 cents!

4.What are you currently reading?

Urban Gardener by Elspeth Thompson (discussed here)
Afluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf et al (discussed here)
Two Diane Arbus monographs (sort of discussed here)

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island?

What I’d like to know: Is it a deserted island or a desert island? That would make a difference! I’ll assume both.

1. A comprehensive survival guide, such as 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin.

2. Joan Crawford by Bob Thomas. Just in case I get depressed out on the deserted/desert island (a distinct possibility), all I’d have to do is read a chapter of Joan and realize things could be a lot worse.

3. I’m going to steal Shelley’s idea and take a set of encyclopedias, but I’ll go with World Book instead of Encyclopaedia Britannica.*

4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Nabokov’s use of language is exquisite. I don’t think I’d ever get tired of rereading this book.**

5. The unabridged 8-volume set of the Lewis and Clark journals. I’ve always wanted to read these, but what a time commitment! However, once I’ve figured out how to keep my ass alive and I’m just hanging around waiting to be rescued by pirates, I should have time for the journals. Might pick up some good survival pointers, too!

*I’m a bit of an encyclopedia connoisseur. I know that sounds horribly pretentious, but it’s true. I worked at Britannica for about a decade and still use it all the time, so I think I am qualified to say that although there is information in Britannica that you will find no where else, it is often not the information you are looking for. Extremely vexing! For example, say you want to find out some basic fact about France. Do you really want to plow (heh, heh) through eight or nine pages detailing the various soils in each region of France? I think not. World Book, I have found, does an excellent job of presenting information in layperson’s terms. It’s also accurate, concise, and far more current than many of Britannica’s articles. That said, if I could take both, I would.

**I should add Humbert Humbert to my memorable character list, although he’s certainly not a character I would ever have a crush on!

I tag Jamie, Cagey, Diana of Piffle, and Diana of Seeking Clarity to take on this mission meme, if they so desire!


Post a Comment

<< Home