Friday, October 19, 2007

This Tagging Thing is Getting out of Hand

To be fair, Barb DIDN'T tag me for this one. No, on her blog she made the kind, understanding declaration that she wasn't tagging people because she knew how busy we all were. And then she discretely left a comment here letting me know that I was "on". Actually, the comment came before the disclaimer, but that's probably not pertinent to the story.

The questions are about books, though, so how can we go wrong?

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? Paperback to read, hardcover to reverence.

2. If I were to own a book shop, I would call it... probably The House Bookstore, which would probably be trademark infringement or something, and isn't even a very good name for a bookstore. The thing is, there used to be this coffee shop in DeKalb, Illinois called The House, and it was everything a bookstore should be. They served tea in glass pots and had worn sofas and shelves full of donated books, and my sister started the very first House journal, which grew to book after book of notes, random journal entries, sketches and poetry by anyone who passed through the place. If ever you read a book of mine and there's a coffee shop in it, it's The House, even though I'll pretend otherwise, and it will always be warm and softly lit inside and raining or snowing outside the window.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title)... oh, man. I don't know whether I should say it. It's the last line of The Sun Also Rises, and I love it because it puts the whole book in a different perspective, but that also makes it a huge spoiler. Everyone already knows it, right? Well, I'm not taking the chance. If you know what it is then you know what I mean and don't need me to write it down. If you don't, it wouldn't really mean anything to you anyway, right?

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be... Sheldon Vanauken. I discovered Sheldon Vanauken's writing several years after he died, or I would have...err...I believe the phrase "introduced myself" is probably preferable to "stalked him until he consented to converse with me". He was friends with C.S. Lewis, another of my favorite authors, and he'd be MORE than welcome to join us, but if I only get one, it's Vanauken.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be… I answered this question once before by choosing a volume I own that has 49 of Hemingway's short stories and a complete novel in it, but I think that's cheating. This time, I'm going to pick Atlas Shrugged, because it's long, I've read it a couple of times without getting bored, and it might inspire me to remember that I could figure out a way to either get off the island or make it work for me if I remembered who I was. As an added bonus, if I did get bored I could occupy myself endlessly by removing or shifting around the randomly placed commas.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that… I would not love someone to invent any bookish gadgets at all. I would like everything but old fashioned books to be abolished.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of... oddly enough, a stranger's basement. When I was in high school I needed a copy of a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and couldn't find one at the library or regular bookstore. My mother called a used bookstore listed in the telephone book and it turned out to be a book dealer with aisles and aisles of books, many of them antique, in her basement. I still remember feeling like I'd stumbled into a treasure vault.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title)... Dagny Taggart, of course.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is… That first Anne Rice vampire thing.

10. I hate it when a book… ends. Well, not any book, but when it's a really good book I really don't want to come back up out of it, and it's almost impossible to find something to read next when I've just done a full immersion thing with a book.



I'm not going to tag anyone in this post since it's only been a few days since I hit up 8 people, but watch your comments...I might stealthily come around and invite your participation....

6 comments:

suburbancorrespondent said...

Atlas Shrugged? I can't leave without saying that the problem with Ayn Rand's philosophy is that she assumes that everyone should act rationally all the time. But they don't. So her philosophies cannot work. I'm not even sure I would want to live in a world where everyone made rational decisions all the time. How boring.

Now I am going to have to go back and read The Sun Also Rises...thanks a lot! And I've never heard of Sheldon Vanauken, though I am a C.S.Lewis fan. Which book of his would you recommend to a first-time reader?

RockStories said...

Oh, don't get me wrong--Rand's philosophy is FRAUGHT with flaws, the biggest of which (in my book) is that she takes no account of the people who are honest and hard-working and simply not naturally gifted at the level of her protagonists. She glosses over, doesn't she, the fact that she and her cohorts have left Eddie Willers and his ilk behind to live in the ruins? More on the rest--I have a child tugging on me to go and buy the makings of a Halloween costume!

Butterflug said...

Having spent the last two weeks immersing, or to be more precise dunking myself into the 'Universe of Blog' I have been for the most part pretty uninspired. Watching the strange obsessive behvaour of people trying to get hits on their blog regardless of content. Following one of the more interesting dialogs on this activity led me to your responses and thus to blog community of writers in this network. Love the current list of questions on books so much that I am going to write up my own but I thought I would let you and some other folks know about a great program that this dialog reminded me of. This is on BBC Radio 4 called ' Desert Islands Disks', although it has more if a musical bent to it I find that the people interviewed each week are so far ranging from writers to politicans to actors and more whereby they talk about ther lives against a backdrop of 8 selected tunes. They are then asked the book that they would take whcih is always pretty interesting to hear (now you see the connection). The site lists all the selections but the bad news is you can only hear this program in the UK - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/factual/desertislanddiscs.shtml but wait there is good news - there are some great programs you can download and listen to. Check our Book Club for November http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/bookclub/ for an edition with Barbara Kingsolver being interviewed. I'll ping Barb in this.

Happy writing!

Butterflug said...

Just sent this comment to Madam X but there is a note in here most relevant to you...

Having spent the last two weeks immersing or to be more precise, dunking myself into the 'Universe of Blog', I have been for the most part been pretty uninspired. Watching the strange obsessive behaviour of people trying to get hits on their blog just to get hits on their blogs makes for intriguing social studies. Following one of the more interesting dialogs on this activity led me to Madame Xs responses and thus to this community of writers/bloggers. Love the current list of questions / answers on books so much that I am going to write up my own but I thought I would let you and some other folks know about a great program that this dialog reminded me of. This is on BBC Radio 4 called ' Desert Islands Disks', although it has more if a musical bent to it I find that the people interviewed each week are so far ranging from writers to politicians to actors and more, whereby they talk about her lives against a backdrop of 8 selected tunes. They are then asked the book that they would take which is always pretty interesting to hear (now you see the connection). The site lists all the selections but the bad news is you can only hear this program in the UK.



But, the good news is that there are some great programs you can download and listen to. Check http://wow.bbc.co.uk/radio4/arts/bookclub/ for an edition with Barbara Kingsolver being interviewed.

Happy writing!

Alan said...

bookmarking this post and these ten questions for a day when I just Can't churn out another 750 words about another three books.

CK Holder said...

I wanted to name one of my daughters Dagny. I think Atlas Shrugged would be my desert island book, too. My take-away from her philosophy is that we all need to do our best work and find self-satisfaction and the world will be a better place. Maybe it's just that our own world will be a better place if we're happily fulfilling our own needs.