Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Nine times one book

Pearl tagged me.

1. One book that changed your life:
I find this question extremely difficult. So I searched my archives to see how I've answered this previously. The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster. It made itself felt on that time in my life, fed my fascination with the myth of the Tower of Babel and my choice (finally) to study linguistics, and solidified my tastes in literature. I'd love to say the answer to this question is an Important Book, like George Eliot's Middlemarch (which has changed the way I read) (Will any book I read from here on in be powerful enough to change my life, or is reading at an age on the brink of adulthood crucial? I think the context is more telling than the actual book.), but that wouldn't be honest.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The Razor's Edge, W Somerset Maugham.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
A notebook (with pens).

4. One book that made you laugh:
The Pleasure of My Company, Steve Martin.

5. One book that made you cry:
Moonlight on the Avenue of Faith, Gina B Nahai. I honestly don't remember much about this book, but I remember the crying over it. Ordinarily it'd have to be quite an exceptional book to make my eyes water, and in this case pregnancy hormones were a contributing factor.

6. One book that you wish had been written:
The Complete Book of English Prepositional Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. Really.

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
There's one book in recent history I hated vehemently (and I can't believe I bothered to read the whole thing!) and I decry its publication as a waste of resources, but it's not polite to name names. So I will tell you instead about a book I loved, Paul Glennon's The Dodecahedron (yes, I mentioned it months ago; yes, I mean to tell you more someday soon) — I wish it had never been written because it comes eerily close to the book I might've written.

8. One book you’re currently reading:
The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
The Crusades through Arab Eyes, Amin Maalouf. I single this one out from the lists of "latests" (the latest Saramago, Auster, Eco), being books I know I will get to in short order, and of classics to read before I die, which, now that I've put a few big ones behind me, are no longer pressing. The Crusades has been on my nighttable for years, and I feel I ought to read it, both to fill a gap in my knowledge of history and to round out my assessment of Maalouf as a great underappreciated writer.

10. One person you will tag [I edited this one to make it parallel]:
Cipriano of Bookpuddle.


Stefanie said...

great answers. I've never read Maugham before and I've seen quite a few people mentioning him lately. Must be sure he makes it onto my reading list.

Pearl said...

Your #4 was a standout for me too.

Yes, I've seen Maugham on my radar more than most.

Hope you enjoyed doing the meme. :)