Sunday, August 27, 2006

That book meme thing

Alright. Dan over at Gone Mild tagged me on this One Book meme. I accepted his challenge so now I have to respond. I've given this a lot of thought. It won't seem that way, because some of my choices will probably be judged as pretty lame. Especially for someone who reads as much as I do. But, what the hell. Here goes.

1. ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE. I'm glad this didn't read "THE ONE BOOK..." because I'm not sure that's even possible. But A BOOK that changed my life was "Stranger In A Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein. I know, I know. It's light years away from being an Important Book. Not only is it science fiction but its from an author whose body of work is really pretty juvenile. I read it in my early teens and it really made me start questioning a lot of the Accepted Norms that society had erected as fences to keep people herded together. It also made me realize just how easily people can create messiahs and cults for themselves. I could absolutely see how easily that could have occured 2000 years ago. Saw it happen again when Elvis died and people refused to believe he was dead. Humans are pretty gullible fucks.

2. ONE BOOK THAT YOU HAVE READ MORE THAN ONCE. That's easy. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. I used to make it a ritual to read them all (including The Hobbit and later The Silmarillion) at least once a year. I keep threatening to hold a LOTR Movie Marathon. Watch all three movies, in their Extended DVD Versions, back-to-back in one sitting. Shouldn't take anymore than about 12 hours. Maybe 13 and a half with bathroom and stretchie breaks. Who's in?

3. ONE BOOK YOU WOULD WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND. "Ulysses" by James Joyce. Why? Several reasons:

a) It's been called the greatest novel of the 20th century and I've never read it. So it may keep my mind constructively occupied reading and re-reading this "classic" until help arrives.

b) It's also been called the most difficult, experimental, unreadable work of "litereature" ever published. So it may frustrate me to the point that I get off my flabby white ass and figure out how to turn a bunch cocanuts and driftwood into a means of escape just to get my hands on a reassuring and dumb-downed copy of USA Today.

c) It's a big book. Lots of pages = lots of TP.

d) It's flammable. Warmth. Signal fire. Cooking.

It may be the Swiss Army Knife of modern literature. I think I'll start carrying a copy with me wherever I go.

4. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU LAUGH. "A Confederacy Of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole. A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novel by an author who only wrote two books and was dead by suicide by age thirty-two in 1969. We was robbed.

5. ONE BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY. I got nuthin'. I thought about this. "White Oleander"? "The Poisonwood Bible?" They had some pretty sad parts. Did I actually "cry"? Not that I can remember. Mostly I just thought "God, who writes this depressing shit?" Oh, yeah...women.

6. ONE BOOK YOU WISH YOU HAD WRITTEN. "Women: The definitive guide to understanding The Opposite Sex". I'd be a fucking brazillionaire.

7. ONE BOOK YOU WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN. A 1974 self-published book of liberal/religious/van Daniken/drug inspired "poetry" written by a personal acquaintance of mine titled "ALIENS". The author granted himself the title of "Saint". Here is a sample from the book. Its called:

THE WEIGHT

I'm the Red mountain so monstrous in mode
Bathed in blood by Lenin, Hitler, and Minh.
I'm the lethal lead that never grows old -
Made to burp blood, to burn as bodies bend.
I'm the mistakes made by the madness of men,
I terrorize, take lives, and talk of more.
I shrink the small and slaughter and sin.
I burden and break and bring all wars.
I force, I form fear, I furnish faces
Of hate and hostile hindrance for sacred smiles.
I come and place heavy my heathen races
And crumble the cross of Christ all the while.
The weapon of love will waste me, for lo,
I am Satan's spirit, with hell my mate.
I may go away or gradually grow.
I am the Weight.


8. ONE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING. "Spin Control" by Chris Moriarty. I highly recommend it. And the author.

9. ONE BOOK YOU HAVE BEEN MEANING TO READ. "The Earth Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman.

10. TAG FIVE PEOPLE. Death's Door, Frighteningly Uncommon Sense, General Blather, Joshua Rosenau's "Thoughts from Kansas", Whole Wheat Blogger.

2 comments:

Dan said...

Great selection. I liked "Stranger in a Strange Land", too.

Heather said...

Shit...I'm accountable for something.

I'll work on it this week.