August 11th, 2006

Book Meme--Passing it Along

First of all, yes, I had to look up meme--here's the Wikipedia definition: a replicator of cultural information that one mind transmits (verbally or by demonstration) to another mind. Not sure that makes it any more clear...

Anyway, a couple of the kidlit bloggers I read have put their answers up; thought I'd join in. 

1. One book that changed your life? I have never, as far as I can tell, read that book that altered the way I saw things, the way I behaved, or the choices I made. Not sure why. I have, however, read books that changed the course of my I'll put a few here. It was either Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger or Tolkien's The Hobbit that turned me into a fantasy reader. For years, the books I most craved were populated by wizards, elves, fairies, dwarves and/or dragons. The other book I can think of was one of Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford novels. There I was in my last year of graduate school, so burnt out on reading that I could barely find books to pick out at the bookstores (tell me how scary that was). All I read that year were short plays for the one class I was taking, novels by a woman named Barbara Pym (I don't even remember how I found her), comic books (ask me about the non-movie version of the X-men/Phoenix storyline!), and mysteries. A great-aunt living nearby mentioned Rendell, and I fell in love. From there I went on, or back, to Christie and to Sayers and Allingham. In a way, I guess that first Rendell did change my life--I still read mysteries and I write them.

One book you have read more than once? I have four floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in my office, two in my bedroom, and another in the living room. I pretty much only keep books I re-read or am pretty sure I will re-read soon. book? Okay, I go through tired, slow, sluggish moods where I only want to read Agatha Christie and escape to her world of patterns of good and evil, comforting detectives, and wonderful writing.

One book you would want on a desert island? The Hobbit. 

One book that made you laugh? A while ago--Jane Austen's Emma. Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Recently--Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation. The Harry Potter books--maybe most of all the dance in Goblet of Fire.

One book that made you cry? Yes, The Hobbit. I was maybe twelve and up later than anyone else, in the rocking chair in the living room, sobbing my way through the scene where Bilbo and Thorin say good-bye. Lately--the third of the Joey Pigza books (I read/am reading them backwards--long story).

One book you wish had been written? I once heard that the definition of an optimist is a person who walks into a bookstore thinking, hey, maybe there's a new book by Jane Austen. For me, that would be great, also any more by Agatha Christie, another by Arthur Ransome, more Danny Dunn books, and probably more than 7 Harry Potters! I could just go back to my shelves and add about a hundred more, but you're probably already bored!

One book you wish had never been written? I don't know that I think any book should never have been written. A book I wish I'd never read...? Nope, can't think of one. Okay, sure, I've read and partially read lots of badly written books, but they just needed a lot more rewriting!

One book you are currently reading? Robert Newman's The Case of the Sommerville Secret. I've got Janet Evanovich's latest on my nightstand and a memoir about writing obituaries that someone out there in blogland recommended.

One book you have been meaning to read? Waiting for Inkspell to be out in paperback. Still have Peter and the Starcatchers sitting unopened on my shelf. 

Anyone else? I'd love to see your choices/thoughts in comments. Obviously, the rules are only there to be broken!

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