An old meme that made the rounds some time ago finally found its way here. Feel free to tag yourselves; I’m not in the mood to pick on people this morning.
1. One book that changed your life:But here’s an interesting thought: Name one book that most approximately resembles you and/or your life. There was a time the answer would have been Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but now? Hmmm. Probably Graham Greene’s A Burnt-Out Case. Would it were Tom Jones.
Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers. And in a lot of ways, most of them in fact, I wish it hadn’t.
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
T.S. Eliot, Collected Poems. I’ve gone through more copies than I can even begin to count.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
A bit of a cop-out, I know, but The Riverside Shakespeare would have to be it. I could keep the masterpieces and use The Merry Wives of Windsor when I needed toilet paper.
4. One book that made you laugh:
Harold Bloom, The Western Canon. His assault on The School of Resentment had me chuckling (and all but shouting, "Go Harold, go Harold!") every time I read it.
5. One book that made you cry:
Cynics and stoics don’t cry, except in truly excruciating pain. So my answer would have to be Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale. The cry, if I remember correctly, was "Aaaaargh!"
6. One book that you wish had been written:
My fucking dissertation. Alternate answers: The Second Book of Job, in which God finally explains himself properly; and Doctor Strangelove, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the J (by various authoresses, of course).
7. One book that you wish had never been written:
How can I name just one? I’ll shove aside Mein Kampf and Das Kapital and Renaissance Self-Fashionings and name perhaps the most infernal one of all: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. It features, in my estimation, the worst, the most slitheringly vile and pretentious, opening sentence ever written for a novel, and it just gets worse from there.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
On and off, Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Traveled.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Joseph Conrad, Nostromo. Keep starting it, keep putting it aside. Don’t know why.