Thursday, April 23, 2009

Readin' Memein'

Thank you This Book and I Could Be Friends for the reading meme thing...

1. What author do you own the most books by?

It's probably a tie between Julia Cameron, Anne Dillard, Amy Hempel, and Jeanette Winterson... I rarely buy more than one book by an author... in fact the winning score is two, two books ah ah ah ah. *thunder*

2. What book do you own the most copies of?

Don't own more than one copy of a book... not good for backup purposes.

3. Did it bother you that most of these questions ended with prepositions?

That is not something of which I keep track.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

The narrator from Written on the Body... who cares what gender this narrator 'really' is.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life?

I'm not a repeat offender. Multiple partakes are for movies.

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

It was this book about a boy who played flute for slaves on a transport ship in the olden days... it was kind of depraved... the boy eventually escapes, but not without learning a valuable lesson about human rights... and sinking the damn ship.

7. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?

I read so rarely that I usually enjoy what makes the cut for my rare reading time. However, I was not terribly impressed by The Sun Also Rises, especially since it was recommended highly.

8. What is the best book you've read in the past year?

I just finished Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott... really good. I like books about writing, they keep me reflecting.

9. If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

I haven't 'tagged' anyone, first of all. That's just obscene. If I could make lots of people read books, however, I'd probably shove Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel in their hands. The reason is in the title, I guess.

10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

Not qualified to make the call. I'm not even sure what the criteria are, but I hope they involve giving people a reason to grin in the muck we're in.

11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

The Raw Shark Texts, by Steven Hall. The plot is really cinematic. It even has a mind-bending climax.

12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski... only because it's too tempting and would be inevitably screwed up. The only good way would be a short or series thereof.... and even then it would be so tough.

13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

I don't really have dreams concerning books, etc. However, while reading House of Leaves it was tough to get to sleep because a slight fear of the dark developed (and just as quickly passed). Don't tell anybody.

14. What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?

I concur with the previous answerer, this is a fun question. I've read some poetry by Billy Collins... which is not low brow per se, but since he was a poet lauriette, I guess it was the most 'mainsteamish' reason to buy a poetry book.

15. What is the most difficult book you've ever read?

For the time I read it, Brave New World was tough, I think I was in seventh grade or so. As an adult, I can't say it's been hard to read anything... Descarte's Meditations were a little wordy (though I'm sure quite terse for 1641).

16. Do you prefer French or Russian?

I prefer your mom. And she prefers me. Sexually, I mean.

17. Roth or Updike?

Sorry, no dice.

18. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Let's go with Eggers. I'm more partial to Amy Sedaris, really. So I'm changing my answer to her.

19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

Steak, Fish, or Lasagna?

20. Austen or Eliot?

I'm not a huge Jane Austen fan... I like the movie and miniseries renditions of her work, but the reading is kind of tedious. So by default, Eliot, although I'm rather under-exposed... and I dare call myself a writer!

21. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

Just about everything. Really. There's so much out there, I can't find the time to even begin to wrap my arms. Although Henry Miller most comes to mind as a gap.

22. What is your favorite novel?

You are a jerk for asking that. What's a novel, anyway? Some of my favorite novel-length books are collections of short stories, poems, essays, etc. The whole of these collections is greater than the sum of their parts; they'd be different if taken piecemeal. Fine. Jerk. Sigh. Ugh. So far it's The Autobiography of Red, by Anne Carson. It's in verse. Take that.

23. Play?

Greater Tuna. It's a 20 role play performed by 2 people. I did it in college and it was a blast. If we are talking reading rather than performing, I'd go with R.U.R. because I'm still a sucker for robots overthrowing humanity.

24. Short story?

"In a Tub", "The New Lodger", and "Tumble Home" by Amy Hempel. "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" by Katherine Mansfield.

25. Epic poem?

You're mom's an epic poem. Or an epic fail. I can't remember which.

26. Short(er) poem?

"Fight Song" by Deborah Garrison. "Toward the Solace" by Adrienne Rich. Others too, lists should be in threes.

27. Work of non-fiction?

The Right to Write by Julia Cameron.

28. Who is your favorite writer?

You are. It's you.

29. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Going with Hemingway on this one. Recommended to me, but didn't make the grade. Except that he isn't alive today, to my knowledge, but this is my answer anyway.

30. What is your desert island book?

FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual. Come on, what kind of question was that?

31. And . . . what are you reading right now?

Starting Last Nights of Paris, by Philippe Soupault... How we are Hungry, by Dave Eggers... and Between Angels by Stephen Dunn. Novel, short stories, and poems, respectively... I like to have something for each mood...

And that's that, you are now as informed about reading as I am. Thanks, E.L. Fay!



Patricia Murphy, a resident of said...

Jeez, I feel bad that I can't stand Bird by Bird. I guess we all can't be the same, sigh. What's with you and mothers, huh? Are you getting excited about the 1st? Are you bringing a posse?

E. L. Fay said...

Oh, you don't want to read Henry Miller. He had raw talent, sure, but The Tropic of Cancer is the most misogynist, nihilistic book I've ever had the displeasure to read. If he was alive today and I met him, I would slap him across the face.