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The Smartest Book Meme in Town January 28, 2008

Posted by sensawunda in Books, Memes.

As created by Eva, who will enter you in a drawing if you leave a comment on her post, and as tagged by superfastreader.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

The Bell Jar or anything else by Sylvia Plath. For one thing, I have a tendency to mistrust any author who committed suicide (yes, that includes Hemingway, and Freud most especially!), and everything I’ve read about Plath makes me think her works would just depress me.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Well, this isn’t very original, but I like it: Merry, Pippin, and Gandalf, to throw me a birthday party like Bilbo’s with tons of great Hobbit food and Gandalf’s fireworks.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I dunno, but I bet it would be a Harlequin romance. I started to read one once when I was a teen… you’d think with all the adolescent hormones, I would have gotten into it, but I couldn’t get past chapter 1.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

It’s not exactly “nowhere near,” but I wrote papers on both Don Quixote and Tristram Shandy without having read more than a chapter or three… I simply ran out of time.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?

I can’t recall any such occasion.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)

Hoo boy. That’s a toughie. Easier to think of nonfiction titles for that, than fiction. Let’s say the VIP is a woman. Then how about The Secret Life of Bees. I dunno, I’m just throwing it out there. It’s deep without being difficult to read.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Mandarin Chinese. I know just enough to have an inkling of what I might be missing.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread one a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. It’ll leave me plenty of time for my other reading! 😀 (gotcha, mischievous fairy!)

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

Even though I have been aware of Gabriel Garcia Marquez for a long time, it was a discussion on superfastreader that finally impelled me to buy One Hundred Years of Solitude and start reading it. (Haven’t finished it yet, though!)

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

When I lived in Wichita, there was an artist who always took out a booth at crafts fairs. He painted colorful scenes of cats and cat-sized dragons and books and wizards. I still remember one painting of a huge library that must have been three stories high, with balconies every dozen feet or so, ladders, the walls were nothing but bookcases. A little desk in the middle of the floor, and an easy chair, and a fireplace. And cats and little dragons sneaking about. I shoulda bought a print… wonder if I’ll ever see that artist’s work again? Of course I don’t remember his name!

Plus, I just love what superfastreader would ask for, I’ll just say “me too”:

I’m going to also add a touch of magic. Bookshelves that never run out of room. Books that never go missing. Books that are always available to lend out–even if they never come back, there’s always a copy available. And a magic clock, so I can stop the hands of time and steal an hour to read.



1. Eva - January 28, 2008

I avoid Plath too, but that’s because I had a roomie in college who was a creative writing/studio art double major and had sooo much angst and Plath was a hero of hers. Along with Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson. She had an unhealthy attraction to suicidal writers.

I want Annie’s magic library as well! 🙂 I hope you enjoy One Hundred Years of Solitude! I’m a big fan of Marquez, and if you find 100 Years is too magical realist for your tastes, try Love in the Time of Cholera. His amazing storytelling is still there, but without as much craziness.

2. sensawunda - January 28, 2008

Heck, I’m reading One Hundred Years BECAUSE of the magic realism! I am enjoying it, I’m just easily distracted these days. 🙂

3. Eva - January 28, 2008

Oh good-I absolutely love magical realism as well, but some people don’t. That makes me sad.

4. annie - January 29, 2008

i adore sylvia plath, but i have pretensions of angst-eur.

5. My Very Own Reading Meme… « A Striped Armchair - January 31, 2008

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