Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A book meme, or some of the books I read

This meme has been going around in various forms. I picked it up from C.W.'s Ruminations here. Since I can't resist something that has to do with reading, here goes my reply. By the way, as often the case, I always have more than one. Why these memes insist on just one when it comes to books is beyond me. I could have let the Gypsy Librarian take this one, but on the other hand, I think it works better here since I have a thing or two to say.
  1. One book you have read more than once. I reread Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude every so often. I do it when I get the "it's time to visit Macondo" feeling. As much as I enjoy his other works, it is that one that I always go back to. When I get to it this fall, and I usually read it in the fall, I think it will be my fourth or fifth outing (could be more). By the way, I read One Hundred Years of Solitude and other Latin American novels the way they are supposed to be read: in Spanish. No, I am not saying to be a snob, but you lose a lot in translation when it comes to authors like Garcia Marquez and Borges, for instance. It does make me wish I could learn a few more languages so I could read a few other great classics in their language. I also enjoy rereading Mario Puzo's The Godfather. I could probably find a couple more, but I am one of those readers with too many books and too little time, so I usually read new stuff rather than reread. Well, the stuff is new to me. I am not a bestseller reader, and I have never met a book that I need to have the minute it hits the bookshelves.
  2. One book you would want on a deserted island. One Hundred Years of Solitude wins this one hands down. However, I would rather have more than one book if I could save a few for my deserted isle time.
  3. One book that made you laugh. Scott Adams's Dilbert books. Given workplaces these days, and mine is not exempt, you either laugh or cry. I would rather laugh.
  4. One book that made you cry. I don't really come across books that make me cry. Maybe I avoid them. Same goes for movies, though I can name at least one that have made me cry as an adult. Schindler's List, and it happened after I came out of the theater (it was one I did manage to catch in the theater). How people could be so evil to their fellow human beings was something that moved me and still puzzles me to this day since it still happens in other ways. By the way, I did not get tears on reading the book, which is pretty good. I think the visual of the movie was what did it for me. But I am disgressing. I do read books that literally piss me off and make me angry. Johnathan Kozol's books have that effect on me. It is not because of him. I get pissed at the politicians and educrats and people who allow the things that Kozol chronicles to happen. I love his work, and I find it thoughtful and compelling. I know, however, that if I pick up one of his books, that I have to brace myself to keep me from kicking some dumb educrat's ass. I want to read his new one, The Shame of the Nation, but I have to put aside the time to get pissed.
  5. One book you wish you had written. I am not sure about this. Maybe I don't want to sound pretentious by saying I could have written this or that. I have ideas of books I would like to write, but they are my ideas.
  6. One book you wish had never been written. I will go on a limb here and say it: religious books like the Bible and the Qu'ran. Those so-called "great books" seem to be more tools to justify some of the world's greatest atrocities, racism, prejudices, ignorance, and other ills and woes. And before the hate mail pours in, I would suggest to those who claim to be "moderate" to put a leash on your extremist brethren. If you sit back and stay silent, or secretly cheer them on, you are part of the problem too. Me? I live happy in my heathenism. And yes, I know there are other religions, but for some reason, those two seem to be the ones making a lot of trouble lately.
  7. One book you are currently reading. I can't do one since I am always reading more than one book at a time. I read a lot based on my mood. Readers can take a look at my blog's sidebar to see the running selection of what I am currently reading or about to read. However, for those who may choose to read the blogs in the reader, here go some selections. For one, I have been reading a lot of graphic novels. They are fun to read, and I often read them fast, which means I can often read one in the commute (half on the way there and the other half on the way back). In addition, I have found a lot of them to bring in excellent writing and storytelling in addition to the art. This is a form I would recommend to anyone since it features all genres: fiction, scifi, comics, etc. In fiction, I am currently reading Jeff Shaara's The Last Full Measure. This is the sequel to Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. Once in a while, I get the urge to read war stories and military history, but I usually do it with nonfiction. The Shaaras are one of the few historical fiction writers that fit that mood for me.
  8. One book you have been meaning to read. Just one? Well, definitely Douglas Adams's Hitchiker "trilogy." After seeing the movie, I am much more motivated to read it and see what I missed. I would also like to read Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. I've gotten some good recommendations, and I am hoping to get a few laughs while I am at it. By the way, believe it or not, I have not read Asimov's Foundation novels, so they would fit this category too. I have read a lot of his short fiction, though. And by the way, my "to read" list is quite extensive.
  9. One book that changed your life. Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist. Find some reasons why in this post I wrote a while back.
As for tagging, my readers know I don't tag. If it moves you, go right ahead and blame it on me.

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