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“sippin wormwood concoctions”

April 2, 2009

So, this is me saying “hi, still alive.” via silly lit meme – from whatilike

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Brian Jaques. I stopped buying/reading the new ones when i got to college, but i have an entire shelf of hardback Redwall books.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don’t do multiples; clutter. I suppose you could say Hamlet, because i have a standalone copy and the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

We haven’t unpacked thm yet, but, remarkably, i’m fairly certain there won’t be any duplicates once my and Jamie’s books are combined, either.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not so much. Asking all these questions is kind of like dialogue anyhow.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Well, i don’t know if it’s a secret, but everyone i’m in love with (excepting my dear Jamie) is fictional. Off the top of my head: Aragorn, Eowyn and Faramir, Mr. Darcy, Dr. Mary Malone, Beatrice, Benedick.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
The Lord of the Rings, i’m sure. Or perhaps Hamlet. Slight possibility it’s The Sun Also Rises. I’ve read most of my books twice now – once when i was really a reader, back in high schoolish, and again recently as i’ve tried to re-train myself to read fiction.

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

10 would be…5th grade? Oh, that was just about when i discovered Anne McCaffrey, so it would pretty definitely have to be the original 3 Pern books.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

huh. i can hardly remember what i’ve read at all, and nothing stands out as particularly painful.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

with the above in mind, perhaps In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan)

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

The Omnivore’s Dilemma (also Michael Pollan).

That or We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families (Philip Gourevitch)

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


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

If it were the right adaptation, of course. I was totally going to say Angela’s Ashes when i realized that’s totally already been done. But i didn’t think it looked like they did a good enough job, so i never saw it. The Winter King might be cool – a good, gritty Arthurian legend – some brilliant battle scenes. Though The Sun Also Rises would be something if they’d make it in a classic style; i don’t think it would fly as-is today (bastards). I know they’ve already made one of this as well (see: my avatar thing), but sources say it wasn’t very good, and i’m not inclined to check.

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

Oh, you know…all the other ones.

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


14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Oh, that memory thing again. The Three Musketeers. Classic, my ass – it’s just really old, foreign pulp. Also, one of my favorite books, but still – 100% plot 0% anything else.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Well, i read some of it. Fuck that stream of consciousness shit.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

I’ve only ever seen “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (like 10 different times, somehow) and “Much Ado About Nothing” (at the Globe! with an all-female cast! swoon).

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

I don’t think i’ve ever met a Frenchman, except in Paris, which i kind of hated. The Russians i’ve known were perfectly cool, other than a tendency towards hautiness.

That question was about books, wasn’t it?

18) Roth or Updike?

Never read Updike. I liked the one Roth short story i’ve read.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

Never read either

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

Shakespeare! Not that, you know, i’ve read the others (or, that is, remember what i’ve read of Chaucer).

21) Austen or Eliot?

Austen! You may have gathered. Also, i hate Eliot. With a 10-year waiting period from that damn project, perhaps i only dislike Eliot now, with perhaps even one poem i like. oh, and the Practical Cats are cute, but not redeeming.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

See above. Really, though, i’m over being embarrassed about stupid shit like people thinking my reading tastes mean i’m not edified. Or too snobish.

23) What is your favorite novel?

I hate “favorite” questions. See the bookshelf. It’s mostly novels. That’s a start, i think

24) Play?

Hamlet, i’m sure.

25) Poem?

oh, it’s been too long since i was a poetry nerd. I’ve always liked this one:

“A bear, however hard he tries
grows pudgy without excercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat
which is not to be wondered at.

He gets what excercise he can
by falling off the ottoman,
but generally seems to lack
the energy to clamber back”

(used to have the whole thing memorized, but that’s as far as i can get today)

26) Essay?

“A Modest Proposal” (Johnathan Swift)

27) Short story?

I don’t read many. I did rather like The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. And everything i’ve read by Asimov.

28) Work of nonfiction?

I could go on for days.

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Hemingway, Tolkien, Austen, Shakespeare, Barbara Tuchman, Amir Aczel…

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

I don’t judge. If folks like reading it, then it’s pretty much doing it’s job (even if i think it’s shit…okay i judge).

31) What is your desert island book?

Perhaps i can cheat and say The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Though i have found the Pride and Prejudice has amazing soothing properties.

32) And… what are you reading right now?

Persuasion – Jane Austen

Lady Brett

"Wheel Inside the Wheel" - Mary Gauthier
6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2009 3:25 pm

    but what do you think of *george* eliot? (says a middlemarch fan)

  2. April 2, 2009 7:30 pm

    oh! that hadn’t occurred to me, perhaps because it falls under “gaps in my reading” =)

  3. April 4, 2009 2:31 pm

    oh yeah, my list of books i should read is so frighteningly long. but i will add to yours anyway. i think you would enjoy middlemarch.

  4. April 5, 2009 1:10 pm

    Leo beat me to it! And I agree; it’s not just that someone as well-read as you are should read Eliot, but that you would probably enjoy her work. Of course Middlemarch is the must-read but check out Mill on the Floss too. I totally over-identified with Maggie Tulliver when I read Mill in my 20s.

    And how is it possible that someone I adore so much and agree with so often could name Hemingway as a favorite writer?!! It is, as much grandmother used to say, a puzzlement.


  5. April 6, 2009 1:43 pm

    i’ll put it on the library list!

    sf- you have no idea how often i hear that about hemingway! it is, apparently, one of my more prominent failings – in the eyes of my academic friends. me and jake must have spent days, all told, arguing over his merits, or lack thereof.

    i vacillate between wanting to defend my opinion, and, well, see #22 ;) for love of a friendly argument, i tend towards the former, though (so i’m curious why enjoying hemingway is so generally considered puzzling and unacceptable behavior).

  6. April 7, 2009 7:55 pm

    My dear Lady B,

    Sorry if my comment sounded critical–good heavens, don’t have to defend your literary tastes to me. I certainly would not say that it’s a “failing” to admire any author Hemingway included. I haven’t read Hemingway for AGES–probably since college–but as you can tell, I was not a fan. Too butch for me perhaps? I also believe I had a traumatic experience with The Old Man and the Sea in high school. The truth is, this is one of the very few things we’ve ever disagreed on, so I find it amusing!


    PS Feel free to leave a comment on my blog saying that you hate Anais Nin ;-)

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