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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Book 'em

It's been a long time since I've done a meme. Let's face it, it's been a while since I've done a bloody post. But the Duck has pinged me so here goes:

1. One book you have read more than once
I finished The Handmaid’s Tale a couple of days ago. I’ve been reading quite a lot about women in the central Asian countries lately – mainly Iran and Afghanistan – and I had a really strong urge to read it again. Far out that’s a good book (and one that others doing this meme have mentioned already).

2. One book you would want on a desert island
Impractically, Stephanie Alexander’s The Cook’s Companion. More usefully for boredom, read the Buddhists. I'd take A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield.

3. One book that made you laugh
Philip Roth’s Sabbath’s Theatre. I laughed like a drain, particularly at Mickey Sabbath’s imagined obituary “DID NOTHING FOR ISRAEL!”. Heh.

Funnily enough, de Sade’s Justine also made me laugh, and it made my naughty girlfriends laugh too. If I pick up the phone and there’s a voice saying “The extreme heat and constriction of your anus is driving me wild.” I know it’s one of two people. It's stayed funny for about fifteen years. Well, to me at least. Last time I did it was ... this afternoon.

4. One book that made you cry
If I am in a watery mood, the phone book can make me cry. That said, I find non fiction more upsetting than fiction. We Are Iran, a book about Iranian bloggers by Nasrin Alavi made me cry. I didn’t know that in the early days of the revolution the authorities might stop a woman on the street if she was wearing lipstick and slice her lips with razor blades. And a lot worse.

5. One book you wish you had written
I wish I had written The Vivisector, then I could impress all of my blog friends with my matchless insights at our book group.

6. One book you wish had never been written
I picked up (aka "caught") a couple of bookcrossing.com books a couple of weeks ago. I was very excited. The badness of these books is beyond belief. I’m on a promise to Georg to blog about the psychoanalytical biography of Margaret Thatcher (“Chapter 4: On the pot”), so more about that later. Terrible as that book is, it will at least provide a post. The other one I found is Stanley Morgan’s Sky-jacked, and it would test anyone’s commitment to the idea that books should never be burned.

7. One book you are currently reading
I’m reading The Vivisector, for the Patrick White Reading Group. I started early out of fear of being Overtaken By Events, and because the things that bubble to the surface after a little while are often more interesting than first impressions. I’m enjoying it a great deal.

8. One book you have been meaning to read
John Dos Passos’ USA has been staring off the shelf at me for years now. Hello there! One day.

9. One Book That Changed Your Life
You know, I’m not really a dropped out of the sky, life changing revelation type person. I plod along, working out something here, getting some good advice there – always watching, watching. There’s no one book that has “changed my life”, but all the thousands of books I’ve read have helped shape me. I’ll be playing frickin’ kumbaya in a minute at this rate, won’t I?

I'm going to tag Mick, because he tagged me a little while ago for a meme I had already done.