Saturday, 22 November 2008

Attack of the book meme

Here we go again... But you already know I can't resist a book meme, right?

1. One book that changed your life?
One that comes to mind immediately is The Women's Room by Marilyn French. This book clarified for me not the human condition, but the female condition. The fairy tales we've been told, and that we tell ourselves in order to survive, fell away. This novel focused my anger and honed my feminism by making me face the things I've always known but didn't want to accept.

2. One book you have read more than once?
A random pick: The Deeds of the Disturber by Elizabeth Peters. This was my son's book and I don't think he ever read it, but I found the carryings-on of archaeologist Amelia Peabody, her gorgeous Indiana Jones-like husband, and their strange, brilliant, pendantic son Ramses irresistibly entertaining! Mummies, murder, mayhem - what more can one ask?

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Why must it be one? I want tons! How else would I survive? Man cannot live by coconuts alone! Sigh. The Bible. Or some version of the Greek myths. Or 100 Easy Coconut Meals, if it exists.

4. One book that made you laugh?
A Painted House by John Grisham. Not that it was a funny book, mind you, but the part where the uppity sister-in-law gets trapped in the outhouse by a shit-snake... priceless!

5. One book that made you cry?
One Child by Torey L. Hayden. Wrenching true story of a child who suffered horrendous abuse and yet managed to bloom in startling ways.

6. One book you wish had been written?
That one about the lives of aboriginal peoples of the Caribbean. Not the speculative and obviously warped ones written by the conquistadors that tell of savage, cannibalistic Caribs who deserved to be exterminated and of meek, weak and subservient Arawaks who withered away under the onslaught of European 'civilization', but the true story, the one hinted at by the cultural nuances that managed to trickle down, and by the writings of a few monks and other good men.

7. One book you wish had never had been written?
This is a difficult one. Who am I to say that another writer's work shouldn't exist? However, having just read (parts of) Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin I'll admit I have a problem with books that debase human sexuality (while I acknowledge that humans manage to do that quite adequately with or without the books).

8. One book you are currently reading?
Such as I Have by Garfield Ellis. It tells the story of a handsome Jamaican village cricketer, the swaggering, bed-hopping 'red man' adored by both sexes and all ages, and what happens when he develops an obsession with the daughter of the village pariah, an obeah woman.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. It's one on my long list of 'should reads'. These tend to take a back seat to the ones on my 'oh, looks like a fun read' list.

10. Now tag five people.
I don't do this anymore. You want, you take.


KAREN said...

I remember The Women's Room and it having quite a big impact on me at the time :o) I wonder it would seem dated now?

kim said...

I finished your book. I feel like a bad blogger friend for not posting a review as of yet. I figure I better at least let you know that I liked it and that my silence isn't because I didn't.

It's hard to compliment without giving away specifics, but I will try when I do a review.

Wordtryst said...

Karen, it probably might seem a bit dated because women have come a long way in the past 25 years. Young girls now take for granted many things that women struggled for and struggled with just a generation ago.

Kim, I'm happy that you liked it, and that you bought it even though I suspect you're not a big fan of romance novels! Thanks for being so supportive - I truly appreciate that. And please don't feel pressured to do a review; I wouldn't think you're less of a blogger buddy if you didn't, or even if you hated the thing! One reason I don't usually review books by blog friends is that I don't trust myself to be objective - which is why you'll see interviews of writer friends here, but not reviews of their books.

Anonymous said...

This is a good list of books and I will consider them. I don't think I ever read a book that made me cry except if you consider Our Dumb World: Atlas Of The Planet Earth by The Onion. It was so funny I laughed until I cried - two for the price of one, I guess. Vampire books (Twilight Saga series) seem to be the new craze and I don't think I ever read a Vampire book, even the Bram Stoker one. I hear they are blood good though :)

wordtryst said...

akalol, laughing till you cry ought to count. And I'm putting that Onion book on my list - I'll take all the laughter I can get, thank you very much!

As far as vampire and werewolf books go, they're all the rage in romance now, with people being paid 6-figure advances to spew them out. Can't acquire an appetite for them, though. Biting of necks is perfectly commendable, but drinking the blood is a bit of a turnoff, and messes up the sheets (those big arteries really spurt! :)

Debi said...

I did this meme a while back and also chose the bible for my desert island choice - and sighed.

Ah, The Women's Room. Talk about a book that captured the zeitgeist. I remember it felt like every woman I saw was reading it, as though it was a badge or a membership card. For sure, it would seem dated now, but I wonder if we'd now think it's well-written ... At the time, that was irrelevant.

I'm currently reading Poynter Bender by Jacob Ross. Set in Grenada! Have you come across it?

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

100 Easy Coconut Meals made me laugh.

Have you ever thought about writing no. 6 yourself?

wordtryst said...

Debi, I haven't heard of that book, but I'll go research it. Is the author Grenadian, I wonder? It must bring back good memories for you! Or at least bittersweet ones? :)

Zinnia, it has indeed crossed my mind, but it's more something I'd like to read after someone else has done the enormous amount of research a project like that must entail.

Debi said...

My mistake - it's PYNTER Bender. See here.

Memories - oh yes. More than will be immediately obvious ...

stephe said...

Speaking of books, my dear...

I spent several hours in my local Barnes & Noble one cold evening last week, to do some necessary research for a story. While perusing the shelves of the first bookcase of Fiction, I saw it. CAFE AU LAIT, cover-out rather than spine. And there was only one, which has to mean the others had been bought.

It stood out so nicely against the other books, and I was so excited, you would have thought I'd written it. "Li's novel! Awwwww-some." Out of my peripheral vision, I saw some curious people craning their necks to see. So I kind of raised my chin, threw my scarf around my neck a la Hollywood Starlet, then strolled mysteriously away. I glanced back once I was on the Down escalator, and one of the women was looking at the book.

I suppose I've become your covert marketer here in my suburb LOLOL! Thanks for the meme.

Matt said...

You'll never guess what I found on the "New Release" shelf at my local library. The spine was broken in, looking like it'd been read a couple times already. :D

Matt said...

...And now my sister is advocating for a copy at the library in Michigan where she works. :D

wordtryst said...

Debi, thanks for the link. He is Grenadian, and the reviews are so great I'm putting it on my list.

Stephe! LOL! Thank you! I'm yet to see it in a store myself, but I have a photo from, let me see, Barnes & Noble, Little Rock, Arkansas! (It was face-out there as well.)

wordtryst said...

Matt, that is wonderful! Sightings and more sightings!

Your sister is doing what? What did you say to the girl? Did you threaten her or something?

Oh, man. You and Stephe have made my day!

Matt said...

I just mentioned it in passing on Facebook. :)

wordtryst said...

Never thought I'd become so fond of Facebook, but I am! I think I'll go across there and thank your sister myself... ;)

wordtryst said...

Um, Matt, I was going to sneak up on you on Facebook and go Boo, but there are too many of you. Are you the one eating the socks? :)

Matt said...

Hehehe... Yes. I am indeed the one eating socks. They are the socks of sweet, sweet victory, but we don't need to go into that here. :)

Matt said...

My sister says: "You can tell Liane that my boss is buying it. It totally fits in with our patrons and one of the Bay City, MI branches already has it. I will have to see if I can get more of the branches to get it."

wordtryst said...

Whoa! Matt, you guys are awesome! Thank you so much! And please tell your sister I very much appreciate it.

Now about those socks: ROTFLMAO! You really should watch what you eat, yanno. Sweet socks of victory are chock full of calories! :)