book meme

Here in this half-forgotten corner I present a perishable little meme (possibly my first and last):

One book that changed your life:
Dune. One of the first books I plucked from the adult shelves at the public library. Dune’s civilization-scale story and deadly nuanced dialogue have colored my perception ever since. I think in terms of social science; I hate absolutes; I look for the role of the individual in the galactic tide.

One book you’d want on a deserted island:
Maybe Herodotus. It was good enough for the English patient and Shadow, when they were each down to one book.

One book you’ve read more than once:
Voyage of the Dawn Treader. A little spell to refresh the spirit.

One book you’ve never been able to finish:
Lord of the Rings. I finished Fellowship of the Ring with three starts over nine years, but I give up on the rest.

One book that made you laugh:
All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers, a little-known weirdness by Larry McMurtry.

One book that made you cry:
Where the Red Fern Grows.

One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Herodotus.

One book you believe everyone should read:
A primer on personal finance.

Finally, grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence:
No sentences, just this picture:

Banksy, Wall and Piece

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4 responses to “book meme

  1. You can’t get through LOTR but you want to read Herodotus? The Greek guy? Hey: if you like Herodotus, you’ll love the Silmarillion!
    Also, I am totally stealing this meme. Sometime when I’m not at the office.

  2. One book that changed your life:
    The Fountainhead; also the first adult book I plucked off a shelf, and I knew then that I believed in social individualism not political too-bad-for-you-ism.
    One book you’d want on a deserted island:
    Kim. I could read that many times and peel many layers.
    One book you’ve read more than once:
    I’m not sure I’ve read any more than once. There are so many I’ve not read at all.
    One book you’ve never been able to finish:
    I actually didn’t finish Desert Queen but it’s still one of my favorites. I intend to finish it.
    One book that made you laugh:
    John Hodgman’s More Information than You Require.
    One book that made you cry:
    Animal Farm. The earnestness of the horse killed me. Also, strangely, Crime and Punishment: the horse dream sequence around page 80. The rest of the book was pointless, it was over after that. And I swear to God I was never one of those horsey pre-teens.
    One book you’ve been meaning to read:
    The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Can I do some another? Lawless World.
    One book you believe everyone should read:
    The Conscience of a Liberal or Team of Rivals.
    Finally, grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence:
    Once in a while, inevitably, the real world would intrude, and Marcus would see what he realized years later had been the signs of chaos.

  3. One book that changed your life:
    Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin, by Stephen Jay Gould. This got me started reading Gould, which has helped me think more statistically about all things. Or perhaps Covering Islam, by Edward Said, which helped me have a better perspective on (even intense distrust of) the media and healthy skepticism of their unsubstantiated assertions.
    One book you’d want on a deserted island:
    The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
    One book you’ve read more than once:
    I read almost all my books more than once. There are probably dozens that I’ve read eight times.
    One book you’ve never been able to finish:
    I find it difficult to put a book down and not finish it. Even bad books. I am sometimes in the middle of a book for several years while I read other books, and I’m usually reading at least five or ten simultaneously, but I always intend to go back and finish them, and I usually do. I suppose one that I picked up
    One book that made you laugh:
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
    One book that made you cry:
    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. When Beth dies. Gets me every time.
    One book you’ve been meaning to read:
    The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan. Sue, you’ve suggested this, and so have about three other people by now.
    One book you believe everyone should read:
    Hamlet. Technically a play, not a book, but still.
    Finally, grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence:
    “Moments, I should think.”

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