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IT'S A RATHER BLUSTERY DAY
8 April 2009
It's a good thing we had nowhere to go today.
After the glorious weather we've had for the past several days, it has finally started raining. We sat at home and took turns trouncing each other at Canasta. She won 3 games and I won 3 games, all won spectacularly.
Since there isn't really much of substance to talk about (the time in between games was spent transcribing interviews), here's an interesting meme I came across today. It's entitled "25 questions about books" but you'll note it's actually a list of 27 questions! (So far I seem to have been the only person who has mentioned that!) I haven't done a meme in a long time...
1) What author do you own the most books by?
Probably David Gerrold because he was at one time prolific and at one time back in the 1990s I was buying everything he wrote (he's autographed them all for me, over the years). I also have a lot of John Steinbeck, Dick Francis, Patricia Cornwell, Bill Bryson, Tess Gerritsen, and James Patterson. Iíve also been collecting Albert Peyson Terhune books and donít know how many I have.
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
Probably "East of Eden." I have at least 3 copies.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
I didnít notice, and shame on me because I try avoid doing that myself.
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I donít think I have a crush on any fictional characters though there are a few I would like to meet in real life, like Kay Scarpetta (though Iíd probably be intimidated)
5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
When I was a teenager I fell in love with "Marjorie Morningstar" and read it many, many times. Whenever I was depressed, Iíd read "Marjorie Morningstar," for some reason. I donít know if there has been any book in my adult life which I ever read more than twice at most (East of Eden qualifies in the "twice" category)
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
It would be a toss-up between Walter Farleyís "The Island Stallion" and Dorothy Lyonsí "Dark Sunshine." (Both about horses)
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Hmmm...in the past year? Well, let me take the year 2008 and that would be, hands down, "Rescuing Sprite," which was supposed to be the story of a family and its dog, which it was, but so boring I almost didnít finish it. In my review, I wrote, "Levin gives us nothing to love. It's a dog, everybody worshipped him, and he died. We don't get a feel for his quirks, for his personality. We get an overly long gut-wrenching treatise on the decision to end his suffering, and an overblown period of guilt that they didn't do more to save him."
8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
The first 3/4 of "Inside Inside," James Liptonís biography and tales of Inside the Actors Studio. He writes wonderfully and the part that was biography was fascinating, but when he got to talking about the TV show (the part I was the most eager to read), he was so cloying he lost me.
I also loved Rob Rummel-Hudsonís "Schuylerís Monster." Not only is it a story Iíve watched unfold over the past 8 years, but Rob writes beautifully and tells a great story, whether you are familiar with Schuyler or not.
9) If you could force everyone reading this to read one book, what would it be?
Oddly enough it would be "The Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson, a story of the English language, which sounds deadly dull but which is one of my very favorite books. I gave it to everybody the year I found it remaindered in a book store.
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
I read mostly cheap action books, not "literature," so I donít really have an opinion on this.
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Iím not real big on books being made into movies. Most of the books Iíve loved that made it to the screen were so horribly botched ("Prince of Tides" a prime example). David Gerroldís "Martian Child" was OK, though I hated that they made the character of "David" a widower instead of a gay man, as he is in the book.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
I want them to take it back and burn every single copy of the movie of "Prince of Tides." I love Streisand, but she butchered that book. And while theyíre at it, if they could burn all the copies of "Marjorie Morningstar" that would be OK by me too. You may continue to watch Gone with the Wind, if you like, however!
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I donít dream much and I have never dreamed about a writer, book, or literary character!
14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
My cousin raved about the "Left Behind" series and I bought the first two books. I was so disgusted by the blatant propaganda in first one that I threw it across the room and never touched it again.
15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
In "Marjorie Morningstar" someone sees her reading "Tom Jones" and says "Nobody reads ĎTom Jonesí for fun, so I took that as a challenge and decided I would read "Tom Jones" for fun...and it was!
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
I just saw Winters Tale this year and enjoyed it very much.
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Donít know that Iíve read many French authors, but I did go through my Russian period back in college, so I guess Russians, though the stories are so heavy!
18) Roth or Updike?
The only book Iíve read by either was "Portnoyís Complaint," but that was so long ago, Iíd hardly say that qualifies me to choose Roth over Updike.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
I read "Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and thought it was a monumental bore. He was entirely too impressed with his own brilliance. Iíd definitely choose Sedaris over Eggers.
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Not a big fan of any of them, honestly, but if I had to choose, it would be Chaucer
21) Austen or Eliot?
T.S. or George?
Never could get into Austen. Iím not that "genteel." George Eliot has written books I WANT to read but have not yet, and my favorite of the three would be t.s., but I suspect that wasnít one of my choices!
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Lots of the classics. My reading of classic writers probably stopped with Dickens. I've never even read "Catcher in the Rye" and I thought everybody read that book.
23) What is your favorite novel?
Only one? It really depends on my mood. East of Eden, Prince of Tides, Hawaii...so many...so many...
Wow. Thatís a difficult thing to choose, especially for a theater critic. Iím sure Iíll get it wrong, My favorites are musicals, but if I have to choose straight play, perhaps "The Importance of being Earnest" (though itís not nearly as good without the music that accompanies the musical adaptation, "Ernest in Love"!!) I generally like Oscar Wilde. I kinda like Mamet too, if I can stay awake through the rapid-fire dialog.
Iím not at home as I write this, so I canít pull out the title, but there are a few poems by Australian poet Claire Amy Atkins that I really like.
Iím not a huge fan of essays. But Iím sure it would be something by Bill Bryson or Garrison Keillor, since Iím not generally a deep thinker.
27) And... what are you reading right now?
"A Thousand Splendid Suns," and "Pride and Prejudice" on my iTouch Kindle, "Echo Park" as an audio book to keep me awake in the car, and James Heriottís "Every Living Thing" as a hold-in-your-hand book.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Another picture from my mother's camera.
MILES TO NOWHERE: 104 miles