The Book Meme
I hope to post more often, but I still don't feel wonderful, so I'm not making promises. On the other hand, perhaps the worst part of this illness has been the lack of physical or mental energy to do any writing at all. My desperation may just drive me to the keyboard no matter how awful I feel.
I've been tagged by a very funny, wonderfully observant writer named Susan Abraham; if any of you haven't yet read her blog, you don't know what you're missing. Thanks, Susan, for getting me posting again. Not only have you given me reason, but I don't need to expend the energy to plan this one out; all I have to do is fill in the answers.
1: One book that changed your life?
It's difficult to answer this, because so many books have left their mark on me. So many titles come to mind, whose influence still ripples through my life today. The first one I can remember is Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliffe. It opened up the past for me. I suppose I might have discovered an interest in history later, but as it stands, this book sparked my interest in history, and shaped many of my thoughts and ideas as I grew up.
2: One book you have read more than once?
Lots of them, actually. One of the first I deliberately re-read (that is, a book I chose to re-read, rather than one I found myself reading again simply because nothing better was to hand) was The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I first read it when I was eleven or twelve, and I was so fascinated by it I re-read it within a year or two.
3: One book you would want on a desert island?
A boat building manual... If I were stuck on a desert island with only one book, the only thing that could keep me sane would be the goal of getting to a library as quickly as possible. No matter how good the book, I couldn't live with just one.
4: One book that made you cry?
I've read enough books even this question brings to mind a long list, but one book stands out - I cried for weeks after reading it whenever I thought of it. The Diary of Anne Frank was sad just from its descriptions of the hardships those in the "Secret Annexe" had to endure, but knowing the fate of its author is more than tragic enough to make it stand out.
5: One book that made you laugh?
The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump by Harry Turtledove. Before reading this book, if anyone had suggested it would be possible to write a novel length collection of puns within a story interesting enough to keep me reading, I would have laughed at them. They would have had the last laugh, though, the moment they handed me this book.
6: One book you wish had been written?/One book you wish you had written?
I wish someone had written a book powerful enough to end the very possibility of mindless hatred throughout the world. / I wish I could write such a book myself, but if we're talking of existing books here, Fitzempress' Law by Diana Norman, or Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw come to mind. Or perhaps To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. I don't know; it's hard to make up my mind on this. There are a lot of books wonderful enough I wish I'd written them in some sense, but in another sense, it's the books inside me I most want to write.
7: One book you wish had never been written?
This is an easy one, and there is only one choice for me. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. The world would be a far, far better place if that deluge of hatred had never been vomited forth into it.
8: One book you are currently reading?
I'm currently reading Hammerfall by C. J. Cherryh for pleasure. She has a remarkable gift for creating intricate, detailed, believable worlds. And I'm currently re-reading IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black to understand the subject matter more deeply, now that I'm used to the utter impact of what he reveals. This is one of the most significant books, in my opinion, for what it can tell us about where our society could easily go. Some dispute his conclusion that IBM was aware of, and complicit in, the Nazis' activities during World War II, but even if you dismiss that part of the book as inaccurate (which I'm not at all sure I do) there remains the point, which no one has disputed but no one ever seems to have realised before, that the Nazis were in fact the world's first Information Age government. The implications are terrifying.
9: One book you have been meaning to read?
Nearly every one I haven't yet read... I've really been meaning for a while to read more of Christine de Pisan's writings than I have.
10: Now tag five people. Let me see, I need five victims... uh, I meant to say, I need to think of five bloggers whose reading habits might prove interesting and who haven't been tagged yet. Okay, Brandon, Beth, Aperire, Miss Kitty, and BluJewel. If any of you find this a hardship, I won't be offended if you pretend you didn't notice, but I really would be interested in seeing all your answers.