the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Book Meme

I hadn't intended to let so much time pass before I posted here again. After working on the 2,996 Project, I felt wrung out and worn out. I assumed at first it was simply exhaustion from too little sleep. It has become obvious, however, that I was also battling a nasty bug that was sapping all my energy.

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.

diigo it


Blogger aperire said...

hello, WA! count me in...i will think over my answers although i must say the books i've read is not as sophisticated as yours. i am a late bloomer when it comes to reading and writing.

one day, i will try to track down all of the books you listed and read them =) oh, by the way, it's good to hear from you again.

September 23, 2006 5:33 AM  
Anonymous Amin said...

WA, your answer to Q. 6 is so spot on.

A book powerful enough to stop or prevent mindless hatred. That would be something I'd pay seriously good money for.

Isn't it just a shame that such a thing would never see publication?

The world right now is in a scary place and I agree with your feelings about the Information Age Government. If the allegations against IBM are even partly true then the corollary is unthinkable. Evil, in all its forms, keeps us from achieving our true potential.

I remember a Rabbi or Priest telling a story about heaven and hell once.

A chap dies and he's taken to see hell. It's a room full of people with chopsticks 4 feet long, and the people are sitting round a table of the most marvellous food. They are all starving, though, because the chopsticks are too long to be able to put into their mouth to eat.

When he asks to see heaven he sees the same food and the same chopsticks, but different people. This time, the people are feeding each other.

I think I know which room the world resembles most closely right now.

September 23, 2006 7:09 PM  
Blogger Thy said...

you're back! :D

i'm a big tolkien fan. i first read the hobbit in 4th grade, and I read it again for english in 7th grade. the whole unit was a breeze for me. : D

have you ever read terry pratchett's novels? its a little science fictiony, and i dunno if you're into that, but he's hilarious. his books aren't just funny though--they've got really good plots, mostly involving the city of 'Ankh-Morpork' in discworld. if you're looking to try him out, dont bother starting with the first book. the best one, really, is THUD! (his newest book).

the BEST part is, he writes really fast. : D

September 23, 2006 7:23 PM  
Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hello WA,

Thank you so much for doing the Book Meme especially when you had been feeling under the weather.
I really appreciate it.
As you know, Bhaswati Ghosh tagged me.
I'll come back later to have a good long read as I saw this by chance on Technorati. I dropped by your blog earlier in the day but you hadn't posted anything yet.
But a boat-building manual on a desert island...
Now, that's true creativity & practicality rolled into one.
Promise to return later.


September 24, 2006 3:06 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I was flattered that you tapped me for this meme; I've been wanting to tackle it for a while. My book meme post is now up. And now I get to read yours (I avoided reading it so I wouldn't mimic your answers).

September 25, 2006 8:38 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Excellent list. You've included several books on my to-be-reads that need to be purchased.

September 26, 2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

I really enjoyed this; found it interesting and insightful.

It seems for the longest time I've had more books that I want to read than I ever get to read. Doing so much reading for work can make it a challenge to do for pleasure.

Thanks for sharing.

October 09, 2006 12:56 PM  

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