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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Meme-licious, part the first

Via Erin:

A book that made you cry: The Darkest Road, Guy Gavriel Kay (the third book in the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, which I am currently re-reading)

A book that scared you: The Letter, the Witch, and the Ring by John Bellairs

A book that made you laugh: Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore

A book in High School that you loved: Just like Erin, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I plan to re-read this sometime this year.

A book in High School that you hated: Man, there were a bunch of 'em that I hated. Some, like David Copperfield, I'm willing to grant that I may have missed the boat having been too young to understand what was good about them. (Which raises, in my mind, the question of why we insist on forcing literature on kids who aren't ready for it -- "You're in Ninth Grade now, by God, you're reading Shakespeare and you're gonna like it!" -- but I'll save that for another day.) Another few I'm just not going to admit any such thing, however. For the purposes of this quiz: The Yearling, by Rawlings. Godawful crap. Interminable. Boring. Shitty life lesson.

A book that challenged your imagination: 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

A book that challenged your morals: The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. I got over that one right quick. Boy howdy.

A book that challenged your identity: Naming and Necessity, by Saul Kripke. (Not sure that's exactly what they mean by "identity", but I don't get what they do mean, so we'll go with the philosophy text on language and names and rigid designators.)

A book series that you love: Hmmmm. I'm trying to think of an example that might not be familiar to regular readers of this space. I'll cheat slightly, then, and name Bujold's "Miles Vorkosigan" books, of which I've only read the first two (the ones that don't even feature Miles Vorkosigan). But I really had fun reading those, which makes me wonder why the hell I haven't read farther into that series yet. Hmmmmm.

Your favorite Horror Novel: The Stand, Stephen King. I just loved this book's epic scope.

Your favorite Science Fiction Novel: Red Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson.

Your favorite Fantasy Novel: Again trying to avoid the obvious answer here (LOTR, duh!), I'll name John Bellairs's The Face in the Frost.

Your favorite Romance Novel: I haven't read any, really (although I plan to). I loved Jane Eyre, though. Does that count?

Your favorite "Coming-of-Age" Novel: Hmmmm...I find that "coming of age" is so pervasive a theme that I'm hard-pressed to name a book that isn't a "coming of age" story in some way or other. I seem to recall One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte as a "coming of age" story, in a way, and I recall that one very well. (BTW, go read some of the Amazon reviews -- sample quote: "I dont like this book because there is no action stuff in it." Wow. Maybe there should be age limits on the Information Superhighway!) Also, Mr. Scalzi's Old Man's War could also be termed a "coming of age" story. I mean, the question doesn't specify which age, right?

Your favorite book not listed previously: Cosmos, by Carl Sagan. God, I miss Sagan and wish he could be around now both for the onward march of pseudoscience and antiscience, as well as for the nearly miraculous epoch of planetary astronomy we are now enjoying.

Favorite Book of Poems: I have a rotation of favorite poetry books, so I'll just pick one at random: the Library of America's complete works of Walt Whitman.

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