I was named by PZ Myers as a recipient of a book-meme that's whipping its way around Blogistan, and I am naturally honor-bound to answer its queries. Here goes:
(Wait a minute! Dr. Myers complains that I haven't even noticed this thing yet in an update to his post. I did too notice -- a link from him invariably causes a spike in my traffic, so welcome aboard, Pharyngula readers! -- but with my work day starting at 7:30 a.m., not ending until 3:00 p.m., and then the next two to three hours being filled with things like getting The Daughter off the bus, going to pick up Little Quinn from the sitter, returning home, opening the mail, checking e-mail, reading a few blogs, and doing Little Quinn's 5:00 p.m. feeding, I don't get around to generating new content here until at least 6:00 p.m. on the days when The Wife and I both work. I'm not one of those lucky college profs, who hold the best part-time jobs in America! (I stole that last quip from an actual, tenured college prof of my own. The same guy also quipped that in January, we have a holiday for a great civil rights leader; in February, we honor the Presidents of the United States; in March, we honor one of the great heroes of Irish history; and on April 1, we honor college administrators. That prof was an equal-opportunity offender.)
OK, where was I? Oh, yeah -- the book-meme. Here goes:
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Well, assuming that I would be stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 in my current state of knowledge, I could call it a day with the screenplays to the five extant Star Wars movies. But keeping to the spirit of the game, I'm not sure. This is basically picking one book that I think needs to survive into the ages, so I'd commit T.H. White's The Once and Future King to memory.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Well, I come pretty close with Wonder Woman, don't I? But no, not really. However, I have had the experience -- several times -- of encountering people in real life who look almost exactly the way I have envisioned a character in The Promised King or in one of my stories. I haven't formed a crush per se, but I've definitely stared a bit, enough so as to suddenly become uncomfortable when I realize what I'm doing. I've often wondered whether, if I'm caught staring, my real explanation would sound like a lame pick-up line.
The last book you bought is:
The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Celtic Music, by Fiona Ritchie.
The last book you read:
Ditto. (I'll write more about that book sometime in the future, but suffice it to say that it's a really good book for anyone with a beginning interest in Celtic music.)
What are you currently reading?
Oh, crap -- this reminds me that I haven't updated that part of the sidebar in, like, forever. I'll try to do that later, but right now I'm reading Evenings with the Orchestra by Berlioz, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to the Popular Standards (whose author escapes me at the moment), and Deathstalker by Simon R. Green.
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
Ah, that old chestnut. How much variety, quality, and sheer volume can I pack into a mere five works? (Of course, I cheat a bit by citing complete works, even if they require multiple volumes. Heh, heh, heh.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare
The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
The Oxford Book of English Poetry
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Gibbon (Never read it, and it's in three volumes)
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons)? And Why?
Well, with this thing cruising around Blogistan fairly quickly, I have to pick people who basically haven't done it yet. So on that basis, I turn it over to Darth Swank and to Morat at Skeptical Notion. I also bop it over to Jason Streed, in hopes that it will give him something to post about (it's been a month!). And since I almost always disregard constraints on answering blog quizzes, I'm going to kick this to a fourth person: Patrick of Fantasy Hotlist.
And though I'm not officially passing this quiz onto them, I wouldn't complain if Sarah, Drew, or Nefarious Neddie answered it. Heh.