Thursday, August 10, 2006


I hate to follow up a dreadfully serious post with something so light-hearted, but that's the way things go some times. So here's a book meme that's floating around. If you feel inspired, complete it on your own and put a link in the comments (or a track-back).

1. One book that changed your life:
Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse. My first reading (I've read it probably five or six times) was my senior year of high school. In the year or two before that, my appreciation of literature went from frigid to a lukewarm simmer. This book turned it into a rolling boil. It's about finding your own path in life, and it just struck a chord at the right time.

2. One book you have read more than once:
Les Misèrables, Victor Hugo. I've read this 2-3/4 times (didn't quite finish the third time). I loved the added insight to the characters and the historical perspective that you don't get in the musical (did you know that Napoleon lost at Waterloo because it rained the night before?). But, pages...long...

3. One book you would want on a desert island:
Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson. If I were stranded on a desert island, I might finally have the free time to work through this mammoth work.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. It's Douglas Adams. He was a genius and had an hysterical sense of humor. If you've read the increasingly-inappropriately-named-trilogy (consisting of 5 books!), you know what I'm talking about.

5. One book you wish you had written:
Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse. While Siddhartha turned me on to Hesse and was written in a simplistic narrative style, Steppenwolf was a challenging introduction to magical realism. Three narrators in the first 50 pages, a magic theater (for madmen only!), the protagonist reading a mysterious psychological biography, an infinite hallway of doors, and Mozart's laughter. Imaginative, erudite, passionate, poetic, and original.

6. One book you wish had never been written:
If I think of a better answer, I'll add it. But for now, I'd say that the world would be a better place if Mein Kampf had never been written.

7. One book that made you cry:
Night, Elie Wiesel. Absolutely, utterly horrifying. You can hear about how many millions were killed in the Holocaust, but nothing makes it more relevant than reading this depiction of what actually happened.

8. One book you are currently reading:
Computer Networking, James F. Kurose & Keith W. Ross. What can I say, I'm a nerd.

9. One book you have been meaning to read:
The Illuminatus Trilogy, Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson, or A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole. I've heard raves about both, but I've just never gotten to them. Maybe someday.

10. One book you wish everyone would read, and why:
1984, George Orwell. I find it very relevant in light of Gitmo, "extraordinary renditions," the Padilla case, the booming security and surveillance industries, the nanny state tactics of groups like Focus on the Family, Parents Television Council, et al, and the popularity of Fox News. While Orwell's vision of an authoritarian government was more relevant during the Red Scare, the themes of privacy, security, media manipulation and propaganda, and human rights are still important.


At 11:12 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Took me a while to get to it, but I finally did this meme on my blog.


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