Booking Through Monday?? Another Book Meme

Kelly had a good meme this weekend and I thought I'd give it a shot.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
That’s a good question and I’m not sure of the answer.  Probably Joyce Carol Oates.  Stephen King is probably second.
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don’t know why I’d buy more than one copy of book – but the merging of the Beloved’s and my library meant that we had some duplicates.  Notably: The Killer Angels, We Were The Mulvaneys, The Tortilla Curtain, The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Probably some others.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
No.  Was it supposed to?
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Looking back over my books from the last couple of years, I really can’t say anyone.  TV and film would be a little easier.  How can you not love Veronica Mars?  I used to have a crush on Agent Scully too.
5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
The Illearth War by Stephen R Donaldson.
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
A Wrinkle In Time, by Madeleine L’Engle
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I’ve been pretty lucky – I have to say The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, which was a bit saccharine for me.
8) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Old Filth by Jane Gardam was great – moving, lyrical, thoughtful, concise and funny.  Anathem by Neal Stephenson was also excellent though not concise (900+ pp).
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
While I’m not really into forcing my will on others, I’d say Old Filth — only because it's one that most people haven't heard of — so it's like a secret treasure.
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
I have no idea, I really only pay attention to the Prizes for Chemistry and Medicine.
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I would love to see a high-end remake of Moby Dick.  Seriously.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
The Da Vinci Code.  Oops, it already was – though honestly, I liked the movie more than the book – and that’s saying something because the movie wasn’t really all that good.
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I hardly remember my dreams as they are.  Can’t help you here.
14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
Lowbrow?  That has fairly unnecessarily negative connotations…  I did just read Dewey: The Library Cat That Touched The World.  It was sweet and schmaltzy and written in more-or-less 8th grade English, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Only Revolutions by Mark Danielewski.  I even posted about it. Part poetry, part Rashamon, part formula (and I mean that in the numerical sense – not “formulaic” plot sense).  I could only read this a section (revolution) or two at a time.  I went from confused, to annoyed to engrossed.
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
Hrmm… I’ve seen several, but they’re all the pretty well known ones.
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Russians.  They’re always so cheerful.
18) Roth or Updike?
Roth, I suppose – though I will admit I haven’t read either – but I am more likely to read Roth.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Sedaris, I suppose – though I read one of his books and was underwhelmed.  I never have read (or heard of) Dave Eggers
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
21) Austen or Eliot?
Again – haven’t read either, though I’m more inclined to read Austen, I suppose – if only to know what all the fuss is about from the many lady-friends who seem to adore it.
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Probably my lack of depth in the “great” authors of the 19th and early 20th century.  Austen, Dickens, Tolstoy etc.  Never interested me.
23) What is your favorite novel?
We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates.
24) Play?
Much Ado About Nothing is a lot of fun.  From a modern sense, I like the musicals of Stephen Sondheim.  I also thought Wicked was pretty darn good — actually, I liked it better than the book.
25) Poem?
Poor education
Always missed the point of verse
Haikus can amuse.
26) Essay?
Move along.
27) Short story?
Wow – there are a ton.  “The Body” by Stephen King (source for Stand By Me) sticks out.  “The Wedding Present” by Neil Gaiman is simultaneously sad and chilling.  “Unworthy of the Angel” by Stephen R Donaldson has stuck with me for a long time.
28) Work of non-fiction?
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.  Though just today jacolily posted about another very good – Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.
29) Who is your favorite writer?
Oates.  I think she captures the deadened emotions and vulnerability of modern life better than anyone.
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Dan Brown sure has made a boatload of money, hasn’t he?
31) What is your desert island book?
Can’t I just bring a Kindle?
32) And … what are you reading right now?
The People of Privilege Hill by Jane Gardam – short stories – one with some of the characters from Old Filth.

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15 thoughts on “Booking Through Monday?? Another Book Meme

  1. Awesome. :)
    I always feel for people when I start talking about books (books in general, Stephen King or paranormal YA in particular) because I feel like I never shut up.
    I will have to look for Old Filth. I've never heard of it and it sounds interesting.
    I also feel for Dan Brown. He's been working on that Da Vinci Code sequel for ages. (I preferred Angels and Demons.)

  2. I have had We Were The Mulvaneys waiting to be read for a long time. Now, based upon it being your favourite novel, its wait will be considerably shorter. The only thing I've read of Oates' has been some of her short stories but I agree with your assessment of her ability to capture vulnerability.
    Now, about Milton? I am curious as to what made you pick him over Chaucer and Shakespeare. I read "Paradise Lost" and didn't really like it. Maybe it's just that it was too overtly religious and written to, what does he say?, "justify the ways of God to man."

  3. I like the movie to The DaVinci Code better to..only because I thought the ending of the book was a bit of a let down(I'm understating here…I thought it was a huge let down) and I didn't notice it as much in the movie…plus in my family we all grew up loving Tom Hanks.

  4. I know a few people that have tried and not liked Mulvaneys all that much. It's a book that really resonated with me when I read it. I've never gone back and re-read it though.As for Milton, I always liked Virgil and the structure of Paradise Lost mirrored — the subject matter (the Fall of Man) and the ant-pro-tagonist take on Satan seemed way way way ahead of its time. Also I never read Chaucer and Shakespeare was always better to me live.

  5. There was a remake of Moby Dick a while ago – I wouldn't call it high end – but the psycho from Silence of the Lambs played the co-captain – very amusing. That guy has such an amazing voice.
    My sister's new beau said that Duma Key was just incredible. By the way thanks for the review of that book set in Japan with the birds on the cover (name is escaping me) – I perused the plot in a bookstore and it looks riveting.

  6. I have to say I am damn impressed with how well-read you are. I will have to check out that Old Filth as well. And yes Wicked the musical was darn good. I never quite did finish the book. Finally, you and Beloved have great taste in Civil War historical fiction.

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