Saturday, October 06, 2007

I got memed by www.moonlightambulette.blogspot.com, one of my former colleagues who's gotten all Brooklyn-ed out and has a reading/writing blog and is getting her first novel published soon! These are the questions, which I just realized I was probably supposed to post on my blog instead of on her blog comments. Anyway, this has nothing to do with Cairo. Except I'll say we have an extended weekend because the university decided that 6 Oct's Armed Forces day would be celebrated on Sunday, the first day of our workweek. Three day weekend!

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
Paperback in my hands, hardcover on the shelf. I like to bend books, curl their spines in my fists.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
Dude, I can’t even title my stories.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…
I keep a little reading book of nice sentences. Here is something. It’s not a quotable quote, but whatever:

“In the wilds, each season has its wonders, but always, unchangingly, there is that immense heavy sound of heaven and earth, the sense of being surrounded on all sides, the darkness of the forest, the kindliness of the trees. All is heavy and soft, no thought is impossible there.” From Knut Hamsun’s novel, Growth of the Soil

4. The author (alive or diseased) I would love to have lunch with would be …
That diseased thing is really in poor taste. Alice Munro. If she’s busy, Iris Murdoch.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…
Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson. Seems like I would be feeling pretty lonesome, and that book would crystallize that feeling, maybe make that feeling seem somehow beautiful, or maybe it would just help me off myself more quickly.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
I want something that temporarily sucks in the jacket of the hardcover book while I’m reading it, like into the spine of the book or something, which I always remove because it’s probably as uncomfortable for a book as a shawl seems to me. I mean, if we’re getting all goofy about books breathing and stuff. Actually, I take off the jacket because it gets in my way.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…
the bedroom in my grandmother’s house that contained all the books from my aunt’s college English major

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…
Ramona Quimby, of the series. Because I really wanted to pull other little girls’ curly springy hair.

9. The most overestimated book of all time is…
Um…maybe The Unbearable Lightness of Being? (This is what I said in the original post. But then another memed friend (motherswhowrite.blogspot.com) mentioned The Corrections, and I have to agree that this was one bad book. And not bad like Michael Jackson. I mean, before he was really bad. Or something.)

10. I hate it when a book…
doesn’t have characters that live on the page.

OK! So now I have to meme someone else! I'll go first to the only two other blogs I know of that haven't been memed by ambulette: 1) el apuro es mi negocio! 2) vidadepalabras! And the rest of you can comment here or email me: Jean Anne! Sari! Bryan!

Oh, wait! James!
A

5 comments:

Sari said...

1. Paperback
2. Yeah, I can't name things--except for dogs. I'm an excellent dog namer. I think that's my secret gift.
3. quote: "In the west she'd read, 'The dawn comes up like thunder,' and she knew she was the only one in the classroom to recognize the phrase physically." (Now for a confession: I just found the phrase--but Ondaatje can always be counted on for good phrases.)
4. Michael Ondaatje, Jon Krakauer
5. Anna Karenina--I haven't read it yet and everyone says it's awesome. And I trust it's long.
8. Lead Character? Hmmm. . . don't tragic things happen to lead characters?
9. Atlas Shrugged.
10. Dips into gratuitous tragedy/heavy handed sadness. That's what I hated about "The Kite Runner." At the end, I couldn't suspend my disbelief any more. I mean, there is enough real tragedy in Afganistan w/out creating hollywood type tragedy. Same was true of the film "Last King of Scotland." The book was much better.

Stephanie said...

How fun! I'll be sure to do this when thoughts & words are matching up again. Thanks for the tag! :)

Bryan said...

Unlike Sari, I'll answer ALL the questions:

1. Paperback. I'm always worried I'm going to open a hardcover with my face too close to the book and put my eye out with the corner. I'm not even kidding.

2. Barnes & Noble. Seems a good way to make a profit. Assuming a lawsuit, I'd change it to "Pages for All Ages" or "Impress Your Friends Books."

3. From Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find." It's something like, "She would have been a good woman if she would have had someone there to shoot her every minute of her life."

4. John McPhee

5. If I took "Ulysses," I might finally finish it. Maybe. But I'd probably actually go with the best anthology of short stories that I could find.


6. A paper-thin electronic dictionary embedded in the back cover. Any time you come across a word you don't know in a book, you touch it and it is automatically defined in the dictionary. Makes you smarter AND helps you question the author's word choices.

7. The second-hand book store my mom always took me to as a kid.

8. Vladamir Nabokov in "Speak Memory," because I'd like to think I'm half as awesome as he thinks he is.

9. I'm sure I've there are plenty of overestimated books I haven't read, but off the top of my head, "Confederacy of Dunces" sure didn't live up to the hype.

10. Assumes quirkiness for the sake of quirkiness is entertaining.

Jean Anne said...

Alright - let's please remember that I am not nearly as smart and well-read as the others assigned to this task. Plus, the last book I read is Winnie the Pooh's Feelings.
1. Paperback - easier to travel with and hold on the beach

2. Curl up with a good book. Cheesy, yes, but makes me think of a rainy day, comfy chair, hot cocoa, and a good book.

3. Ok, this is from a short story, but you can get the point. "Kissing him felt like a sin." And no, this was not from a trashy romance novel.

4. Patricia Cornwall, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, or Sandra Boyton.

5. Insomnia, by Stephen King. Interesting thoughts regarding auras, who should live vs. who should die, etc.

6. does not let the pages get dirty from sand, water/pop marks, Cheeto fingers.

7. a great find at a garage/rummage sale.

8. Nancy Drew - she had it all. The car, rich father, cool boyfriend Ned, and was a detective!

9. Seriously, I am a chemistry major with a law degree.

10. gets so wrapped up in description, there is little to no storyline.

American_in_Cairo said...

From James:

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
I like hardcover because I like to lie down while I reach, usually among some pillows. The hardcover is perfect for propping up.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
Near Wild Heaven

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…
"They travelled for thirteen hours downhill, whilst the streams broadened and the mountains shrank, and the vegetation changed, and the people ceased being ugly and drinking beer, and began instead to drink wine and be beautiful."
--Where Angels Fear to Tread, E.M. Forster

4. The author (alive or diseased) I would love to have lunch with would be …
Truman Capote

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be…

A tough choice between two:
Blue Highways, William Least Heat-Moon

This Boy's Life, Tobias Wolff

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…
blows a gentle cool breeze in my face ten minutes after I have dozed off with a boook in my lap.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…
Dark Star Comics in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The air is infused with that smell.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be…
Hm. Dunno. I' mnot sure I've ever given this any thought before. Pass.

9. The most overestimated book of all time is…

Today, I'll say White Teeth.

10. I hate it when a book…
has small, dense print.

James