Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Calvino Meme

via Kate, who had the brilliant idea of starting this one:

The Book You’ve Been Planning To Read For Ages
The first book that springs to mind is William Boyd's Brazzaville Beach. I can remember reading the newspaper review back in 1990 and thinking how much I'd like to read it. But alas, in those days I had next to no money to spend on books and library selection was limited to grab-what's available before moving on to the children's section, and this one I never saw on the shelves. I've since read two other books by Boyd and bought a used copy of BB, and one of these days I'll get around to reading it.

The Books You’ve Been Hunting For Years Without Success
Affordable first edition Anne Tylers up through Morgan's Passing. Mine are either ratty paperbacks or BOMC editions.

The Books You Want To Own So They’ll Be Handy Just In Case
Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape is the latest one I'm trying to justify.

The Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer
Sins of the 7th Sister
The Sea Lady

The Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves
I really ought to have a complete set of the Aubrey-Maturin books, instead of the randomly acquired out-of-sequence volumes that I've picked up second-hand.

The Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified.
Science books. I buy them, but rarely read them.

Books read long ago that it’s now time to re-read
The Sheltering Sky
No Exit

Books that if you had more than one life you’d certainly read but unfortunately your days are numbered
Those books by Tolkien that everyone else goes on about


  1. I feel exactly the same way about Tolkien!

  2. I'm reading Emma this month. And my theory about the Tolkien books is that you need to read them about age 11, and then they get imprinted on you. Coming to them later is like learning a foreign language; it's doable, but very hard. I've tried to like them. I've read all but The Return of the King. And I just can't.

  3. I tried to read them to my son years ago--he'd already read The Hobbit on his own, and my daughter had to read it in class in 7th grade (she hated it)--and I got a hundred or so pages in and had to stop. I told him I was sorry, but I just couldn't do it. He read them on his own and stopped somewhere in the middle of the third volume; he didn't care enough to finish. He does like the movies, though,which put me to sleep.

  4. How wonderful it is that there are books you love and books you hate -- the same books that someone else hates and loves. That was brought home to me when our children each liked different books although there were some, but not many, that they each liked. Each had to have his own library. Expensive, but I suppose worth it.

  5. The books that you'd put aside for the summer sound so interesting. I've never read any Margaret Drabble but have been wanting too. Oh and I just started Emma. I'm loving it so far.

  6. Poor Tolkein. If you are ever so inclined, you might want to try listening to the Lord of the Rings on Audio read by Rob Inglis. He sings the songs and speaks the elvish and makes even the boring parts (because there are some boring parts) interesting.

  7. I have to say...I have to agree with you on that last question. Maybe if I gave one of the books a try, I would like it, but I am just not inclined to do so!


"I don't believe in ghosts, but I see them all the time."

Sherman Alexie cancels book tour for memoir about his mother.