Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eva's Meme

Eva's Awesome Reading Meme

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? I cringe away from red covers, pink covers, and geisha books written by men. Cover photos of hanks of hair squick me out, too.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be? I'd love for Augustus McCrae to come to tea at Margaret and Helen Schlegel's. Margaret and Helen would probably prefer a confab around a camp fire, but I don't trust Gus quite enough to risk it, considering how caught up he's going to be in being the center of attention.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? The Lord of the Rings. I'll no doubt decide immortality isn't all that bad after all.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it? Hmmm. Probably Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel. I saw an outdoor drama based on the book when I was a kid and that's the closest I've come. I did read You Can't Go Home Again, though (hated it).

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book? I'm sure I've read Margaret Atwood's Surfacing--it's in a three-in-one edition that Atwood seemed unaware had been published when I presented it to her at a book-signing years back and I can't imagine why I'd've skipped it-- but whenever someone talks about it, I question whether I have. Backwoods camping, that's all I remember.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP) Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh, if there was ever a job I'd stink at, it's that--I'm not even any good at recommending books to people who do like to read; my tastes are just not transferable to someone who doesn't, I'm afraid. (I'll never forget the day at the public library when someone asked me for a book where she wouldn't have to think.) And in a position like this I'd probably not be able to tamp down my desire to play a few mind games--say, recommend Babbitt to a businessman or The Grapes of Wrath to a corporate-lobbyist lovin' senator. But for a first book I'll have to say Michel Faber's Under the Skin--it's so strange it just. might. work. on a non-reader. And if not, I'll be sent on my way very quickly.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? Russian.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick? Howards End. Although with immortality, there are several books I'd happily reread every year.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)? Not that I've read her yet (she's on the agenda for this year, though), but I don't believe I'd ever heard of Ivy Compton-Burnett. Or Rosalind Belben, for that matter, who I'll be read very very soon.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free. Since I'm allergic to dust, the first thing I'll request is that my walnut floor-to-ceiling built-in shelves will all be behind glass. I would like a couple barrister's bookcases as well, near the leather chairs and ottomans by the windows that look out over the Pisgah National Forest. Long library table in the middle of the room with those green-glass lamps situated just-so and a sofa for the cats to claim. All my favorites will be inscribed first editions and nothing I own will be doublestacked.


  1. Can I come visit your library when the good fairy grants it to you? I've also got that same three-in-one Atwood book. I read Surfacing a couple times but haven't yet managed to read Handmaid's Tale.

  2. I like your answer to the first question. I hadn't looked at the question that way, but it is a very fitting response. I personally don't like brightly colored covers, especially the solid colored ones with just the title.

    Your dream library sounds wonderful!

  3. You are both welcome to come hang out in my dream library whenever you like!

  4. I forgot the long library table in my dream library.

    I hate pink covered books, too. And if they're pink and have shoes...ewww...

  5. I think Geisha books written by men are weird as well! :)

    I found a 3-in-1 recently of Forster that includes Howard's End-now I've even more excited about reading it!

  6. I would love to browse your dream library, too. Sounds fabulous.

  7. I'd be terrible as a book adviser too -- it is so hard to figure out what someone else might like! Particularly a non-bookish person.

  8. Oh, yes, Dorothy, you feel you might as well tell them to read whatever is at the top of the best sellers list. At least they'll be able to find people easily to discuss the book with when they're done.

    Pink + shoes = ugh, but footwear in and of itself doesn't faze me. I refused Tessa Hadley's Everything Will Be All Right when the cover showed a snipped lock of hair, but bought the trade paper with its row of rubber boots.

  9. Hi. I managed to get here while bloghopping and I found myself agreeing as well to your thoughts on geisha books written by men.

    Then I somehow remember reading Surfacing and though I finished the book aeons ago I guess all I could remember as well was the camping part.

    Plus, you're the only blogger I've read who has read Michel Faber's Under the Skin. Hahaha! I liked that book though it never crossed my mind recommending it to the non-reader VIP!


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