Monday, September 04, 2006

Book Meme a la Circle Jerk

Pete over at parenthetical remarks tagged me with the following meme about books. I agree with him that "meme" is a very annoying word, but I'll answer anyway since I loves me some readin'.

A book that changed my life
How to Get in Touch With Your Inner Lesbian. No, no, of course I'm kidding. I would have to go with The Great Gatsby. I read it the summer before my junior year of high school and it has been my favorite ever since. Being a Navy brat attending a pretty well-to-do high school, the story really resonated with me.

A book I've read more than once
The Elric series by Michael Moorcock. I read this back in my D&D days in junior high and loved it -- the anti-hero protagonist and excessive violence were right up my alley. Then, in my 20s, I decided to re-read the series again. I was floored...by my own gullability. Was this even the same series I dug so much? The plot was still interesting, but the writing was the fantasy equivelent of Spinal Tap lyrics. Lots of "thees" and "thous" and ridiculous declarations, including the very last line of Stormbringer, which my friend Tom and I still mock. I blame my original raves solely on being brainwashed by Gary Gygax and his role playing cult.

A book I would take with me if I were stuck on a desert island
The Onion's Our Dumb Century. It's not great literature, but I need something I can read over and over and will make me forget that I'm stuck on a desert island. You can never have enough of "Holy Shit! Man Walks on the Fucking Moon!"

A book that made me laugh
Mark Leyner's Et Tu, Babe. Funniest book I've ever read and a huge influence on my sense of humor. It starts over the top and never lets up.

A book that made me cry
A toss up between Of Mice and Men and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The sharp writing and powerful characters make you feel like you are there in both books, which makes the tradic endings so personal.

A book I wish I had written
Pastoralia by George Saunders. The greatest literary satirist alive right now. This is the kind of dark, clever, utterly original satire I wish I could write.

A book I wish had never been written
The Ayn Rand canon. How writing so dull, so pretentious, and so unfeeling influenced generation after generation of readers is beyond me. I'll even sacrfice the existence of Rush's 2112 if it could make Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead disappear.

A book I've been meaning to read
I have a lot on this list, but Lolita was the first that came to mind. Let's just say that I hope there are libraries in heaven or a reading room in hell, because I'll never catch up.

I'm currently reading
Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. She pulls off a neat trick -- making a high school character both interesting and annoying.

Time to tag...
Blue Girl
almostinfamous
teh Chuckles
scruffylooking
and of course, AG

11 comments:

almostinfamous said...

i'm gonna have to copy the section on ayn rand.

blue girl said...

Oh crud.

You know I suffer from BPQA.

Let me ponder.

:)

You made your meme post seem *so easy* -- I get nervous about memes.

:)

Jordan said...

Good choice on the Onion.

The book that changed my life was probably "The Catcher in the Rye" followed closely by "Great Expectations."

Good selections, Brando.

scruffylooking said...

Oh man. I've never been tagged before. Okay. I'll post mine tonight.

Chuckles said...

I am in Dispatches from the Tenth Circle about 10-13 pages from the end. See if you can figure out which person I am, if you own that book.

Brando said...

This was my first meme, too. It made me think I should ready Gatsby again -- it's been a long time.

teh l4m3 said...

Ahem.

Brando said...

Okay, teh, you're off the hook. Chuckles, care to be on the clock? I will update the post.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

AG got memed by Michael B. I love the "of course". Largely because everyone knows AG will do it because she does it only to talk about herself and not be serious.

:)

Trevor Jackson said...

Speaking of 2112, here's something you should see.

Grendel said...

You have GOT to move Lolita to the TOP of your List. Git 'er done, B. The most delicious sustained batch of prose ever.