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...
and of course, AG