Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I say your uncle was a crooked French Canadian

And he was gut-shot running gin.

The Book Meme has finally found me, courtesy of Zippy.

1. One book that changed your life: The Brothers Karamazov. Before I read that (on winter break of my freshman year in college), I didn't even believe that fiction had anything to say that couldn't be said better in nonfiction; I thought of novels as mere entertainment. The Brothers K. transformed me from the kid who already knew everything to the young man who wanted to understand everything for the first time.

2. One book that you've read more than once: The Republic; on the third reading, I've finally disabused myself of the illusion that I'm cleverer than Socrates. Honorable Mention to Gödel, Escher, Bach, which unfortunately has become less brilliant over time as I've grown up. Its thesis is silly when you comprehend it, but there's a lot of good material along the way and an infectious spirit of wonder that's not bad in any context.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Not counting Sacred Scripture? The collected poems of T.S. Eliot. Honorable Mention for any book that explains how to survive on a desert island.

4. One book that made you laugh: There's no topping the the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, folks. Thanks for playing. If I had to choose one of the series, I'd go with Life, the Universe and Everything, just for the joy of the Agrajag interlude.

5. One book that made you cry: Uh, shucks. Cry? I don't tend to express my sadness by crying. One book that left me shattered, though, was The Trial, which I would like to never read again, thank you very much.

6. One book that you wish had been written: OK, I Admit That Algebraic Geometry Is A Hoax, by Robin Hartshorne.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Hey, I don't want to let go of my Nietzsche; let's go instead with something ridiculous, vapid and embarrassingly bad. My predecessors in this meme have already covered The Da Vinci Code, so I'll select the Left Behind series.

8. One book you're currently reading: Just one? OK, Confessions, which I ought to have read long ago. Also Don Quixote and Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, among others.

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Might as well admit it again, I haven't read Lord of the Rings yet. Please don't excommunicate me!

OK, not enough invitations to go around. Three just won't do. I'm confident that Dierdre, Geoff, Vanessa, Andy, Kelsey, Alice, and Nick can do a better job on this than I did.

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