Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meme: All about books (of course)

Via Melanie Bettinelli, our favorite kind of meme: one about books.

1. What author do you own the most books by? We inherited an entire shelf full of books by Tolkien when my grandfather passed away. Given that we'd already had quite a few, Tolkien is now far and away the leader.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
Like Melanie, I think it's the Bible (in several editions and languages) followed by Lord of the Rings.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? What are you asking for?

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Aw, sheesh, I don't know. Like Melanie (she's going to think I'm cribbing her answers) I do like Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life? Probably Lord of the Rings.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old? I remember reading Anne of Green Gables and Caddie Woodlawn.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? No contest: Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris (hi, Melanie!), though I found some of the biographical elements frustrating. But the real contender is the book I'm currently reading: Fire Within: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and the Gospel On Prayer by Fr. Thomas Dubay, which is so rich I can only read short bits at at time.

On a different front, Stephen Potter's The Theory And Practice Of Gamesmanship Or The Art Of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating is a hysterical classic. And When Sisterhood Was in Flower by Florence King is completely and inappropriately, laugh-'til-you-fall-off-the-couch funny.

And! Mariette in Ecstasy! A Time of Gifts! Exiles!

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? I would be curious to see the results if everyone I knew read Dorothy Sayers' The Mind of the Maker (which uses the concept of the Trinity to analyze an author's creative powers) and applied it to their tastes in fiction. That's a really snotty answer, and I'm sorry.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? Declare, by Tim Powers.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? The Acting Person, by Karol Wojtyla.

12. What is your favorite book? Darwin says his favorite book is Brideshead Revisited. I really can't pick one. Name of the Rose The Great Gatsby Divine Comedy Jesus of Nazareth...

UPDATE: Thinking this over, I have to answer: The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis.

13. Play? Twelfth Night. I ran lightboard my freshman year for our production and so memorized many of the lines after hearing them over and over again. The sound board tech and I had a countdown to our favorite line (based solely on the delivery of the actor): "O, that record is lively in my soul!"

14. Poem? The only one that springs to mind is The Wreck of the Deutschland by Gerard Manley Hopkins, but that might be because I read Exiles a few months back. Or, if you prefer, Sonnet 91.

15. Essay? The Night the Bed Fell on my Father, from My Life and Hard Times (Perennial Classics) by James Thurber. I don't know if it counts as an essay or a short story, but it's unparalleled as a read-aloud.

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? President Obama. Look, the guy writes well enough, but he's not all that.

17. What is your desert island book? The Bible. Cliche, but true.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now? Practical Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare by Peter Reynolds; Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay; The Aeneid (Fitzgerald translation); Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair by Frank Hauser; several books of children's theater games

Out loud to the girls: D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths; The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois.

9 comments:

Melanie B said...

That's ok, you can steal my answers all you want! I did start giggling at about #8 though.

My dad gave me a copy of Fire Within. I must admit after a couple of tries I've not been able to make any headway. Still, it's on my to be read list. I keep reading such good things about it.

I loved Exiles too. Mariette in Ecstasy is on my wishlist.

The Mind of the Maker sounds intriguing. Add another book to the wish list. Oh dear.

12th Night is a serious contender for my favorite among Shakespeare's plays.

Sad to say I don't think I'd read Sonnet 91 before. Oh that is a great one.

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

1. What author do you own the most books by? Probably Shakespeare.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? Probably Shakespeare.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? I didn't notice.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? I have to pick one, eh? I guess I'll go with Fanny Price.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life? 1984.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old? The Red Badge of Courage.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? Joseph Heath's The Efficient Society: Why Canada is About as Close to Utopia as it Gets.

9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? Mere Christianity, maybe.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? I don't know about most, but I think Buckley's The Unmaking of a Mayor would make a good film.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? The Empirical Stance by Bas Van Fraassen (even the name is intimidating). It's a work on the philosophy of science that is defends radical empiricism and takes religious conversion as its central metaphor.

12. What is your favorite book? It was Catcher in the Rye, but that was when I was 18. No book has ever come close to the love I once felt for that book, though it no longer inspires the same feelings in me.

13. Play? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard.

14. Poem? Belloc's Lord Lundy (Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political Career). I have it (sort of) memorized).

15. Essay? Orwell's Shooting an Elephant.

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Derrida is still alive, right?

17. What is your desert island book? I like Chesterton's answer: The Practical Man's Guide to Shipbuilding.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now? 2666 by Roberto Bolano, Helena by Waugh, Joseph Heath's The Rebel Sell, Is it Possible to Live This Way? by Father Giussani.

mrsdarwin said...

Blackadder, I read and enjoyed Orwell's Shooting an Elephant essay. I had to write a response to it for a college placement test. I remember thinking that the response was quite good (and it did get me out of freshman English, though that's nothing to boast about), but I can't find it anywhere.

Cincydarwin said...

Well well. That was the sonnet I used in the Shakespeare Competition! Good one.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Re: #7 (Worst Book in Past Year)

Interesting! When I answered this meme, Outlander was my answer for #8 (Best Book in Past Year). What did you dislike so much about it?

mrsdarwin said...

Embrethelil,

I was really turned off (pun intended! oy...) by the fetish-y nature of the sex scenes, which in turn are something I don't care to have a lot of in a book. I won't step up on my soap box here, since I don't want to make it look as if I'm launching on warning on you :), but here's my original review of Outlander.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Thanks, Mrs. Darwin. =)

My own trouble with Outlander stemmed from Claire's carrying on with Jamie even though she was married to Frank. Timeline technicalities aside, I think she let go of Frank much too easily. (What makes it worse, later on in the series, is that she goes back to him when it becomes expedient. It's really not fair . . . but I can't really discuss that, as I haven't read any further in the series! =P)

While I don't think the sex scenes in Outlander are that bad--and not just because much worse has been written elsewhere--other things I've learned about the rest of the series keeps me from continuing. That is, you've certainly hit the nail on the head when it comes to the "fetish-y" stuff! =S

Even those who don't have a problem with all the sex in Outlander would be rightly perturbed to learn that Diana Gabaldon has managed to get all of her main characters (Jamie, Claire, their son Roger, and their daughter Bree) sexually assaulted in some way. They're either the most unlucky family in all of fiction or she's just the most sadistic author.

TS said...

Rich and tasty list. You've inspired me to check out "The Mind of the Maker" from the library...

Donald R. McClarey said...

1. What author do you own the most books by? Stanly Payne. I have long had an interest in the Spanish Civil War and he has written many books on the subject.

2. What book do you own the most copies of? The Bible.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? They did? I guess not!

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Honor Harrington.

5. What book have you read the most times in your life? The Bible.

6. Favorite book as a ten year old? The Outline of History by H.G. Wells.

7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year? After the Fall by Harry Turtledove-too many sex scenes.

8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year? In Command of History by David Reynolds.


9. If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be? Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie? Quartered Safe Out Here by Macdonald Frazer.

11. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read? City of God by Saint Augustine.

12. What is your favorite book?
Not counting the Bible, that old infidel Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Beginning to make my way through it for the third time.

13. Play? A Funny Thing Happened on The Way to the Forum.

14. Poem? A Hymn Before Action by Rudyard Kipling.

15. Essay? Any essay by Thomas Babington Macaulay.

16. Who is the most overrated writer alive today? Stephen King. I think it would be impossible to underrate him.

17. What is your desert island book? Other than a book on desert survival, I would choose the Bible also. A multiplicity of literary genres, and my spirits would need some bucking up.

18. And . . . what are you reading right now? El Caudillo by Trythall, The Wars of Latin America volume 1, The Spanish Revolution, Stanley Payne, and Occidentalism by Buruma and Margalit.