Friday, April 15, 2005

I Read It In Books *

There's such a thing called The Book Meme going round blogland. You don't know what a meme is? No, I didn't either until I looked here. Anyway, below is my contribution. Oh, and thanks to John at Counago & Spaves for including me in this round robin - although, in taking his and others' leads on this thing, I put in loads of links which took me hours to do, so I hope you appreciate them. And a special prize for the person who spots the deliberate mistake in said links!

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

If “book” means novel, then it would have to be something along the lines of:

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – a laugh-out-loud satire on war, capitalism and many other aspects of modern society.
Blindness by Jose Saramago – not funny at all, but a work of literary genius from the Portuguese communist novelist and winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature (for what that is worth).
The Big Blowdown by George P Pelecanos – probably the best crime fiction writer around.
Independent People by the Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness. Written in the mid-1930s, it’s a bleak story, but carries with it a wicked sense of humour among the almost-completely sad tale.

Then, again, if “book” can also mean non-fiction, it would have to be something like:

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Fredreich Engels
Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Mrs Robinson

The last book you bought is:

Christians and the Fall of Rome by Edward Gibbon and Touching From A Distance by Deborah Curtis.

The last book you read:

The utterly stupendous How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen – a great attack on voodoo economics, blind faith, alternative therapies and religion, among other things. In other words a pleas for rationalism and a return to the path that humanity travelled on at the onset of the Englightenment and which we have strayed so far from in recent years. Not without its flaws, by any means, but a great read nevertheless.

What are you currently reading?

The above-mentioned Touching From A Distance by Deborah Curtis, it tells of her brief life with and marriage to Joy Division singer Ian Curtis and paints him out to be what we can imagine him to have been like (unless you mythologise your singers and artists) and that is: terrible – and mostly absent - father, politically right-wing, borderline racist, domestically domineering, misogynistic, culturally shallow and, when all is said and done, quite a normal bloke who was ill. All that aside, he did make some exceedingly good music.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Wage Labour and Capital by Karl Marx, because there’s no way that I am going to read it otherwise (although I do think I should give it a go).

The Works of Robert Burns, because I do love Rabbie’s stuff.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Its 1130 pages (which includes explanatory notes) may always seems daunting unless I have plenty of time to spare lying on a deserted beach. There’s a quote from William Thackeray on the back of the version that has been lying on my shelf for around 20 years saying: “began to read Monte Cristo at six one morning and never stopped till eleven at night.” I think it’ll take me slightly longer.

A People’s History of England by AL Morton. Been meaning to read this one for many years, but, again, not got round to it yet.

The Bible – just a tad far-fetched, no doub, but I bet it’s an interesting read with some great stories within its many pages.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

tnr – guaranteed that The Wasp Factory gets a mention.

Voroshilov – cos he’s new to this blogging game and I think he should be encouraged to keep blogging.

Ardeelee – cos I want to.

* Teardrop Explodes


Blogger ardeelee said...

hi red. don't worry i'm fine. i used to have another journal via live journal dot com and i'm eradicating that completely cos i like blogger better.

anyway, the meme is quite interesting. it should keep me busy. it's good that it's friday because i'll have time to think about my reply. =)

have a fabulous weekend.

7:58 pm  
Blogger John said...


Nice job. You justified my faith in you!

I've got the Saramago book in my backlog pile, but I shall be moving it towards the top on the basis of your recommendation. My brother's a Laxness fan too, so I shall borrow off him.

Mrs. Robinson: I like that choice too. At what age exactly did you have this crush?

12:22 pm  
Blogger Reidski said...

Started as a teenager and has been with me ever since (I am now 40).

1:31 pm  

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