Monday, April 14, 2008

Book Meme

Lifted from non-knitting blog friends.

1. Which book(s) do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

I rarely see exclusively positive reviews of any book or books.

I get a lot of recommendations for wordy 600+ page sci-fi/fantasy multi-volume tomes from friends who read fast like freaks. These books often start off the first 200 pages with so much detail and twisty plot that I can't follow it enough in the 20 minutes of bed reading to get in to it. I also generally dislike any fiction that assumes you know what the world is about and who the people are without any introduction at all. While these books might be valuable in their own way and while I may come to love them if I have the time, my reading time is limited and my to-be-read pile is alarmingly tall.

2. Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, you are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realize it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

If I said what I really mean in response to this question there would be an uproar among my geeky friends. Geeks every where would stop talking to me. For this reason, I choose instead War and Peace. Maybe it is the most fascinating book in all creation, but it's long and would at least take me a good little while to get through it.

3. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I know 3 authors in real life. I have friends who buy me books they think I will like and expect me to read them in a timely manner. [I promise I do. Don't stop buying me books.] I sell books. I converse casually with a few authors of knitting books. So you see, I cannot really answer this question, either. Suffice it to say that bears might get me if the truth were to come out.

4. You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Adviser to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why?

Stop Hiring Failures--by Steven Springer. Amazon.com tells me it is a good book. What does The VIP expect from someone who is also not a big reader? Seriously, Mr/s. VIP, hire someone who reads a decent amount, not just someone who wishes she read more.

If I were recommending books I have actually read that weren't knitting books or mind candy, For her own good: Two centuries of the experts advice for women by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English, Intimate Matters: A history of sexuality in America by John D'Emilio and Estelle Freedman and The invention of heterosexuality by Jonathan Katz. These books formed the cornerstones of many a sociology/anthropology/history paper in college. They are quick reads that give a valuable look back at the way sexuality, gender and politics are intertwined and manipulated in America.

I would also make The VIP read Casts Off by Stephanie Pearl McPhee and Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is so much easier to sort out very important priorities while doing a bit of knitting.

5.A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Japanese and not just because I want to read Japanese amigurumi and lace patterns.

6. A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

I usually end up re-reading one Harry Potter book, one Diana Gabaldon book and one Stephanie Pearl McPhee book every year anyway.

7. I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art – anything)?

You mean there is life outside knitting blogs? Do podcasts about comic books count? There is one thing I discovered--audio books. They have been around for years and years, but I just this year started listening to them.

8. That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather-bound? Is it full of first edition hard covers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead – let your imagination run free.

The books in my perfect library would include a hefty reference section on any topic that might come up, knitting pattern and technique books, books of legal theory, graphic novels and trades, comfort fiction and serious, but important novels. There probably would not be many biographies, but there would probably be a lot of books about how people lived in the Victorian and post-Reconstruction eras. All of these books would hardbacked, spiral bound to lay flat, fit nicely in to my book holder, have large pages and have the text divided in to easy to read at a glance columns, all of which would make for easier reading while knitting. Priorities, you know...