Daily Archives: Sunday, March 16, 2008

A book meme

From the lovely and talented author of The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here, Felicia Sullivan.

On your nightstand now: Goodness gracious! Here they are, in no particular order:
The Scientists
The Dragon of Lonely Island
New Collected Poems (I got this from you Felicia)
The Intellectual Devotional
Vampire Brat
The Memory Keeper’s DaughterNoddy: Look and learn Things That Go
The Amber Spyglass
The Sea of Monsters – I love this series!
Memoria De Mis Putas Tristes / Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Favorite book when you were a child: I loved a German book called Sarahs Zimmer, the illustrations were sublime (found out it was Sendak in trying to find a link to the book today). I also loved Kids Are Natural Cooks (mentioned before). I loved Madeline L’Engle as well.

Your top five authors: This changes… but I would definitely say that Moritz Thomsen and Wallace Stegner are among some authors I enjoy very much. I recently started reading Alain De Botton who is a bit clever (and loves Proust). I have always enjoyed Mark Leyner as well.

Book you’ve faked reading: not a one.

Books you are an evangelist for: Moritz’s, They are good, darn good… go get one now!

Book you’ve bought for the cover: I do this all the time and the last two are probably Zorro by Isabel Allende and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco.

Book that changed your life: D’Aulaires Greek Mythology.

Favorite line from a book: “Corn corn corn corn Stuckey’s. Corn corn corn corn Stuckey’s” in My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist by Mark Leyner.

Scene in a book that made you terrified of marriage: I can’t think of one.

Book you most want to read again for the first time: A Wrinkle in Time (the whole series really).

I read my way to Ireland, again.

So, rather than take a proactive approach to my reading around the world, I am letting books come to me. Sounds rather enigmatic, I know.
It may be that I am a bit dilatory in this regard, but I have realized that most “for pleasure” books I force myself to read are boring (at least initially), even though as quickly as a month later I am fully capable of dealing with it…
This all came about as I tried to force myself to read Jack Kerouac… that was a freaking nightmare. I hated his books, I thought him to be… argh, I can feel the ire about how I though of him even now. Anyway, the point of this is that about 2 years later I picked up a copy of Desolation Angels by the beat leader of slackdom and selfishness and became a bit more sympathetic. But only a little. I did read more beat lit after that, but more as an ethnographer than anything else… I was intrigued by what made people choose that particular “way of life”.

Desolation Angels

So what is key is that I had tried to read him before, but when another book came to me, I was ready, and after that one I was indeed able to read his bewilderingly famous “On the Road”.

So, see all those words I wrote above and which you hopefully have just read?

Yeah, those are there to help explain why I chose this book to give me a new Ireland. I did love the first one I put up there, Angela’s Ashes… it is a beautiful book, and it was about Ireland… but so was this one: The Celtic Riddle.

So why am I adding a mystery thriller when I can have that frou frou cover best seller? Because I learned a whole heck of a lot about Ireland from this one. It reads like a British (forgive me that Americanism) in that it is well written and proves that an author can have a lovely vocabulary (unlike a whole heck of a lot of American mystery/thriller writers) include a lesson in history, mythology and make the reader gain a whole lot more appreciation about a country than say… any of the Bourne Identity books. Not that there is anything really wrong with them, they just are not written in the same way. So, I am going to add this stop to Ireland over in my book list. Because I loved this book and learned a lot about a country I have visited and have ancestors from.