March 30, 2005

Yet Another Book Meme

Update: Deb replies, in the comments!

Update: Both Lars and Phil have responded as well. And Lars is right; I said I'd be a book by Wodehouse, and The Most of P.G. Wodehouse is indeed the right one. I don't know what I was thinking.

Ian didn't actually officially pass this along to me, but what the heck--my ears were burning anyway.

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

I doubt my memory's up to it, but I think it would have to be something by P.G. Wodehouse--perfect silliness needs to be remembered just as much as Tolstoy and company. As to which...oh, I'd probably pick whichever book contains "Uncle Fred Flits By".

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

If by "crush" you mean, well, a crush, then I guess I have to say no. Though I do like seeing the hero get the girl.

On the other hand, the last time I got a crush on anyone was so long ago that it's possible my memory isn't to be trusted.

The last book you bought is:

Three: American Caesar, How Great Generals Win, and A History of Warfare. Don't ask me why. I've read the middle of the three so far, and it was quite good.

The last book you read:

It depends on the meaning of the word "read". I finished listening to John Cleese's outstanding recording of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters on my walk this afternoon; and last night I finished reading Ngaio Marsh's mystery Death of a Fool, which invokes the truly weird world of Morris dancing. I should have reviews of both up in a couple of days.

What are you currently reading?

I usually have several books in various stages of completion; but in fact the only book that's really in play at the moment is called Echoes of Armageddon, 1914-1918, by a gentleman named B. Cory Kilvert, Jr. It's about eight British soldiers who died in the trenches and fields during WW I. Kilvert started with eight medals (he doesn't say where he got them) and spent twenty years tracing the men who were originally awarded them. More on that when I finish it.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

I hate this question; I have trouble limiting myself to five books for a week-long business trip, even though I know I'll probably go book-shopping while I'm away. But let's see.

  1. The Bible. A deserted island sounds better than a monastery for getting back to basics.
  2. The Lord of the Rings. If I'm getting back to basics, I might as well get back to basics.
  3. The Story of Civilization, by Will and Ariel Durant. It's too damn long, and once he gets to the Renaissance Durant drops so many names per paragraph you'd think he was a social climber, but I confess I never finished the series. As Ian notes, this is cheating; oh well.
  4. Ian suggests a Mark Twain collection; I'd agree, so long as it includes Life along the Mississippi and Roughing It.
  5. The Oxford Book of English Verse. Perhaps with lots of time to read and nothing else to do, I'd actually take the time to learn to enjoy poetry.

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

Deb English. Because she hasn't sent me any reviews, or even a letter, in far too long, and it's time she started pulling her weight again. Besides, I'm curious what her answers would be.

Lars Walker. Becausing I'm enjoying his blog posts.

And finally, Phil Wade, because after all Lars is posting to Phil's blog.

Posted by Will Duquette at March 30, 2005 09:42 PM

Mark D. said:

Nice meme, Will - and interesting answers. While in South Africa last month I went to a used book store and fell in love with three (3) large volumes. After internal debate about luggage restrictions, I could not resist them (I am shipping them home by boat to save $$, so don't have them back yet.)

One of the books was very handsome - the LONDON Book of English Verse. I've had the Oxford for years, but could somehow never penetrate it. Too "official", or fancy, or something. But this really attracted me, and behold! I am (or was/will be) actually reading Milton and Pope and Wordsworth, etc etc. Just thought I'd commend it as an alternative, should you encounter it - the poems are grouped by genre, more or less, which makes for interesting companionships.

Deb said:

Hey, I been beezee!!!!

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

Pride and Prejudice by Austen--then I get to recite all those great jokes.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I keep telling my husband if he ever kicks off on me I'm marrying either Mr. Knightly or Mr. Darcy. Sometimes Will Ladislaw and Miles Vorkosignan's dad run a close second tho.

The last book you bought is:

I just ordered two books by Jaques Barzun on Amazon based mostly on stuff I read on Rick Saenz' website about them. One is "From Dawn to Decadence" and the other is "Simple and Direct."

What are you currently reading?

"Middlemarch" by George Eliot. It's my 6th or 7th time thru it and it still is one of the best books I've ever read.

The last book you read:

Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Prodigal Summer." It was as luscious as I remember it from the first time around when it was published.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

1. A survivor manual for deserted islands. No cracking coconuts with skates and naming volley balls Wilson for me!
2. The Bible--what Will said.
3. Shelby Foote's trilogy on the Civil War--they've been on my shelf for over a year and I have yet to crack them open even for a peek.
4. Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Middlemarch--Ok I know it's three books but if Will gets LOTR then I get to have my three as one.
5. My Pelican Complete Shakespeare--there's enough there to keep me busy for months.

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

My son's English teacher because I cant fathom why she'd choosing some of the books she is for a survey course on American Lit.

My husband--He'd probably take engineering manuals and such but it would be good mental exercise for him just trying to remember the last book he read.

Mr. Darcy--Hey, I want to know what we'll be talking about over tea if I ever do get to marry him!

Will Duquette said:

Lo, the sleeper awaketh!

Shelby Foote's trilogy on the Civil War is a good thought; I mean to get around to those someday.

Phil W said:

Oh, dear. Questions. At least it isn't a long list of favorites.