Sunday, January 27, 2008

Eva's Reading Meme

I usually reserve another blog for the occasional tag, but since this one is lit related, I decided to post it here. Thanks to Gautami throwing it this way via Eva, the culprit behind this wildly popular meme.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Anything by a Bronte. I'm convinced, perhaps unfairly, that I'll be put to sleep.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Mortimer Griffin from Mordecai Richler's Cocksure, Sheilagh Feilding from The Colony of Unrequited Dreams (she was such a popular character that Wayne Johnston had a sequel revolving around her entitled The Custodian of Paradise. I haven't read it because I liked the first so much I'm afraid it'll be a disappointment) and Hamlet from...wait, what was the name of that play? As for the event, I'm going to say a reality show where we all have to live together. I can just imagine the testimonials. I'm afraid I'd be the first cast out.

(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 awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I know from experience that this will ruffle a few feathers, but Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I almost said Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles but I didn't finish it. Perhaps there was a car chase at the end. Moby Dick is another contender, but I did learn how to de-blubber a whale and that should be worth something.

Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?

Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace. In my defense, I do this inadvertently by mixing it up with both Blind Assassin and The Robber Bride- both of which I have read.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?

Aside from the aforementioned Atwood book, Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. I keep thinking that I must have read more Dickens than A Christmas Carol but I guess I haven't.

You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why? (if you feel like you'd have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP)

Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version. CanLit is often criticized for being dull... by people who haven't read Richler.

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?

Hmmm. Because it's one of Canada's official languages, I'd say French. Then again, I'd love to read some of the Russian classics in the original form. Still, I'll go with French.

A mischievious 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?

Jose Saramago's Blindness. I plan on doing this anyway.

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)?

I've learned about a few authors- Neil Gaiman for one. I've also learned that everyone has gigantic TBR piles, with some pretty major works still sitting on it. That makes me feel much better.

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

I'm not much of a book collector. I'm far too cheap frugal for that. Still I like holding onto poetry books, Newfoundland books and books about the Arctic.

I tag Barbara, Remi, August, Bookgal and Sam. I know most people say "no pressure" or "don't feel obligated" but if you don't do this one, I'll never read your stinkin' blogs ever again.


Remi said...

Your blackmail worked. Of course, now you're stuck reading more of my ramblings. Kind of a pyrrhic victory, I guess.

Anonymous said...

John, thanks for doing this! I knew you would love it!

I agree with you about Bronte. Pride and Prejudice too, I could never finish. If I tell anyone, they literally flay me..You are braver.

Anonymous said...

OK ... it worked. I've posted my answers and it was kinda fun!

Eva said...

I forgive you for the P&P slur. lol j/k...I figure Jane can stand up for herself, so if someone doesn't like her books, it's not my business! :)

I feel much guiltier over my next to nonexistent knowledge of Canadian lit!

Bybee said...

I understand that Jane Austen was a great writer and her novels are gems, and I've read the whole canon, but I never could warm up to her. It's funny, the Koreans love her...they "get" her in a way that I just cannot and never will...I think it has to do with being from societies that are elaborately structured according to a ranking system.

Chrisbookarama said...

I like your Reality Show idea. The confessionals would be funny, I bet.

John Mutford said...

Remi: Glad you crumble so easily.

Gautami: Your secret is out now!

Bookgal: Thanks for being a good sport.

Eva: Yeah, I don't think the Austen empire is shaking in their boots.

Bybee: That's interesting. I've also heard that the Japanese have a thing for Anne of Green Gables- I have no idea if that's true or not.

Chris: I'm guessing Hamlet's would be be pretty introspective.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

At least you are honest about how pissy you get when people don't obey you! I can respect that, and therefore will bend to the peer pressure. Expect a post in a day or so, you tough task master.

A reality show with you and Hamlet and a Richler character? I'd get pay per view to watch that.

raidergirl3 said...

I'm with you on the Austen, she's kinda boring, but I'm liking the TV shows.
Jane Eyre was quite good, but it probably isn't your type of book.
I mix up those Atwoods too.
It has been nice to find people as into books as we are.

Anonymous said...

I got post up.

Interesting meme.

Eva said...

Forgot to add, I was not a fan of Tess either. But the book I read was from the library, and the very last chapter was missing, which completely changes the ending (to a much cooler one). It took years for me to find out that the actual ending sucked. A lot. lol