At last, I took the time to walk around the house, peruse bookshelves and came to the following...for now. Like religion, my recall of books that are important to me is rather fluid...it changes...I forget...am easily reminded...but for today, right now, these are my answers to RLC's kind request of me.
1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?
I’m torn between James Joyce’s Ulysses and the Torah. With the first, Joyce included all sort of different writing styles that I grew to love. His language, use of stream of consciousness, and story enthralled me in college and ever since. I think it’s one of most fascinating books I’ve ever read and would love to have his words at my fingertips at all times. For me, the book endlessly captivates. The Torah on the other hand is about life – doesn’t matter my atheistic tendencies, what’s there is applicable and intriguing and fodder for thought and argument. There is no lack of story there, there is no uselessness there. Oh and now that I'm thinking about it, another possibility would be Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. He outlines all the major philosophies in the world into a very interesting fictional story. I'd love to have handy that information, quotes and ins and outs, as I move along in my day-to-day activities.
2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
For those who really and truly know me…LOL! Um, but we’re talking books. I’d probably have to say, no. I’ve loved the writers, though, I developed hard crushes on the authors themselves, eating up their biographies (some of them were positively crazy), becoming hungry for their work. Perhaps the closest fictional crush I came to was on Stephen Dedalus. I loved his torment, his beautiful misery ever since Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man through Ulysses. A note on crushes – I was in love with Houdini and Charles Lindbergh as a teenager. I fell in love with them through their biographies.
3. The last book you bought was...?
The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara, Cintio Vitier, and Aleida Guevara.
4. The last book you read was...?
Observatory Mansions by Edward Carey – an engrossing, twisted, story written in a unique style about twisted characters, people who hadn’t always been so strange. It’s a journey to wholeness, closure, hope, my favorite sort of story.
5. What are you currently reading?
Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde; The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, Good Poems, edited by Garrison Keillor, 2005 O’Henry Prize Stories, several literary journals, Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clark, The Republic of East L.A. by Luis Rodriquez and Sunday Jews by Hortense Calisher (I read slowly, I drift in an out of many books, one at a time, on any single day or single week).
6. Five books you would take to a desert island...
Impossible to answer, I suppose it would be Ulysses, the Torah, Norton’s Anthology of Poetry, Norton’s Anthology of English Literature and of American Literature, and I’d have to sneak onto the island a really big Dictionary.
7. Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
Well, taking into account the various types of blogs and the kinds of answers we might get…I’d like to pass the stick to Lori because she needs to be distracted from her little Susie, Matzanacho because her interest in books is so very different than mine, Brenda because I'd like to know what a wonderful artist reads, the narrator because although his blog doesn’t really accommodate a meme, I'm still quite intrigued what such a good published author reads, and hokkaidoabbey because if I name any more, I'll just be obnoxious.
One last notation - a book I just picked up off the internet: Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth, a satire about Christian and religion as a whole. I read this back in high school and had been immediately struck by its relevance to my own beliefs. The book is quite funny and quite interesting. I remember coming home and reading bits of it to my mother.