Monday, 20 October 2008

Book meme

Of course this isn't my idea. The Well Read Kitty provided the latest meme for me to steal. (Thanks, Kelly!) It's taken quite a bit of thinking, and I'm not sure I've put everything quite as elegantly as she has, but here goes. My Bibliophil list helped me with the bits I needed reminders about.

1. The book that changed my life
I don’t know that a single book or author has changed my life, but one of the most memorable books I have ever read is Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. From start to finish, what an amazing story told by an amazing man. Read it!

2. A book I've read more than once
The Digging-est Dog, by Al Perkins. Over and over and over again. It was my favourite childhood book and one of the few I owned all for myself (and not borrowed from a library). Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox also gets an honourable mention here, for the same reasons.

3. A book I'd want with me on a desert island
Probably one off my “I want to read this book” list (see below). Hopefully a long novel or biography, as I might be there for a while.

4. A book that made me laugh
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, by Susan Jane Gilman.
Not too heavy, not too light; just an honestly hilarious autobiography, including an account of the author’s ‘moment in time’, ie the lead-up to the wedding she never thought she’d have, or ever want.

5. A book that made me cry
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis de Bernieres. This novel was such a mission to finish. I laughed out loud (see #4) while reading this, then actually cried as the remaining Italian soldiers were mowed down when they believed their lives would be spared. I found it quite a difficult read, but am profusely glad I persevered. I saw parts of the movie on a flight to Italy, but have never seen it properly. I can’t imagine it would do the original novel the justice it deserves, though.

6. A book I wish I had written
I’m not really interested in writing so have never harboured these feelings of ‘wanting to be an author’. I guess I wouldn’t mind writing some classic, popular, or timeless children’s books, eg Harry Potter series (how unoriginal am I?) or Roald Dahl’s books. Hmm, I’m really drawing a blank on this one.

7. A book I wish had never been written
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. Yeah yeah, I know it’s a classic and a clever microcosm of the world. But I had to read it twice at secondary school and hated it both times. I don’t think there will be a third attempt, either.

8. A book I am currently reading
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J K Rowling. It’s been on my list for a while, and I’ve kind of put off reading it as I don’t really want to finish the series and say goodbye to Harry and co, but I’m really enjoying it.

9. A book I am meaning to read
Lots! The Color Purple (Alice Walker), The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boynne), The Cider House Rules (John Irving), The Scarlet Letter (Nathaniel Hawthorne), To Kill a Mockingbird (Haper Lee) …

10. My favourite book of all time
Apart from The Digging-est Dog? Sorry, can’t answer this one outright. Some biographies have stuck with me and made a huge impact, and there are plenty of other honorable mentions. Here are a few, in no particular order, and definitely not an exhaustive list:

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
One Were Warriors – Alan Duff
Papillon – Henri Charriere
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
Wild Swans – Jung Chang
To Sir, With Love – E R Braithwaite
Tully – Paullina Simons
Portrait of the Artist’s Wife – Barbara Anderson


Sab said...

I have to agree with you on "Lord of the Flies"... horrible horrible book. Hated it, and I don't usually 'hate' books.

We had FAR too many projects to do on that thing. And the movie is worse than the book, if that's possible

Sab said...

Oh... another comment from me...
Anyway, I want to give you a butterfly award because I love your blog! :)

Arual said...

stealing this :)

Evelyn said...

I, too, absolutely HATE "Lord of the Flies"!!! And, coming from a person who just loves to read...... yuck! I get this uncomfortable feeling just THINKING about that book!
I only had to read it once.
My daughter had to read several books each summer during school break, and was able to choose from lists. When I saw THAT on her list, I immediately said DO NOT READ THAT ONE! Happily, she took my advice there. :)

Kelly said...

Oh I loved Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin too! Amazing story. You might like Shanghai Tango by Jin Xing too - there's a review of it somewhere on my blog.