Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two Things. Ok, well, two things and then 32 more.

First - So, in my last post, when I said "if the rain holds off..." I apparently didn't realize that I had done something to anger every deity in the universe. It has not stopped raining since. I may take the two frames for my raised beds and use them to craft an ark.

Second - I've been busy with a big - but fun - project for work and haven't been around a computer much when I've had any free time and could also stay awake enough to type. Luckily Green Girl saved the day with another of her lists and so tonight while I should be doing laundry I'm doing this instead.

Now, here's the 32 more - a list about my reading habits. Or, the list in which I disgrace two high school AP English teachers and the good institution that gave me a college diploma...

1) What author do you own the most books by? Technically - Beatrix Potter. Adult fare - William Faulkner. I'm an English Major from the South, so it's only by default.

2) What book do you own the most copies of? I live in a house with less than 900 square feet. That is not an option. Over time, however, Walden, The Great Gatsby, The Elements of Style.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions? Nah. If you'd asked "Where you keep your books at?" then we'd have a problem...

4) What book have you read the most times in your life? Walden. Again, only by default. Not by choice.

5) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old? What was that, sixth grade? Help me, Katie! It was likely something by Judy Blume as well as anything by our favorite girl detective, Trixie Belden.

6) What is the worst book you've read in the past year? Breaking Dawn

7) What is the best book you've read in the past year? Right now I'm (finally) reading Prodigal Summer - I think it will probably end up being the best.

8) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be? An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore.

9) What book would you most like to see made into a movie? Hmmm... maybe A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Something by David Sedaris - if done well - could be some crazy delicious fun.

10) What book would you least like to see made into a movie? Ah, if only we could turn back time, I would say Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason... Otherwise I'm not sure - I think it's hard to do any good book justice with a movie just because of time constraints. But at the same time I don't mind at all when a good producer and director are able to capture the spirit of a book but not all of the story.

11) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult? I think my Twilight addiction has been well-documented in this blog. BUT I do stand by it's overall story, quality of characters, etc. (despite Breaking Dawn). So, if that is the standard, I should also include anything I've read by Grisham and Brown.

12) What is the most difficult book you've ever read? Beloved. I just shook my head when Oprah put it in her book club and made it into a movie. What was she thinking?

13) Do you prefer the French or the Russians? Russians.

14) Roth or Updike? Not really familiar with either.

15) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? Sedaris. Sedaris. Sedaris. And his sister, too!

16) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare.

17) Austen or Eliot? Austen. Austen. Austen.

18) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading? All of the great works of the last decade. To this day I still have a hard time reading a novel without feeling that it's an assignment and I need to rush so that I can write the paper for it and then study for a poly sci test and then finish a geology lab and then clean my dorm room. I'm almost like, what, 87? You'd think that would have gone away by now... I have issues...

19) What is your favorite novel? There's something about The Great Gatsby that I just love. But I think technically it may only be considered a novella...

20) Essay? I guess some of Ann Lamott's books would be considered collections of essays. She's awesome. And I keep copies of a couple of sermons on file when I need a little inspiration.

21) Work of nonfiction? There's so many - I love nonfiction. A Walk in the Woods. I thought Tipping Point was great. I love Sarah Vowel's books. Also, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers is (I SWEAR!) an awesome book.

22) Who is your favorite writer? Tom Stoppard. I would sit and read the phone book if he wrote it.

23) What is your desert island book? Besides How to Get off a Desert Island? Maybe James Joyce's Ulysses. It's something I've always wanted to read, but never had the time or energy to tackle it. For lighter fare - and if I could create my own collection/anthology - all of Nick Hornby's novels or the two Bridget Jones books because I could read them over and over again.

24) What are you reading right now? Poisonwood Bible and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Urban Planning and Public Health (it's a real page-turner, trust me!).

25) What fictional character are you secretly in love with? Please - it's no secret. Mr. Darcy. And of course, Edward, my Mr. Darcy With The Very Pointy Teeth.

26) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? Hell if I know.

27) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character. In college I had a Shakespeare course that was crazy hard. I studied endlessly for it and the papers and exams gave me much anxiety. So, while I don't remember any details of the dreams I do remember having several Shakespeare-related dreams because of that class. As a side anecdote (and proof!) I went to college with a now-famous actress and a long time ago I saw an interview with her where she was asked if the martial arts training for her role on a TV series was the hardest thing she'd ever done. She said "No - Intro to Shakespeare with Dr. Lisa McDonnell."

28) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen? Speak of the devil... Troilus and Cressida. Yeah, beat that. It also serves as the answer to the question "What is the worst Shakespeare play you've ever seen?"

29) Favorite Play? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard (so I guess Hamlet should be included too.) Good ole Will is popping up a lot on this list...

30) Favorite Poem? "i thank you God for this most amazing day," by e. e. cummings.

31) Favorite Short story? I don't know that they're favorites, but The Lottery and To Build a Fire always stuck with me - though I couldn't remember the title of the last one and literally Googled "short story dog man cold." Ta-da.

32) Who is the most overrated writer alive today? I have zero authority to judge this, but I'm going to say Dan Brown. The man crafts a thrilling plot and I loved The DaVinci Code, but I found a lot of the actual writing - especially much of the dialogue - to be, well, much less than thrilling.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I just loved reading this. And now I shall add Tom Stoppard to my list of people to read,thank you very much.

Katie said...

10 = fifth grade. I am going to guess something by Judy Blume, as the timing went...

Carrie said...

Ok what is your issue with Breaking Dawn? Really was the imprinting or the birth or the way Bella changed or what? It was kinda crazy but I still LOVE Twilight!

gertrude said...

Carrie - yes, all of those things. The whole baby thing was creepy and she gave me nightmares! Plus it was too vampirey - the other books were more balanced. Plus, she could have tied up all of her loose ends nicely at the end of the third book, this one just went too far off the deep end for me. PLUS - a whole section from Jacob's point of view (boo!) = less Edward = bleh. :)

Carrie said...

I get it!! I totally think the story could have been told in 3 books. Of course that would be one less book to make money.

My sister was ready for everybody to die during the confrontation with the Voturri.

I had a friend that reread it and liked it much better the second time around. I am starting it again soon so we will see.

I also agree we need more Edward less Jacob.

Oh finish Midnight Sun Stephenie Meyer!!!!

Pretty cool you went to school with Jennifer Garner.

Anonymous said...

Trixie Rocks! Love The Lottery, so chilling, also Austen, Shakespeare, the e.e. poem. I totally agree with the Dan Brown comment. Commercial and readable brain candy but not stellar prose.
Loved reading your reading list!