Friday, January 05, 2007

Self-inflicted Book Meme

I imagine that taking the time and trouble to fill out a lengthy meme simply because you came across it yourself on someone else's site (and not because a friend tagged you with it, and you only complete it so that the guilt caused by your contemplation of ignoring it entirely will cease oozing out of your pores like pus) is considered bad form, or possibly a sign of lunacy, such as calling up a telemarketer and begging them (please! please!) to tell you about all the sweet deals they have to offer you.

However, when I was on my "Reacquaint Myself with the Blogosphere" tour today, I came across a book meme on Pages Turned called the Calvino Meme, and it intrigued me so much I decided to fill it out, as if it had been sent to me by a fellow blogger I owed money to.

And, in the same spirit in which I found it, I will not create any more bad karma in the world by tagging any of you with it. If you choose to answer it on your blog, it's your own pus. I mean fault.

Books You’ve Been Planning To Read For Ages

The Divine Comedy by Dante

I want to read it, even though I’ve heard it’s not all that funny.

Bleak House by Dickens

I have made a life commitment to read all the novels of Charles Dickens, but for some anal retentive reason I am sticking to a resolve to read them in order of publication. I figure that if I don’t do this, I’ll never get around to finding the wherewithal to tackle such dull entries as Barnaby Rudge, which I’ve already slogged through. I’ve heard so much about what a great, entrancing masterpiece Bleak House is, but I’m only now reading Martin Chuzzlewit, so I’ve got a ways to go before I can tackle Bleak and not feel somewhat guilty.

The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon

When I was a young schoolboy, a couple of the other bookish kids I ran around with at Frostwood Elementary in Houston and I had a contest to see who could finish reading this tome, the thickest book we could find in the school library. It's not really all that long by adult standards (especially if you've read Tom Clancy or one of Dickens' doorstops), but for some reason I've never been able to get further than a few chapters into it.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Hardy
Ulysses by Joyce

The Books You’ve Been Hunting For Years Without Success

The Proven Way to Lose Weight, Have Great Sex and Make a Fortune By Doing Whatever You Fancy at the Moment, However Self-indulgent and Trivial

I can’t find this magical classic anywhere, no matter how hard I search.

The Books You Want To Own So They’ll Be Handy Just In Case

The Oxford Unabridged Dictionary

I want the real shelf-sagging McCoy, not the thing on compact disc. I want a dictionary you have to carry in a wheelbarrow.

The Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer

Does this mean that you put them aside because they're so dull you could wait six months to read them without any problem? Or are they so good and juicy that you're "saving" them for leisurely (ha!) vacation reading? I'm not sure, so I can't answer this.

The Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves

I'm collecting the entire All-American Ads series of books by Taschen. They each have hundreds of wonderful, full-color magazine ads from a decade or two of the 20th century, which offer a neat look at what kinds of things ordinary folks spent their time dreaming and partaking of. I own the ones for the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, but they're somewhat pricey, and I haven't bought more yet. I still need the ones for 1900-1919, the 1920s, the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. There's not one yet for the 1990s.

The Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified

Old books of etiquette, such as the ones by Emily Post. It's amazing how things taken entirely for granted today were considered weird or downright scandalous just a few decades ago. For example, in the edition released the year I was born (1960), it says that public airings of buttocks cleavage and multiple facial piercings were not acceptable at a cotillion.

Any kind of pop-up books, the more intricate and innovative the better.

Books Read Long Ago That It’s Now Time to Re-read

All the novels of Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, one of my all-time favorites and one of the few books that made me laugh so hard I hurt.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Many of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Books That If You Had More Than One Life You’d Certainly Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered

The 11-volume, colorful and quite dusty railroad train of books on my top shelf known collectively as The Story of Civilization by the Durants, which I bought cheap at a Barnes and Noble sale many years ago and have yet to crack.

Quote of the Day:

"If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”

--Charles Spurgeon

1 comment:

sarahgrace said...

You know, I'd love to get my hands on an Emily Post manual, or whateveter it is...too. But probably only so I can have a hand up at Trivial Pursuit, or laugh at some of the rediculous stuff in there. ; )