Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taking up the challenge. . .

Well, the esteemed Mr. Mutford over at The Book Mine Set ( has blackmailed me into completing this meme. So here goes:

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

Vincent Lam's Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures - The only thing I look forward to about surgery is that I get to sleep through the whole thing and miss all the gory bits. So, while I've heard great things about the book and I even greatly enjoyed hearing him talk and read from the book at last year's Word on the Street, I keep avoiding the book.

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?

Rabo Karabekian (from Vonnegut's Bluebeard), Sal Paradise (Kerouac's On The Road) and Gabriel English (Michael Winter's This All Happened & The Architects are Here). An evening of booze and conversation in a rundown bar.

(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?

Hey, if I could live forever just by avoiding Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, it's a sacrifice I would be all too willing to make.

Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I've started far more religious texts than I will ever finish - Buddhist Sutras, Hindu texts, etc., etc. And yet I have engaged in many great debates with the unsuspecting Jehovah's Witnesses that come to my door by drawing solely on what amounts to more of a Coles' Notes version of religious understanding.

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?

Not yet. Though it will probably happen eventually.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some 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)

Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief. It is a book that everyone should read.

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?

Russian would be great. Mandarin as well. There's a part of me, however, that is seriously leaning towards Latin.

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?

If it had to be a big book, it would be either Margaret Laurence's The Diviners or Steinbeck's East of Eden.

Personally, though, I'd keep it short and sweet. Andrew Kaufman's All My Friends Are Superheroes. A fun book I can go back to again and again.

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)?

The strange world of book challenges. This one - - in particular.

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.

Floor to ceiling bookshelves. Books a hodgepodge of hardcovers and trade paperbacks. A big old desk with a comfortable leather chair, maybe a manual typewriter for letter writing. A big arm chair and ottoman with a good lamp for reading.

I'm not really sure who to send this on to. I do not even know if I have more than a couple of readers so I'll take the easy way out and offer up the questions to anyone that feels like answering them.


John Mutford said...

Grrr. 2nd time I've tried leaving this comment.

Thanks for succumbing to my empty threat.

Good choice of characters, though I haven't read the Winter book, the other two alone would make for an interesting evening. One night would be enough, I suspect.

Two strikes against Hardy.

I almost considered MacLeod's book too. Definitely for all Canadians.

The Diviners is superb, too.

Nice choices.

You might want to add a link to this post at Eva's.

Eva said...

I hate Hardy as well!!

Dale said...

What? I've read all his books. I loved the Hardy Boys. Or ..

Ohhhh. THAT Hardy.

Bybee said...

I'm glad you said Sal Paradise instead of Dean Moriarty.