I’m not doing this because SamuraiFrog did it. I’m not even attempting it because Jaquandor completed it. I’m doing it because I haven’t written a blog post in five days, and MAYBE it’ll jump start the process. And what I have determined is that sometimes, my answers change, so I find that interesting.
1. Your favorite book:
I used to say the World Almanac, and it was probably even true. I used to devour it, at least the year in review section. But now… Haven’t reread it in over a decade, but my longtime favorite book to read was Growing Up by Russell Baker, the New York Times columnist I used to read avidly. I even have a signed copy when I saw him speak somewhere in Albany in the 1980s. (The book was published in 1982.)
2. Your least favorite book:
I used to say none, because I gave up on a lot of books if I didn’t like them. But Jaquandor reminded me of one I actually DID read, all the way through – I think I was in California visiting one of my sisters, and someone lent it to me, and I didn’t have much else to do – was The Celestine Prophecy. Not sure it was my LEAST favorite book; that would be almost anything that was REQUIRED READING in junior high school such as Johnny Tremaine or Ivanhoe. (Always thought I should give Ivanhoe another chance, but never did.)
3. A book that completely surprised you (bad or good):
I read The Fate of the Earth by Jonathan Schell, which was about avoiding nuclear annihilation, a real policy wonk piece. And somewhere in the book, and I’d have to look through it again to find it, was some hopeful narrative that was almost poetic in its verbiage, and it made me smile. I even used it at a ceremony once.
4. A book that reminds you of home:
Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss, the first of his books that really spoke to me beyond what his previous books had.
5. A non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed:
This is a problematic question in that MOST of the books I’ve read ARE non-fiction. I’ll pick one that’s closest to where I’m sitting: Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim.
6. A book that makes you cry:
I’m sure there are some, but none come to mind.
7. A book that’s hard to read:
I haven’t even tried to read a half dozen books in this category, but it’d include some Shakespeare histories.
8. An unpopular book you believe should be a bestseller:
The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus.
9. A book you’ve read more than once:
I used to do so a lot, and now I feel like there are so many books that I need to go to the next one. I read the Bible at least thrice all the way through. There are any number of Beatles bios, notably Shout!, I’ve read more than once.
10. The first novel you remember reading:
Some novelization of an I Spy TV episode. A real novel, without being assigned? A Handmaid”s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
11. The book that made you fall in love with reading:
Green Eggs and Ham. (It’s the Green thing.)
12. A book so emotionally draining you couldn’t complete it or had to set it aside for a bit:
There have been one or two, lost in the mists of my memory.
13. Favorite childhood book:
This is probably a cheat, but besides the ones mentioned, The Methodist Hymnal that came out in the 1920s. I used to read all the liturgical stuff in the front and the back. I can tell you without looking that the first hymn is Holy, Holy, Holy.
14. Book that should be on a high school or college required reading list:
I have no clue. Someone once suggested I run for school board, and I declined because people might ask me questions like that.
15. Favorite book dealing with foreign culture:
The World Is My Home by James Michener, which may be the only one of his books I ever read all the way through, though I’ve read sections of his novels.
16. Favorite book turned movie:
The Bridges of Madison County, which really is one of those movies that is WAY better than the book.
17. Book turned movie and completely desecrated:
I have no clue. I went to look at the Oscar-nominated adapted screenplay, and of the ones taken from a book (as opposed to a play, or something else), the only ones I’ve both seen the movie and read the book were The Godfather, The Color Purple and To Kill A Mockingbird. The only other book-to-movie that comes to mind is Catch-22, and I saw the film first.
18. A book you can’t find on shelves anymore that you love:
That first book by Jaquandor. Can’t find it anywhere. (Oh, he hasn’t finished it yet…)
19. A book that changed your mind about a particular subject (non-fiction):
I’ve mentioned it before, but Jesus for President has changed my understanding of a lot of the Jesus parables, that this was a guy speaking to the power elite in a language they understood. And I think a lot of the message has been watered down over the centuries to please the power structure and especially the church elite.
20. A book you would recommend to an ignorant/racist/close-minded person:
The Sweeter The Juice: A Family Memoir in Black and White by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip.
21. A guilty pleasure book:
Jaquandor: “I don’t feel guilty about pleasure.”
22. Favorite series:
The Marvel Masterworks of the Amazing Spider-Man.
23. Favorite romance novel:
Love Is Hell by Matt Groening. OK, not that. No idea. (But talk about something I read more than once…)
24. A book you later found out the author lied about:
Isn’t that why writers write, to tell truth? So if the facts are not 100% accurate, does that negate the greater truth? Oh, I don’t know.
25. Favorite autobiographical/biographical book:
26. A book you wish would be written:
And I’m not going to write it…
27. A book you would write if you had all the resources:
And I’m not going to write it…
28. A book you wish you never read:
29. An author that you completely avoid/hate/won’t read:
Also not applicable. I wasn’t going to read Orson Scott Card anyway.
30. An author that you will read whatever they put out:
No one. I’m very catholic within my genres. Although there was a time when it was Russell Baker and Garrison Keillor.