Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I return... finallly

I just got back from a 5-day weekend and then couldn't think of anything to write yesterday. I'm sure I'll come up with a few things today. Right now, it's about literature. I get a publisher's e-newsletter called Shelf Awareness each day, and occasionally they have a section called Book Brahmins where someone in the business gets interviewed about books. Here is what I would write:

On your nightstand now:
The Fingersmith

Favorite book when you were a child:
Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends. My mother used to read it to me and I can still recite a lot of it from memory. My favorite was The Worst, where the poem describes a big, hairy, bloody monster, and the last line is "he's standing right behind you!" I screamed every time. She read it to me again when I was a teenager and I still screamed.

I also loved a beautiful book called something like Mr. Pengachusa. I can't find it anymore, or even how to spell it. It was a collection of stories told by a pet hamster to a little girl who had scarlet fever and was isolated from her friends and toys. When she gets better, the hamster disappears.

Your top five authors:
Jane Austen, Amy Tan, Isabel Allende, C.S. Lewis, and Cornelia Funke

Book you've faked reading:
Lots of what I had to read in college since it was in foreign languages. Proust, Rousseau, Diderot, and I can't even remember the German books I faked. Somehow I got good grades anyway.

Book you are an evangelist for:
Oh, so many! Any of my top favorites, like The Great Divorce, Daughter of Fortune, My Sister's Keeper, Lovely Bones, Kite Runner, Inkheart, Count of Monte Cristo (though no one has taken me up on that one yet).

Book you've bought for the cover:
Inkheart. It has such a beautiful cover, and the book ended up being just as good. I also got Silverthorn for the cover because it was my favorite painting by Don Maitz, who does fantasy artwork.

Book that changed your life:
The Great Divorce. I was at a very confused part of my life and was just starting to put the pieces together. My Bible study leader gave me a xeroxed copy of one chapter, and I liked the first few paragraphs so much, I got it out of the school library and spent a Friday night reading it from cover to cover. It's an amazing story, almost haunting. I reread it a few weeks ago and it was just as powerful, esp. the parts about the nagging wife since I'm getting married soon and sometimes nag my fiance.

Favorite line from a book:
Roughly translated from The Little Prince: "It is only with the heart that one sees rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye."

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
That's another hard one. Probably To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a classic I never had to read. Since it was a classic, I wasn't interested. But I was bored once, so I picked up the old paperback copy off my parents' shelf and started reading... I think it is the best book ever written since it transcends so many boundaries: age, gender, time period, life experience...

1 comment:

tamdoll said...

I saw this post when I was searching online for the Mr. Pengachusa (spelling?) book. Great to see someone else was charmed by it! I thought it was like My Father's Dragon.