Thursday, April 09, 2009

My Life Counted In Pages Meme Entry

Memes take time so I've been avoiding most of them since the ubiquitous "25 Things," except for the "Which Doctor Who Are You?" quiz, which I took on Facebook. The Tenth Doctor, thank you very much.

"The Life Counted In Pages Meme" on Alan Baxter's blog, which I discovered via his Twitter Tweet about it, looked interesting, however. And, yeah, it looked like an easy way to get a blog post and stay in touch with everyone in the blogosphere. Sooooo here are my answers.

What author do you own the most books by?

Probably Edgar Rice Burroughs because I have most of his series, some inherited from a neighbor many, many moons ago. Ross MacDonald is probably high as well since I own most of the Lew Archer books and have never given any of them up. Ditto Raymond Chandler. Heavy contenders are Koontz and King as well. Then there's Thomas H. Cook whose work I love and respect a lot.

What book do you own the most copies of?

The books I have the most copies of are books I wrote? Need one? We can barter like Tao Lin.

What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Go with the first answer that pops into your mind right? This is from the '70s - Irma Arden aka Saturn Girl . She was Lightning Lad, or Garth Ranzz's girlfriend--at least back then--in the "Legion of Super Heroes." Lightning Lad was always my favorite Legion member. In the '70s we had similar hairstyles.

What book have you read more than any other?

I'm not big on re-reading books. I have thumbed and re-thumbed Chandler quite a bit, also "Heart of Darkness."

What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

There was a book called "The Saturday Gang," I liked a lot. I was probably heavily into The Three Investigators books around that time as well. In those days they were Alfred Hitchcock and The Three Investigators. They investigated ghosts and hauntings that usually turned out to be the schemes of evil-doers though they decided Bigfoot might be out there somewhere.

What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

I've been reading a lot of respected works for my MFA program. Can't say that I've read a bad one or really even one I didn't like.

What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

Proably "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami. Intriguing, challenging, imaginative. Great all around. I read Faulkner's "Absalom, Absalom!" for the first time recently as well. Definitely inaccessible yet brilliant and ultimately exciting on an entertainment level. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Marquez is another great one that I finished in August.

What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

"Absalom, Absalom!" would probably qualify. Maybe other works by Faulkner. I've never tackled "Ulysses."

Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Wow, I'm woefully short on the Russians. I like Dumas, Hugo. Go Musketeers. Go Hunchback. OK the French.

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

Definitely The Bard. I like "Hamlet," "Macbeth," and "A Comedy of Errors" is one of the funniest pieces ever.

Austen or Eliot?

Austen, I suppose. I rather liked "Clueless."

What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

I've read a lot of the classics, but there are probably plenty of gaps. Obviously the Russians also.

What is your favorite novel?

That's always a tough one for me. I'm such an eclectic. I like "The Big Sleep," "The Blue Hammer" and Thomas H. Cook's "Breakheart Hill," on the mystery front, Shirley Jackson's "The Haunting of Hill House" and King's "'Salem's Lot," in the horror realm. Also "The Ceremonies." Wayne Sallee's "The Holy Terror." The Faulkner I mentioned and Bradbury in general and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in particular.William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition." "The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins.

What is your favorite play?

"Amadaus," I suppose. I saw it on Broadway years ago then read it. Brilliant in many, many ways.

What is your favorite poem?

"The Hollow Men" jumps to mind. So does Frost. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Yeah, because of the "Paper Chase" episode. "The Red Wheelbarrow." I'll try to find ya some more and bring 'em to ya.

What is your favorite essay?

"Thirty-Eight Who Saw Murder Didn't Call the Police" by Martin Gansberg about the Kitty Genovese slaying. Read it in a college English class and it's stayed with me. There is another by Orwell about witnessing an execution by hanging. Both are compelling examinations of all of us and our humanity or inhumanity.

What is your favorite short story?

"A Rose For Emily" by Faulkner, "The Light of Other Days" by Bob Shaw, "Grail" By Harlan Ellison. I could go on and on.

What is your favorite non-fiction?

I wish I could recall a piece of poignant, meaningful nonfiction but nothing's surfacing at the moment.

What is your favorite graphic novel?

Pick one of the "Sandman" editions. Brilliant, genius!

What is your favorite science fiction?

Hard to pick a favorite. Maybe "Neuromancer" or Asimov's "Bicentenial Man" novella.

Who is your favorite writer?

Impossible to name just one. Poe, Dickens, Chandler,

Who is the most over rated writer alive today?

It would be kind of crappy to name one. Catch me when I'm not in as good a mood. I will say there are writers who catch on and become very, very popular with people who don't read much. Since these are people who rarely read novels, they read a book by fill-in-the-blank author only because it's what everybody is reading. Then it's pretty good and they think, "This writer is a god." When really the writer they're worshipping is imitating five better books. I could write a whole post about this. Stay tuned.

What are you reading right now?

"Ceremony" by Leslie Marmon Silko. It's for my study of magic realism novels that's part of my MFA work.

Best Memoir?

Do the David Sedaris books count?

Best History?

Shelby Foote's "Civil War

Best mystery or noir?

Chandler and MacDonald as I've mentioned, anything by Jim Thompson plus "The Ice Harvest" by Scott Phillips. John D. MacDonald also.


I'll steal the note I read on Alan's blog to wrap up:

Consider yourself tagged if you’ve read this and like the idea. If you do copy it to your own blog, leave me a comment so that I can come and have a look. And leave any comments with your own answers to any of the questions above if you can’t be bothered to do the whole thing.


Charles Gramlich said...

I should do this meme. I can sure talk about books. although I'm not as well read as I'd like to be.

Lana Gramlich said...

Thanks for sharing your info! Ironically, someone just ret'd "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" to our library yesterday...

Shauna Roberts said...

Very interesting, and not what I expected to hear from you. I did an almost identical meme a couple of weeks ago:

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