This is my lucky Monday. I’ve been tagged by Sarcastro. (Frankly, it surprises me, because he doesn’t usually go in for the Meme thing.) Is there anything better than being tagged when you want to blog but don’t have anything really cheery that you want to write about? Okay, so there are probably a thousand things that are better, but why quibble?
The best part of this one is that I’ve already answered the first question in detail.
1. Name 5 of your favourite books
2. What was the last book you bought?
The Exile by Allan Folsom.
It’s the best “light read” I’ve had in a long time. It’s suspensful and fast-paced, but still dense and intelligent. It’s also on my kitchen counter, waiting patiently to be read by Tim.
3. What was the last book you read?
Just finished re-reading The Winds Of War. I need to buy a new copy of this book, hopefully one printed on better paper. The edition I have now is one of those that leaves black smudge-marks on your thumbs when you hold it open. I feel like I’ve been arrested.
4. Name 5 books that have particular meaning for you.
I’m not gonna say “The Bible” because that’s just a cop-out. Yes, the Bible does have particular meaning for me, but honestly. I get so tired of everyone always saying “the Bible”. I think I will start a Bible Meme later, though. You know what…yeah. I’ll do my own Bible meme tomorrow. Anyway…
Hah. I probably should have just gone with “The Bible”. In all seriousness, I love this book because it presents such an eloquent and intellectual defense of the faith. There are different types of Christian, and so much of the paraliterature of the Church of the twentieth century was written for and directed by the emotional side of the faith. In this book Lewis turns Bertrand Russell topsy-turvy. I’d actually recommend reading both books back to back for a good formation of the central intellectual argument regarding Christianity.
A Girl Of The Limberlost
When you grow up in Indiana you are pretty much convinced that nothing interesting happens there aside from car races and basketball. This book is a must-read for any little girl who grew up there. It celebrates the beauty of an Indiana that has mostly disappeared. It’s also one of the best stories ever put to paper. I try to read it once a year, but I’m in the sad position of not knowing where my copy has ended up.
I waded through so many of those sprawling depressive epics that try to suss the nature of love through the lens of despair that I actually wanted, several times, to wash out my brain. When I found Tom Jones I was thrilled to find a book that examined the same themes so worn by the Russians, but with a decidedly Celtic joviality.
I’m not one for the whole “Vampire Chic” that became so popular with Anne Rice. On the whole I think vampire literature (aside from Bram Stoker’s original) is goofy, self-important and sexually infantile. I don’t know how or where I found this book, but I read it because it featured Sherlock Holmes. It’s one of the most inventive and well-researched pieces of populist fiction I’ve ever read. Why does it have particular meaning for me? I don’t know, other than it provided some much needed entertainment during one of the most dull periods of my life. And any book that features Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Bram Stoker, Dracula and Queen Victoria all coexisting happily is always going to be in some “favourites” list of mine.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
This is a cheat, because it’s me including 4 books and 56 short stories as “one”. But if the Conan Doyle estate can do it, so can I. I came to Holmes late–I read A Study In Scarlet when I was 14–and was enthralled by the language as much as anything. I admit, though, that I fell a bit in love with Holmes. He was such a jerk, but he had all the physical attributes I find attractive and he was smart as a whip. Come on. You know I’m not the only woman to fall in love with Holmes. Honestly. Stop rolling your eyes.
But the glory day was when I first read The Greek Interpreter. That’s the first time we hear of Mycroft, his brother. Myrcoft Holmes is smarter, fatter and older. He solves mysteries from his comfy chair in the Diogenes club while Sherlock does the legwork. In short–Mycroft Holmes is my idealised fictional self. Yes I know he’s a fat old man. No, I have no idea what that says about my psychology. I just know that when I started programming in BASIC at 16 and had to have a cool “hacker name” just like all the other 2600 geeks, I chose Mycropht. (Also in partial tribute to Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress) Hence my blogname and all the other stuff just floating out in the ether for the last 20 years with that sig. So, yeah, the Holmes canon are significant to me.
Three books you are dying to read but haven’t yet.
Harry Potter Book 7
Angels by Marian Keyes
I’m kind of saving it for a rainy day.
I honestly can’t think of a third one, but I’ll take recommendations. I’m kind of in a book lull at the moment.