I was recently tagged in a book post–a sort of friendly blogging pyramid scheme. Since I was going to post on Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” soon anyways, and since it’s my day off, I’ll humor Adam and play his little game.
1. One book that changed your life
St. Olaf’s Professor Ann Groton, when announcing any upcoming event in my great books course always said at the end of each announcement, “And it will change your life.” Some books bring about unremarkable negative changes. Others, like McCarthy’s “The Road” stay with you for years after you finish, noticeably changing one’s life for the better.
This is not to say “The Road” is uplifting. It’s a haunting horrid tale of humanity in its primal state, but the writing is brilliant, the story-telling unmatched, the pure experience of reading is a sick joy.
2. One book you’ve read more than once
I rarely do so, but exceptions would be books read for class like Paul Tillich’s “Dynamics of Faith.” After the third time, I still didn’t understand the book, but still highly recommend it.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island
Adam says the cliche answers are the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare. I agree. I’d definitely want something long. Say: “The Brother’s Karamozov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
4. Two books that made you laugh
I don’t generally read books to make me laugh, but some certainly do. The first is certainly “Lamb” by Christopher Moore. Second, let’s say, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction“ which makes you think as well.
5. One book that made you cry
Definitely, definitely “Bridge to Terabithia” by Katherine Paterson. I don’t want to see the movie as I have such fond and heart-wrenching memories of the book.
6. One book you wish had been written
“How to save the world, enjoy a high quality of life, and never compromise one’s morals while staying relaxed, healthy, and upbeat”
7. One book you wish had never been written
I’m a firm believe in not banning books, so wishing one hadn’t been written makes me uncomfortable. However, I’ll play the game and say Deepak Chopra’s “The Return of Merlin.” I had to read Chopra for class in college. I suppose it broadened my perspective–I hadn’t read anything that bad in years.
8. One book you’re currently reading
“Abide with Me” by Elizabeth Strout which I’m reading for a Columbia distance-learning class on reading fiction theologically and wouldn’t really recommend. I’ve got “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid on the shelf and am looking forward to it greatly.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read
Woops. I jumped the gun on this one. My to-read list also includes McCarthy, Brian McLaren’s “Everything Must Change” and Jim Wallis’s “The Great Awakening.” I’ve also been recently been intrigued by several of George Wills’s books.
10a. Where’s your favorite place to buy books
There was no 10, so I made this one up. Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia is perhaps the best book shop in the world (though Kristin’s shop in MN, Wild Rumpus, is pretty cool too.) Amazon is handy, but there’s nothing like the service at Little Shop, the book groups they sponsor, and their commitment to the local community.
10b. What book do you want to shamelessly plug
Yep, I added this one too. But Megan and I wrote an essay that’s published in “My Red Couch: And Other Stories on Seeking a Feminist Faith.” I dare say it’s worth the slightly high purchase price (but cheaper than Mark’s book, “Confessing Christ in the 21st Century” which I also want to read,
(BTW: I’m never linking to that many pages again…it takes forever to set them up! Also, I know book titles should be in italics rather than quotes, but quotes save time so that’s that.)