Friday, February 2, 2007

Give a Hoot, Read a Book!

1. Total Number of Books I Own
How the hell would I know something like that? Actually, come to think of it, it's exactly the kind of inane piece of trivia I would know, but sadly I don't. I'm going to take a guesstimate and say roughly two hundred - but don't quote me on that.

2. Last Book I Bought dad bought me a book called "The Spirit of Prague" a few weeks ago. If that doesn't count, the last books I purchased for myself with my own cold, hard cash were "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt and "Tender is the Night" by Fitzgerald.

3. Last Book I Read
Last complete novel I read: "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith. I don't know why I resisted Smith for so long, but this book, as well as "On Beauty", which I read at the beginning of January, have completely changed my perception of her. I dig, I dig

4. Book I Am Currently Reading
"Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man" by Joyce, which I liberated from the school library.

5. Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction. Although, unusually, I have a greater number of non-fiction books on my bedside table these days, mostly about Jessica Mitford, American politics and 1930s Hollywood. Wowzer.

6. The First Book I Read
...I barely remember yesterday.

7. Largest Impact
"The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster completely revolutionised the way I look at books. I read it when I was about 13 and it changed my literary habits to this day. I even wrote him to tell him all this, which I probably deserve a smack in the mouth for, but I did get a lovely letter back...from his assistant.

8. Favorite Scholarly
As book? Aha! Kind of cheating, but I pick "Othello", which we just finished today in class. Iago for the win!

9. Most Read Book
"The Hours" by Michael Cunningham. My copy is so thumbed, there are pages drifting out and I'm fairly confident that I could recite whole passages, Cunningham's prose is so beautiful.

10. Sexiest Book
I'm thinking maybe "Remains of the Day" by Ishiguro. There's no sex in it, but there's buckets full of repressed desire. Plus, it's an awesome book.

11. Biggest Disappointments
Paul Auster, "Travels in the Scriptorium". I've only started it, but from the opening pages I was smacking my head off the wall. Okay, Paul - you've perfected this kind of quasi-detective story, puzzle, postmodern book before and with "The Brooklyn Follies" last year it looked like a change of direction - a fresh, new outlook. With this slim volume you seem to have taken a quick glance in the great new direction, paled and run a mile...backwards. No! No!

12. Five Books that Mean Something to Me
05. "Girlfriend in a Coma" by Douglas Coupland. Because it's an amusing, wry look at teenage life, then takes a dive into some strangely sad, weird, satire about the end of the world, while slipping it sutble references to Smiths' songs.

04. "1984" by George Orwell. This book blew my thirteen-year-old brain and I don't think I've ever quite recovered. Even now, I can say it's still the most frightening book I've ever read.

03 "The Basic Eight" by Daniel Handler. Because, as a precocious teenage girl narrator who's devoted to her friends and ever so slightly insane, I totally identify with Flannery Culp. Nah, I just love this book because it's hilarious, effortlessly readable and the twist in the end still makes me kind of shocked when I think about it.

02. "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham. Because of the beauty, the sadness, the poetry and the prose. And, no matter how emo that sounded, it's true

01. "The New York Trilogy" by Paul Auster. Because of all the reasons I mentioned before - it opened my eyes to a whole raft of literature and for that I am eternally grateful.

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