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quoted from Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts (1931) "Myself"

Gakked from diachrony, another book meme:

1. A favorite book!
2. A book that affected you in your YA years.
3. A favorite fantasy novel.
4. A favorite sci fi novel.
5. An awesome book (possibly a favorite) you think not many people around you have heard of/read.
6. A book you own more than one copy of.
7. An author whose every single book you own/will buy.
8. The worst book you've ever read.
9. A book you dislike that lots of other people you know like.
10. The most difficult book you've ever read.
11. Tell me what kind of books your mom reads/read.
12. What have you read so far this year?
13. What are you reading now?
14. What are you reading next? (list! list! You know you want to)


1. A favorite book! Just one? Karel ende Elegast, which I first read at the age of 8, and have read many times since.
2. A book that affected you in your YA years. I'm not sure what YA stands for, but I'm guessing that in this context it means childhood? If so, then my answer (as with hundreds of thousands of Dutch children of a certain generation) will be: Thea Beckman, Kruistocht in een spijkerbroek. It's the story of Dolf, a 14-year old boy who somehow, one day in the early 70s, gets transported back in time to the 13th century and ends up taking part in the Children's Crusade.
3. A favorite fantasy novel. The Lord of the Rings is my absolute favourite in this genre. Another is Michael Ende's The Neverending Story.
4.A favorite sci fi novel. I don't think I've ever read a sci fi book in my life; not unless 1984, Brave New World or The Time Machine count as such...
5. An awesome book you think not many people around you have heard of/read. IMO, there are so many wonderful books that deserve a wider audience...Glancing to the side, at the bookcase nearest to me, e.g., I see William T. Vollmann's The Ice-Shirt. That's one I'd recommend.
6. A book you own more than one copy of. The Bible (I've got both Protestant and Catholic versions of it). Valerio Massimo Manfredi's The Talisman of Troy was re-published later as Heroes. I didn't realise they were the same until I started reading Heroes and thought the story awfully familiar.
7. An author whose every single book you own/will buy. Umberto Eco is one. Karen Armstrong is another.
8. The worst book you've ever read. Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail aka Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Because I've read this piffle, I've never even been tempted to read Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, or any of his other works.
9. A book you dislike that lots of other people you know like. C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. I'm sorry, I just can't get into it. I simply detest those children.
10. The most difficult book you've ever read. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas R. Hofstadter. It was recced to me by my late cousin George, and after reading it 3/4 of the way through, I still had no idea what it was about.
11. Tell me what kind of books your mom reads/read. Neither of my parents, nor indeed my sister or any of her children, are avid readers. Mum prefers to do brainteasers like really really difficult crosswords and cryptograms for relaxation; but when she does read, it's often a biography or an autobiography of an old time movie star (David Niven, Marilyn Monroe, Errol Flynn). Recently though, she's taken to borrowing my Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic-books.
12. What have you read so far this year?
Antoinette May, Claudia: Daughter of Rome - bad
Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Alexander: The Ends of the Earth
Justin Pollard, Alfred the Great
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin
Beryl Bainbridge, According To Queeney
Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad
Su Tong, Binu and the Great Wall
Philip Roth, Everyman
Nuala O'Faolain, The Story of Chicago May
Louise Welsh, Tamburlaine Must Die
Robert Harris, Imperium
Anchee Min, The Last Empress
Wilbur Smith, The Quest - so bad
Marie Phillips, Gods Behaving Badly - funny
Roberto Calasso, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony - brilliant
Zane, Addicted - a friend recced me this. I found it dull as dishwater
Ross Leckie, Hannibal: A Novel
Heere Heeresma, Een dagje naar het strand - re-read of a classic of Dutch literature
Bernard Cornwell, Sword Song - #4 in the excellent The Lords of the North-series
Orhan Pamuk, The White Castle
Karen Armstrong, A History of Jerusalem. One City, Three Faiths
Diana & Michael Preston, A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time: the Story of the Taj Mahal
Emmanuel Barceló, The Pyramids of Egypt - terrible
Nathaniel Lachenmeyer, 13: the Story of the World's Most Notorious Superstition
Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic & Baby - hilarious
Ethel Johnston Phelps, The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World
Anne Enright, The Gathering - bad
David Grossman, Lion's Honey: the Myth of Samson
13. What are you reading now? The King's Grey Mare, by Rosemary Hawley Jarman. It's a historical novel with Elizabeth Woodville as the central character, and although I've always been hugely interested in any material dealing with the War of the Roses, I'm not sure that I'll be able to finish this. Apart from the fact that it's rather old-fashioned (it was first published in 1973), it also seems to want to follow Tudor propaganda and paint Richard III as a monster...and I happen to have Ricardian sympathies.
14. What are you reading next?
Antonia Fraser, Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King
Colleen McCullough, Antony & Cleopatra
Liu Hong, Wives of the East Wind

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Comments

( 7 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
spiralleds
Jul. 3rd, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
"YA" stands for "Young Adult", so the context of childhood would be close. I'd say it's mainly the teen years, though pre-teens (10, 11, 12 year olds) are probably reading YA books.

Your answer to 9 cracks me up, as it could be my answer to 2, though they're more for those who are pre-teen, IMO, and I'd probably answer 2 as A Wrinkle in Time.

And then I look at your reading list and realize I really need to get back into reading things with, you know, bindings to them.

gamiila
Jul. 3rd, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
I must have been around 12 when I read Kruistocht..., which was first published in 1973, and definitely aimed at my age group or a little older...By the time I was 16, and taking my first exams, I had definitely already progressed to the type of grown-up books I still read today; so I suppose Kruistocht... was the right choice for answering the question.

Another book that made an indelible impression on me between the ages of 12 and 14 was Hannah Green's I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. I found and read it again a couple of years ago, and was far less impressed.
diachrony
Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Oh! I've been planning to read Gods Behaving Badly!

I fear re-reading Narnia now - I may detest the children as well, and I've also heard there's a disturbing amount of sexism & racism that becomes clear when reading as a modern-day adult.
gamiila
Jul. 3rd, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Oh! I've been planning to read Gods Behaving Badly!

I had great fun reading that one weekend; I hope you'll enjoy it too.
anonypooh
Jul. 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
how are you doing with job applications?
gamiila
Jul. 3rd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Erm...
anonypooh
Jul. 5th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC)
ah .... next week!
( 7 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )

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