One book meme

Stefanie has tagged me with the One Book Meme. So, here goes:

1. One book that changed your life. I’m tempted to write about feminism and Virginia Woolf, and that would be one honest answer, but the really honest answer is the Bible. I could tell my life story, pretty much, by telling you what I thought about the Bible at various times, how I read it, whether I read it, how I interpreted it, my theories of how it should be interpreted. I’m rather annoyed that this is my best answer, but it truly is. Even though I feel very conflicted about the Bible these days, it is kind of cool to have a book as something that didn’t just change my life but shaped it from the very beginning.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once. Robinson Crusoe. What a great story! And weird. Very weird.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island. This one is difficult because if I chose a novel, I might get tired of the story after a while, but if I chose a book of poems or essays (I’d be tempted by the complete Montaigne), I might get tired of the one writer and his/her voice. I might be best off with one of those big anthologies with lots of different genres and writers and time periods. How about the Norton Anthology of English Literature?

4. One book that made you laugh. Well, I laughed yesterday when I was reading Proust’s Swann’s Way. I’m surprised by this, as I thought he’d be all seriousness. But the description of the narrator’s father trying to get Legrandin to admit something he’d rather not, and Legrandin getting all vague and lyrical in response was funny. I think I chuckled quietly for a moment.

5. One book that made you cry. I’ve read Uncle Tom’s Cabin a couple of times, and it doesn’t always make me cry, in fact at times I’ve found it annoying, but when I read it in college I remember lying on my dormroom bed and crying over it. Sometimes that old-fashioned sentimentalism really gets to me.

6. One book that you wish had been written. The entire Absent Classic series. Since this meme is supposed to be about one book, I’m particularly longing for Volume 15. I’m glad to have an excerpt at least.

7. One book you wish had never been written. Ummm … I don’t have any. In the larger perspective of things, in some cases the large, large, large perspective, I’m glad for every book there is. I will say, however, that a book like James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, while I’m glad it was written, will forever taunt me with its difficulty. I like reading difficult books, at times, but that one? That’s one difficult book I’ll probably never read, and that makes me a little unhappy.

8. One book you’re currently reading. Frances Burney’s Journals and Letters. A little at a time before I go to bed every night.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West. I’m inspired by Susan’s Rebecca West project and by the recommendation of other bloggers. Maybe it will be my next fiction read. If so, it will give me an excuse to go to the bookstore.

10. Now tag five people. I’m going to tag the Hobgoblin, but otherwise, so many people have done this, I’m not sure I can find four others who haven’t. So, if you haven’t done this, and you’d like to, try it out!

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