Litlove’s meme

From Tales from the Reading Room, here’s a new book meme:

1. First book to leave a lasting impression? I think it would be the Little House on the Prairie series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read those books so many times I practically had them memorized. I was so fascinated by life on the prairie, I read them looking for every detail I could find that would shed some light on what the Ingalls’ family life was like. And I learned something about independence and resourcefulness from Laura. I liked the quiet confidence the character projected.

2. Which author would you most like to be? That’s tough because so often authors have interesting lives of the sort I wouldn’t want to live through. But I think Jane Austen would be a good choice. There’s something about living a quiet, uneventful, undramatic life, writing works of stunning genius and not making a big deal out of it, that appeals to me.

3. Name the book that has most made you want to visit a place. Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods, about the Appalachian Trail. Even though he had some terrible times on his hike, the book still makes me want to be on the trail, and to stay on the trail for the months and months it takes to hike the whole thing. Anything I read about the Appalachian Trail makes me want to go there.

4. Which contemporary author will still be read in 100 years time? Of all the questions in this meme, this one has stumped me the most. Perhaps it’s because I’ve read too many books that were immensely popular in their own time, but then fell out of the literary canon. So I think if we could find out the answer to this question, we’d probably we surprised. I’d like for Kazuo Ishiguro to make it.

5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try ‘literature’? In spite of having taught 18-year-olds for quite a few years now, I have absolutely no confidence in any recommendation I could make to a teen who isn’t a big reader. I will say that I read — devoured — Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy recently, and would recommend it to anyone, of any age.

6. Name your best recent literary discovery. Hmmm … Mary Oliver? Jane Hirschfield? Rebecca West? Let’s go with Rebecca West. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying The Fountain Overflows.

7. Which author’s fictional world would you most like to live in? How about living in the world of Jaspar Fforde’s Thursday Next books? At least people care about literature there. A lot.

8. Name your favorite poet. Right now it would be Mary Oliver. I’m excited to read more though — there’s so much about the poetry world I don’t know.

9. What’s the best nonfiction title you’ve read this year? Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just. It’s, well, beautiful. I also liked Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading very much.

10. Which author do you think is much better than his/her reputation? I’m going to answer this in a different way than the question implies: I think there are a lot of eighteenth-century novelists, particularly women novelists, who are dismissed as being merely “pre-Austen,” but are really great writers and deserve attention. Frances Burney, Elizabeth Inchbald, Mary Hays, and Maria Edgeworth are examples.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Memes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s