So Tosy and Cosh are back and (more or less) rested. And what better way to return than, as tradition demands, with a pilfered meme? Stolen from the Samurai Frog himself:
Recommend 3 books you believe everyone needs to read and say why people should read them.
I truly and honestly don't think there are three books, or two, or one, that everyone should read. People and their tastes and literary sophistication vary just too much.
Name three books you’ve never been able to finish and explain why.
As has been documented here several times, Neil Stephenson's Quicksliver bedeviled me twice - the last time with only thirty pages left, if you can believe it. Just, in the end, too dense and labyrinthian for my tastes. I've also tried, but never got more than fifty pages into, Don Quixote a few times. I even tried the much-lauded new translation released a year or two ago, but couldn't get into it. The sense of language is just too foreign for me. And finally? As much as I like it and want to finish it, after three years I'm only a 100 pages or so into Helter Skelter. Again, the level of detail is more than I can keep up with.
Name three books you want to read, but haven’t yet.
So many, so many. Of recent vintage, lets go with Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Stephen King's Blaze (all on my birthday list). For classics, let's go with The Brothers Karamazov, War and Peace, and something by Graham Greene.
Are there any books that you’ve loved, but been disappointed by the film/TV adaptation?
As a major King acolyte, I've been disappointed many a time. It, even at miniseries length, failed to get the epic quality of the book (and network standards defanged the violence and critical sexuality something awful) and The Shining famously did away with the book's focus on Jack as a sick man and made the hotel evil. For a non-King choice, I'll go with The Neverending Story, which ended the film halfway through the book.
What are you reading right now?
John Irving's Until I Find You, which I'm enjoying but not loving. A little too much patented Irving sexual oddness and barely disguised research fetishization (and again with the wrestling!?), but enough good stuff to keep me going. Also rereading Watchman after many years.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
May give Jonathan Strange and Mr, Norrell by Susanna Clark a try; just got it on discount. I'm a little afeared it will be another Quicksilver though.
What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now?
None. I carry my Entertainment Weeklys, Newsweeks, and Atlantics with me on the train, although I will read them in the bathroom as well.
What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read?
I took a Gay and Lesbian literature course as part of my MA coursework, and read some great stuff. But there was also some very, very modern stuff that was just hell to get through, stylistically.
Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they?
If they do, they haven't shown it. I did just move though.
Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?
I don't think I've been able to sell anyone yet on my beloved The Known World. It sounds dry, and reads dry, but has magical powers and works its way into your heart somehow.
Do you read books while you eat?
If I'm eating alone, yes, it's an imperative.
While you bathe?
No. I only take showers, so . . .
While you watch movies or TV?
While you listen to music?
Often, but it must be instrumental music.
While you’re on the computer?
No - I'm usually reading what's on the computer screen, or typing.
While you’re having sex?
While you’re driving?
Yes. At red lights. A bad habit, I admit.
When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits?
A bit. (I did invite it some, though - I owned, and wore to threads, a shirt that labeled me as a "bookworm.")
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
Harry Potter Seven. Just had to finish it.
PS - I realized, partway through, that I had already done an early version of this, here. So I skipped the repeated questions and went straight to the new ones.