Well, I like doing stuff like this regarding books especially. There are so many. Too many. Never enough time to read all that I want, or even know all that I would like. And again, we are all so different. We all have such different and interesting lists. Following are my answers.
1- Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
No, can’t say as I can think of a single one.
2- Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
Isaac Asimov’s I Robot. It hooked me on science fiction for a few years. I read simply tons of it, along with a few Sci-Fi magazines. Sold or gave away almost all of them, literally more than a hundred books. As I youngster I was fascinated by Rome, I devoured any book I could find that was set in that era, and eventually it became my favorite period of history, roughly the time between Julius and say Nero.
3- Find a book that you want to reread.
I am not much of a re-reader simply because there is so much out there not yet read. I did however re-read War and Peace and enjoyed it every bit as much the second time around. I can see myself re-reading Dostoyevsky. I love his stuff.
4- Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?
I read North and South by John Jakes and basically thought it fairly trite. I read fiction quite fast, always have, so series are always a boon for me.
5- If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
Well none actually since most everything is replaceable at this point, but certainly Shakespeare and Walter Breuggeman’s, Genesis are among books I treasure for the wealth of wisdom within. The bible of course. Perhaps Christology at the Crossroads by Jon Sobrino, or something by Gustavo Gutierrez such as Liberation Theology
6- Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?
Probably The Five Books of Moses, a Matthew Fox translation of the first five books of the bible. I studied it when at Marygrove College, sure that I would one day be working on a doctorate in Biblical studies and a Dominican nun. Those were precious days studying under some of the best teachers I have ever had. If I am a grown-up Christian it is due to Father Tony and some of the Sisters who taught me to really understand the bible, and thus see God in a more realistic and beautiful way. The generated a life-long interest that has never waned.
7- Find a book that has inspired you the most.
Two actually, for similar reasons. Leon Uris’s Mila 18 that probably helped me understand as no other book what it was like to live in Europe as a Jew in Hitler’s time. The other was Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, which made it clear to me that there was no glory in war. It was simply ugly, painful, and terrorizing every day, all day.
8- Do you have any autographed books?
Yes, two that I can remember, possible more, but one is by a wonderful internet and blogging friend, Shannon O’Donnell’s Save the Bones, about her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, and the other from Bart Ehrman, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill, Misquoting Jesus.
9- Find the book that you have owned the longest.
I have sold off hundreds of books and undoubtedly my oldest. But my Complete Works of Shakespeare is so old the cover is nearly half torn off. The oldest book I can remember actually reading was My Friend Flicka which had been my dad’s I think. It’s long gone.
10- Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?
Several. I didn’t expect to enjoy Don Quixote by Cervantes certainly. Nor Balzac, Voltaire, Virgil and Homer. All were surprises. The Greek playwrights were shockingly fun to read and I thought they would be mostly unintelligible today. I find generally many ancient classics are simply delightful even today.
(1) “A Wolf at the Table” by Augusten Burroughs. It’s a memoir about the author’s childhood with an abusive, sociopathic father. I’ve thumbed through it and read segments, but I don’t think I’m strong enough to read it cover to cover.
(2) “The Handmaid’s Tale” introduced me to the dystopia genre for me. From there, it was on to “1984”, “Animal Farm”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “Brave New World”, and “Woman on the Edge of Time”.
(3) “Empire of Illusion” by Chris Hedges or “Too Much to Dream” by Peter Berbergal. The former is a scathing social analysis, while the later is a memoir that deeply resonated with me.
(4) I got about halfway through Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy before losing interest. The novel had interesting premises (externalized souls, dust) but lousy characterization.
(5) Do you honestly think I can narrow it down to one?
(6) My collection of “Bloom County” comic strip books take me back to childhood.
Ahab, I love Augusten Burroughs. I have “A wolf at the Table” but it’s still in my pile. Like you, I love Dystopian lit, and have read all the books you listed in (2.)
I too love dystopian stuff…Loved Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World, hated Animal Farm. I once had a great collection of Calvin and Hobbes. Sold that off sadly…Wish very much I had kept them…but it was not my childhood! lol…Thanks for your additions…I have read many on your list. !END
SO. you like War & Peace, huh?
I had sorta forgotten about North & South. That was fairly lame, wasn’t it? But you know, that was like 1985 for me…so I’m over it!
Thank you for playing along 🙂
yeah, I loved War and Peace actually…I note that you are not a fan of Russian writers…that’s what makes us all so fun…our differences! It was a fun thing…any talk about books is always a good thing. 🙂 !END