The Dreaded Book Meme

I have to admit, I have been waiting for this one. I was finally tagged for the book meme by Nicky at A Skirmish of Wit.

1) One book that changed your life: Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand. I know a lot of people hated this novel, but I read it at exactly the right time in my life. It was liberating.

2) One book that you’d read more than once: Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I love all of his work, but this really stands out as his best. It is a classic for a reason.

3) One book you’d want on a deserted island: War and Peace – Tolstoy. I have wanted to read this novel for a long time, but the length is intimidating. I think if I were stranded with it I could read it.

4) One book that made you laugh: Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt. I know it is a serious and sad memoir, but it was hilarious.

5) One book that made you cry: We Were The Mulvaneys – Joyce Carol Oates. Holy shit this book is depressing.

6) One book you wish you’d written: Harry Potter (just for the money) or Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk. I know it’s two, but it is for very different reasons. I think Fight Club is amazingly insightful and well written. It is the best book I’ve read in years and I think about it all of the time.

7) One book you wish had never been written: I really hated On the Road but I wouldn’t go so far as to say I wish it had never been written. Maybe What to Expect When You’re Expecting. That book just lists birth defects one or two at a time so you feel even more terrible during your entire pregnancy.

8) One book you’re currently reading: The Ha-Ha – David King

9) One book you’ve been meaning to read: I have a four page list running, but I’ll tell you Three Fallen Women by Amy Guth. I was trying to score a free copy, but I eventually broke down and ordered it the other day. Now I’m just waiting for it to show up.

10) Tag people: I’m picking people who I know are big readers mostly because I want to find more good books to read, so Beth, Chris, Sassymonkey, Alison, Becky and Jack’s Raging Mommy.

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  1. War and Peace is doable and entertaining. I took a class in college that just did War and Peace and the Brothers Karamazov (thinking: 2 big books, but only 2 books for the whole semester). I enjoyed both. Though, come to think of it, taking a class to force yourself to read them is like being stranded with it. The coping mechanism recommended by others that helped was to read the Russian name (and the sometimes comfusing nickname) as a more familiar name, like “Bob.”

    And I couldn’t agree more on What to Expect. My advice to every pregnant person I’ve known has been to throw that book away. (Strong advice from someone drawn to her current home by the built in bookshelves.)

  2. Oh my gosh – I loved the book Atlas Shrugged. I can’t remember if I read it my senior year of high school or while I was in my early years of college. But, I absolutely loved it – it definitely shifted some of my perspectives on life.

  3. Atlas Shrugged changed my life, too. I remember feeling like I was in a secret club when I saw a license plate that said JONGALT and knew what it meant.

    Harry Potter is freaking amazing, and not just for the money. Dude, she was a single mom, writing out of coffee shops while the baby slept in a pram. I can’t even get my LAUNDRY done, dig?

    And WTEWYE is the biggest waste of paper EVER. I didn’t even give mine to the Goodwill b/c I was afraid some other unsuspecting fool would pick it up.

    great post! I love a good book meme!

  4. I think I’m hurt. You posted a comment on my Yay! Books! post to the effect of “that’s a lot of books” and then didn’t think of me as a big reader?

    ok, so you don’t know me that well. That might be a (big) part of it. :) (ps: kidding)

    I also totally agree with you about the What to Expect…Expecting book. I had to stop reading it. I wanted to know what I got myself into, but it was too scary. And I hated the Q&A style of the book. Icky.

  5. I’m so with you on the Harry Potter….if only I was that cool.

  6. I loved Angela’s Ashes too. We quote some of the lines around here all the time. Especially “Whip the boy sir! Till the blood spurts sir!” Makes me laugh every time.

  7. My favorite term from Angela’s Ashes is “the excitment”. I giggle everytime I read that term, which he continues to use through ‘Tis and Teacher Man as well.

  8. I posted this on my book blog (you can just clicky on my name in the comment) with a link back. I did it a few months ago too so I linked to that as well. There’s rarely “one” single book for me with anything.

    I’ve heard evil things abotu WTEWYE. Never had to use it myself. 😉

  9. I’m a big “Slaughterhouse Five” lover also. Recently I read “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien (maybe it was on some fancy NYT list) and it was great, but in general I’m not a big war book reader.

    One of my faves is “The Secret history” by Donna Tartt tho I never could get into her 2d book.

    Now I’m too busy to read whole books but I’m trying!!

  10. Frank Sucks says:

    Rand? You a Rush fan too?

    How can you not like On the Road? I must re examine my whole image of you dear….

  11. I love Chuck Palanuick! Have you read any of his other books? Some are hard to stomach, like Invisible Monsters. But I really liked Choke and I think if you like Fight Club you should really love Lullaby, it was great. Also, if you like the whole anti-consumerism, we are not unique snow flakes thing, try Jennifer Government, by Max Barry.

  12. #4 and #5 – Ditto.

    I used to be a big reader. Now I feel accomplished if I can finish a Newsweek article before then next ones comes.

  13. I worked on my dreaded book meme during my lunch break & will try to finish it tonight. I thought about just answering one question per day for the next week or so but decided that might be dragging it out a bit too far.

    You know, I don’t remember crying to the Mulvaney book – but I think I read it before ever becoming a mother. I only vaguely remember reading it at all.

    When I was pregnant with Robey, I ended up with four copies of WTEWYE, no exageration. I took three back to the book store and exchanged them for books I enjoyed so much more.

    I’m with Frank regarding On The Road. How old were you when you read it? Maybe too old. I read it in high school & loved it – but I could never get into anything else by Kerouac.

    Okay, I’ll stop myself now before this comment gets too long. I think we’ve discussed the rest of these already anyway.

  14. Oh no, I didn’t know it was a “dreaded” meme! But I enjoyed your responses; you’ve got some stuff on there I have been meaning to get to, and now I have more of a push to do so.

  15. Hey, you should dig through my archives and find my posts on The Ha-Ha, Dave King and how we became friendly. I love that book.

  16. Thank You

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