I read a fair number of blogs, along with my daily news intake-- most of them are personal blogs written by friends, acquaintances, and the like. Most are by other deaf people. A few are political blogs, or links I find in news stories. One of my daily must-reads, as I've previously mentioned
, is "Funny the World
." For today's entry
, there's a book meme-- I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to do the same questions. So if you want to learn a bit more about me, keep reading. If you find this kind of stuff boring, see you next time. *grin*Are you a novel or short story or comic or magazine reader or not a reader?
That depends largely on what I'm in the mood to read at the moment. As anyone who's visited my home knows, I enjoy comics; not so much the muscle-bound heroes type of stories, but more in the vein of graphic novels, anthologies, and the like. I read a lot of history and other non-fiction works. From time to time I enjoy short stories. I read lots of novels when I was younger, but thanks to my bookworm co-habitant, I have picked up quite a few recently published novels lately, and have thus added some new favorites/authors to my list. I do tend to save my heavy reading for during the day, and read something light before bed.What genre of books do you read? Why?
As I said above, I read quite a variety of stuff-- I'd say a better question would be, "What genre of books do you NOT read?" I don't tend to read horror works, sci-fi or fantasy books (that is, the type that have pictures of half-naked warriors and sultry temptresses on the cover), or true crime paperbacks. No romances or other fluffy Barbara Cartland type potboilers either. I'm not generally into the type of thrillers you find at the drugstore either, although I have read a couple of Ludlum books and found them entertaining. I enjoy classic novels, supernatural stories, time travel, historical fiction, and popular history/culture-type books. From time to time I'll check out a biography, or if I get fascinated about a certain topic, I'll read several books on the subject. But if a book bores me or doesn't grab my attention, I don't feel compelled to read it. As sad as it may be, my life is finite, which means I can't and don't want to read everything. It sometimes boggles my mind thinking about how many books there are and what I might never have the opportunity to read.Name five of your favorite books.
Hm... this question isn't the easiest! Well, let's start with what I have listed in my profile:To Kill A Mockingbird
. Definitely a classic, and one most of my readers have probably already read, most likely in high school English. If you haven't read it yet, go read it (and don't cheat by watching Gregory Peck's outstanding work in the movie of the same name-- there's a lot left out of the flick, believe me!). I probably first read this sometime in junior high, and have read it several times since. It's one of those books I get something new out of each time I read it.Addie Pray
. This one is more familiarly known as "Paper Moon," which is the title the book's been republished under ever since it was adapted into the movie. It's about a girl who travels throughout the Depression South with a con man who may or may not be her father. The movie was good, sure, and Tatum O'Neal won an Oscar for her performance, but the screenwriters only adapted the first part of the book for the script. The second half of the book focuses on the duo's attempt to play out a con on a elderly New Orleans widow. Great stuff- worth a read, IMHO.Time and Again
. This one is by one of my favorite authors, Jack Finney. If you have any interest in time travel, read it. It's the story of a New Yorker who, as part of a government project, travels back in time to 1880's New York. It's a time travel story first and foremost, but Finney does such a good job with the little details, it almost seems like a historical novel as well. Definitely worth checking out from the library.
This isn't one book, but a series of books. The Sandman series, starting with Preludes and Nocturnes
and ending with Endless Nights
, by Neil Gaiman, is one of the few must-read comic book recommendations I'd make to book lovers everywhere. Gaiman took a minor DC Comics character and reworked him into an immortal, a god of sorts who maintains control over dreams and dreaming. On one level it's a comic book, sure; but Gaiman weaves literature, history, mythology, fantasy, horror, and so much more into his stories that they transcend mere comic book fare. If you're curious, go get the first book-- or take a look at one of the better websites out there devoted to the character and the books, The Wake
. Needless to say, I have all the books, and re-read them from time to time.
A lot of times when I'm asked this type of question, I don't have reams of favorites-- if I go through a bookstore's fiction section alphabetically, I can pull off the shelves tons of recommendations or books that I liked. One book I read a few years ago, while I can't say it's definitively one of my all-time top five, is definitely up there. Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits
is about the life of Esteban Trueba, but it is also a story of the women in his family and life, and about Chile during the 20th century. Since reading this, I've read some of Allende's other books. If you like South American literature (and I do!), check it out.What was the last book you read or are currently reading? What is it about?
I'm currently shuttling between two books: Kenneth C. Davis' Don't Know Much About Mythology
(if you've read any of his previous works, you know how this one is formatted!). I saw it on the new books shelf at the library and thought I'd check it out. I'm also re-reading The Earth Shook, The Sky Burned
, by William Bronson. It's a classic non-fiction account of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906.What was the last book you bought?
*laugh* The last *four* books I bought are gifts for family members-- March is a big birthday month in my family. As far as I know, no one in the immediate family (other than my lovely spouse) reads this blog, so I'll go ahead and list the four books here:Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium
, by Heer and Worcester.Tea: Addiction, Exploitation, and Empire
, by Roy Moxham.Buzzwords: A Scientist Muses on Sex, Bugs, and Rock N Roll
, by May Berenbaum.Lewis and Clark's Green World: The Expedition and its Plants
, by Earle and Reveal.Who is your favorite writer? Why?
I don't have one outstanding, all-time favorite, but rather several. One is Jack Finney, who has written several short stories and a couple of books (including Time and Again
) on time travel. Definitely one of my favorite genres. Another is Larry McMurtry, who is arguably one of our best contemporary Western writers; he'll definitely join the canon of hallowed writers, alongside authors such as Wallace Stegner. I love Lonesome Dove
and its companion books, but he's written other good stuff too, such as Terms of Endearment
. Growing up, John Steinbeck was a favorite, and still is. I've gotten into Latin American literature in the past several years, and Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez are two authors who I return to frequently.Is there a book that has influenced your life in some great manner? How?
I can't say that there is some book out there that changed my life, or that I can look back and say it was a turning point. I know Lonesome Dove
was one of the reasons I became interested in studying the American West, but it wasn't *the* sole reason. But no-- no self-help book, no classic novel, no tome that irrevocably changed me forever.Name five books that are particularly meaningful for you.
Again, I'm not sure I can come up with five books-- as I said above, Lonesome Dove
was particularly meaningful because it sparked within me a desire to learn more about the history of the American West. Jonathan Spence's God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan
was an influential book for me, because it showed me that a scholarly tome on history doesn't have to be dry: Spence pulls off the trick of being able to write a book that is accessible to both academia and the general public. It's not an easy feat to do!Deaf President Now!: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University
by John Christiansen and Sharon Barnartt is not only important to me because I was present at DPN, but also because I'm smack dab in the center of the picture on page 123. *big grin*
An unpublished book is also meaningful to me as well-- my MA thesis. Very few people may ever see it, let alone read it, but I wrote it, and it's proof not only that I can write a book-length manuscript, but that I earned an MA. No matter what happens, I'll always have that.
There is one book, though, that profoundly affected me when I read it, and I still do think of it occasionally. Joanne Greenberg's other books, such as I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
and In This Sign
, may be better known, but it's Of Such Small Differences
that touched me. In this particular book, Greenberg explores the life of 25-year-old John Moon, a deaf-blind man who has a relationship with a hearing, sighted woman. While the book has the same melancholy tone in places that In This Sign
does, it was able to convey what life as a deaf-blind person must be like. I'm already deaf, so I know what that is all about, but being both deaf and blind is probably my greatest fear. I know achieving a life as a deaf-blind person is possible, as I've seen deaf-blind individuals in the community make contributions where possible, but it's still something I wouldn't want to have to experience. Yet the book allowed me to sort of peek into what it must be like, and reaffirms that doing more than just existing can happen, as long as the individual is willing to do so.
Wow- that's five books. Not too bad...Three books you are dying to read but just haven't yet.
Hm... I keep a small book with a list of books that I'd like to read in it, so there's more than three. One book I definitely want to read is the final book in the Harry Potter series-- I know, no one has read it yet, but I am eagerly awaiting it to find out just what happens! While I'm not "dying" to read it, I do want to read Novel History
by Mark Carnes. It's a discussion between historians and novelists about historical fiction. A third book, one that we actually have here at home, is Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
, by Susanna Clarke. A lot of people I've talked to lately have read it and said it was good, so I know I'm quite curious about it.