Saturday, November 01, 2008

Come to my arms, my memish boy!

A book meme, via Laura.

What was the last book you bought?


Make that books because I had a bit of a spree on Tuesday: Bornholm Night-Ferry by Aidan Higgins, Not Fade Away by Jim Dodge, two of James Sallis's Lew Griffin books, and Burning Your Boats by Angela Carter.

Name a book you have read MORE than once:

The books I have read most (ie. probably at least a half-dozen times each) are the ones I was especially enamored with as a teenager: Dune, Catch-22, Good Omens, Use of Weapons, A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court, various Wodehouses, Vonneguts, James Ellroys, Carl Hiaasens, Michael Moorcocks, Ballards, R.L. Stevensons, etc. As an "adult" the books I keep returning to include: A High Wind In Jamaica, Lolita/Pnin/Pale Fire, Titus Groan, Lucky Jim, Martin Amis up to and including The Information, Wodehouse, Raymond Chandler, Decline and Fall, But Beautiful, and probably a dozen more that I can't think of right now.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Certain non-fiction books have been eye-opening in various ways. I'm not sure fiction could ever change the way I see life - I'm not even sure what that means - but perhaps the steady accretion of reading experience has altered my thinking in ways I can't objectively analyse.

How do you choose a book? e.g. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?

It's more serendipity than anything else. As for cover design, I generally won't choose a book because it has a good cover, but I do sometimes reject a book because of a bad cover.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

Fiction.

What's more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I like traffic lights.

Most loved/memorable character?

Bertie Wooster/Jeeves. You can't really have one without the other.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Stone Junction by Jim Dodge.

What was the last book you read?

Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. It was terrible.

Have you ever given up on a book halfway in?

Many times. I sometimes give up on books halfway through the first page.

10 comments:

JRSM said...

'Lucky Jim' is probably the book I've most re-read. Glad to hear Warren Ellis' book is as bad as I suspected it would be. That's money saved.

Tim said...

At least two other people who have done this meme have listed Lucky Jim as a regular reread. It seems to have some weird power. The first time I read it I thought it amusing but fairly unassuming and old-fashioned. Then I read it again and something clicked. I think about it - or at least scenes or lines from it - at least once a week.

Thanks for your kind comments elsewhere JRSM. I have only recently discovered your blog, which is entertaining, educational, and occasionally disturbing (eg. that Patrick White novel!)

Nick Crumbedprawn said...

Crooked Little Vein *was* terrible, you're right. I expected so much from the write-ups and then it was such a dull ordinary gob of shite.

Marvel at the leaden characterisation as we plod from one bizarre (but not innovative or interesting) sexual fetish set-piece to another!

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