Monday, May 14, 2007

A Book Meme

I stumbled across this one at Sci-Fi Chick's blog, last week, and tried to leave a comment saying I was going to use it. Is it spooky if you attempt to leave a message at a sci-fi blog and it disappears, like it was beamed up by Scotty or something of that nature? Seems a little Twilight Zone to me.

A book that made you cry: Foreign Fruit by Jojo Moyes. I'm going with most recent book that made me cry, because that's easiest. Foreign Fruit was the kind of book that I became so wrapped up in that even though what happened was inevitable and maybe even a bit predictable, I cared and was moved to tears.

A book that scared you: The Amityville Horror. I didn't sleep well for weeks and I avoided the movie like the plague.

A book that made you laugh - Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington.

A book that disgusted you: In the Cut by Susannah Moore. It was so sordid and revolting that I think it deserves to be burned. And, obviously, not highlighted.

A book you loved in elementary school: The Cay by Theodore Taylor. I loved this book so much that I was determined both of my boys would read it. When my eldest showed no interest, I read the first two pages aloud and he said, "Okay, stop," snatched the book out of my hand and didn't emerge from his bedroom till he finished. When my youngest shrugged and said, "Not interested," I read the first two pages and . . . same thing. It's that kind of book.

A book you loved in middle school (junior high, in my case): A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I happened across it while browsing the racks in my junior high library and loved it so much that I later tried to acquire everything L'Engle has written. At some point, I quit acquiring her books but I've read almost all the titles I own. I don't care for her adult fiction as much as her children's and young adult stories.

A book you loved in high school: Desiree by Annemarie Selinko. I read it several times, after discovering my mother's copy, and then carried it off to college and kept it when I married. Eventually, I got my own copy and asked Mom if she wanted hers returned. She shrugged. I gave it to a friend who was dying to own a copy. Mom can always borrow mine.

A book you hated in high school: I don't remember a particular title I hated, but I thought romance novels were appalling. My sister went through a huge romance phase, so I decided to give them a try. They were all the same - boy meets girl, boy and girl hate each other, boy and girl fight a lot and then fall in love. Yawn. Romance has improved dramatically since the 70's.

A book you loved in college: Design on the Land, my landscape architecture text.

A book that challenged your identity: I can't think of anything but the Bible.

A series that you love: I'm not a series reader, in general, but I loved Len Deighton's Bernard Samson spy novels: Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match, Hook, Line, Sinker, Faith, Hope and Charity.

Your favorite horror book: Not a horror reader, either! But, The Incredible Shrinking Man by Richard Matheson is classified as horror and I liked it, so I guess that will do.

Your favorite science fiction book: That's a hard one. I'm going to say About Time by Jack Finney, even though it's a collection of short stories. The one with the Woodrow Wilson dime is a gem.

Your favorite fantasy book: Another hard one, since fantasy isn't something I read very often. I really liked Susannah Clarke's The Ladies of Grace Adieu. But, then, I really liked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone . Hmmm. I'll go with Harry. I read the British version, so mine was entitled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Your favorite mystery book: The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais. I like mysteries with a sense of humor.

Your favorite biography: I have too many favorites to list, all in memoir form, but a few favorites are The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, Stand Before Your God by Paul Watkins and To Hell and Back by Audie Murphy.

Your favorite “coming-of-age” book: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Your favorite classic: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Your favorite romance book: Not really classified as romance but my favorite romantic novel is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Your favorite book not on this list: It wouldn't be right not to list P. G. Wodehouse as an author that never fails to please. Muriel Spark's A Far Cry From Kensington is a favorite that I almost always seem to add to lists of favorites. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and My Antonia by Willa Cather are others that come to mind. Of course, I could really go on all day.

I'm sure I'll think of a million better answers, later on, but there you go. Pass it on, if you'd like!


  1. Those are great answers. I didn't know Richard Matheson wrote 'The Incredible Shrinking Man'. That was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I'm currently a little obsessed with Matheson, so I'm going to have to look up his complete works. Thanks. Again I learn something from Bookfool.

  2. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing your favorites with us.

  3. Anonymous12:24 PM

    Ha - I love the graphic you posted with your meme! Those were some very cool answers. Maybe I'll steal it too :)

  4. Ack.. I don't like to hear that comments are disappearing! Hope my spam filter didn't take it..

  5. Kookie,

    Yep, I read The Incredible Shrinking Man and other stories, last year. He's a knock-out writer. The only other full-length novel I've read by Matheson is "Now You See It". I enjoyed that one, also, although it's not so highly rated at Amazon as most of his books are.


    Glad you enjoyed my list. :)


    I had it in my head that I had to use a sign for the photograph at the top of this post; I have no idea why. LOL Please do steal this one. I'd love to read your answers!


    I don't know . . . could be the spam filter. I've had at least two replies disappear. Since your blog has gotten pretty high-traffic, I often don't bother going back to see if you've replied but I remember there was another time I checked and my post didn't make it on the board.

  6. Anonymous2:20 PM

    I enjoyed reading this, but I don't think I'm in the mood to steal it. :)

  7. You've got some great books on there. I'm trying The Age of Innocence again for this classics challenge coming up. Everyone seems to love it. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, I don't know, but I couldn't get past the first few pages when I started it awhile back. Too many names! Mrs. so and so and Mr. so and so...all these families and courting and I just got lost in it. I couldn't find the story in the names. Maybe it'll all sort itself out. I'll give it another go!

  8. Great meme! I have tried to read Catcher in the Rye about 100 times and never managed to get through it. I'm going to keep trying!

  9. Dew,

    S'okay. There are so many memes floating around, sometimes you have to pick and choose what interests you to keep from meme overload. :)


    It's been quite a while since I read The Age of Innocence, so I don't remember the characters but there have been many books I've set aside because the cast of characters was too huge to keep track of, so I can relate. Or, it might not be your thing. Some books just don't do it for us and that's fine because there are plenty more to choose from, right?


    I liked Catcher in the Rye, but a lot of people don't like first person and it's definitely an angsty novel - not for everyone. One of my sons loved is and the other said, "Ick." LOL If you've tried *that* many time, it might be a skipster for you. ;)

  10. Your favorite science fiction book: That's a hard one. I'm going to say About Time by Jack Finney, even though it's a collection of short stories. The one with the Woodrow Wilson dime is a gem.

    Bookfool, my favorite science fiction book is Jack Finney's Time and Again (1970), and I enjoyed the sequel From Time to Time (1995). I have About Time (1986), but haven't read any of the stories yet. I hope the story about the Woodrow Wilson dime is "The Coin Collector" because that's what I plan to read tonight. Thanks for sharing your favorites.

    By the way, Richard Matheson wrote another of my favorite time travel stories, Somewhere in Time, which was made into a great movie. Have you seen the movie or read this book?

  11. Bonnie,

    I love Time and Again and From Time to Time, also. But, for some reason, I thought Finney's short stories had more impact.

    I've seen the movie Somewhere in Time (actually, I have it on DVD), but haven't managed to read the book, just yet. It's on my mile-long mental list of things I must someday read. I've enjoyed everything I've read by Matheson, so far.

  12. Anonymous12:17 PM

    Great answers, and I love the image!

    I'm another one that loves Catcher in the Rye. Great book.

  13. Quixotic,

    Thank you and thank you. :)

    So nice to find another Catcher in the Rye fan! I haven't yet read anything else by Salinger, although I hope to, someday.

  14. I love this meme and all your answers. I think I will try this one, just because I love pondering all the possiblities my own answers could be. It make take me a day or two to figure them out though. Anyway, thanks for a fun blog!

  15. What a great list! A lot of new to me books! I do agree with you about In the Cut. NOT my favorite, by any means!

  16. Suey,

    It usually takes me a few days of mulling before I can post a meme. I'll check yours out in a couple of days - love your blog!


    Uh-oh, am I going to get you in trouble? Learning about favorites can be dangerous. ;) Sometimes I wonder why I stayed up and finished In the Cut, but then I remember it was a bad month and I figured just get it over with. If I'd known how bad it was going to end up, I would have just gotten a good night's sleep!!

  17. Ah, The Monkey's Raincoat, back when I still loved Robert Crais books.

    One of these days I've got to read A Catcher in the Rye but so far I mostly think "ja-uh, donkey butt" and fling it across the room. I think I'm too old.

  18. Carrie,

    You and me both on the Crais comment. I loved it when his books were light and funny. They got too serious for me. Blecch.

    You must sink into the mentality of angsty teenagerhood in order to appreciate Catcher. But, naaah. If it makes you feel that way, just move on. There are too many other books calling out for a reading to linger on one that doesn't grab you, IMHO.

  19. Thanks for doing this meme. I was inspired to take it and do it myself. You and I agreed about Catcher in the Rye.

  20. Bybee,

    Super! I'll dash over to read your version. :)

  21. I loved Catcher In The Rye! In fact, I love all the choices you listed (that I've read) except for My Antonia. I was going to suggest that as a solution for a book you hated in High School, and then I saw it in one of your favorites! Oh, dear, faux pas on my part. However, to me? That book was like watching paint dry. P.U. I have to agree with you on the book that challenged my identity, (and continues to make me grow when I don't always feel like it) is the Bible. Great, great post!

  22. I loved reading this and had a hard time thinking of what I would have said. I did get some new fodder for the TBR list. Thanks, I think.

  23. Bellezza,

    I've read a lot of negative comments about My Antonia, but I really loved it. However, I didn't read it until about 15 years ago (it's a far cry from what I read in HS). Also, I grew up with wheat fields across the road from my home; I remember I loved the description of the prairie. It seems like that could easily be a yawn to other people but I was really missing home at the time.

    It's hard to say whether or not I would have enjoyed it if I read it during my high school years. I only had one lit class in HS - one semester - and I spent most of the time gawking at the gorgeous instructor. Handsome men should not be allowed to teach literature to teenage girls; I still remember his face, but I sure don't remember much about what he taught us.

  24. Framed,

    Those TBR lists just never get any smaller, do they? Sorry about that. I had trouble with a few of the answers but some required no thought at all.

  25. I loved reading through your answers, Nancy.

    I never got around to reading Amityville Horror. It was one of the first horror movies I ever saw (the original version). That and Basket Case which no one's willing to admit to seeing, I've discovered.

    I do need to read Robert Crais' The Monkey in a Raincoat. My husband mentioned the other night wanting to read it . . .

    The Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice are two of my favorite classics. :-)

  26. Wendy,

    I can't remember when I read The Amityville Horror, but I think that was the book that convinced me that scary reading material was not for me! I also avoided horror movies, unless you count Jaws. LOL I've never even heard of Basket Case!

    Robert Crais was so much more fun when he wrote his mysteries with a dash of humor. I wish he'd return to that type of writing.

    Yea! Another Catcher in the Rye and P & P lover!! I especially love the fact that during any future rereads of Pride & Prejudice, I'll be able to imagine Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. :)

  27. Great list! I posted my own list on my blog today.

  28. Oh, good! I'll dash over to see, Chris.


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