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Self Awareness Book Meme

I snag this meme from Jessica at The Bluestocking Society, a blog that I have very much enjoyed reading for a while now.

These questions are taken from a Shelf Awareness feature.

On your nightstand now:
The pile that makes up my
fall reading list. Middlemarch by George Eliot, Capote in Kansas by Kim Powers (I’ll be hosting the TLC Book Tour on October 6), Traitor to the Race by Darieck Scott, The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (my students are reading it now), and a stack of library books and ARCs.

Book you’ve “faked” reading:
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Book you’ve bought for the cover:
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein would be the most recent one. I love dogs, especially retriever and labrador. I grabbed the book as soon as I saw the cute cover of the labrador.

Favorite book when you were a child:
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Book that changed your life:
I gave this question a lot of thoughts but I couldn’t come up with a single book. The language, the style, the setting, and the author’s experience have this persuasive power make connection to me as a reader but also a human being. From cover to cover every book would have made an impact on me, whether it’s the world view, self-enlightenment, revival of past memories, or hitting a sore spot.

Favorite line from a book:
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” from The Go between by L.P. Hartley.

Top five favorite authors:
Jose Saramago, Fyodor Dostoevsky, W. Somerset Maugham, John Banville, Graham Greene

Books you recommend as regeneration when people say, “I’m bored by almost all contemporary American writers”:
The Human Stain by Philip Roth, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, Letter From Point Clear by Dennis McFarland, Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris.

Book you can’t believe that everyone has not read and loved:
Blindness by Jose Saramago. (The film, which is coming out soon, would be a good incentive.)

Book you are an “evangelist” for:
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. (Four reviews on this blog. I re-read the book every year.)

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Shadow Without A Name by Ignacio Padilla. Intriguing literary thriller set in World War II. A name of a character has undergone four incarnations.

16 Responses

  1. I think I’m going to have to pick up Blindness now. I loved Master & Margarita too. And The Human Stain. It’s not often I see someone pick that of Roth’s works.

  2. My book club is reading Blindness to discuss in October. After we picked it, I found out the movie comes out a week from Friday, and everyone is talking about it. Strange …

    By my bed, I have Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed by Doug Crandell, I Feel Bad about My Neck by Nora Ephron, and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Strange …

  3. I definitely agree with you about “Blindness”. And with the movie coming out, I’m very interested to see how they handle the story.

  4. The post puts a smile when I read to the question about the book for which you’re an evangelist. I know it. I know you’ll say The Master and margarita. Why wouldn’t? 🙂

    I’ve got The Go-Between which I should start soon. I agree that the imminent movie opening will give an incentive to read Blindness.

  5. I’ve never even heard of Master and Margarita!! I’m off to check it out right now..

  6. I am glad that your are honest about Books that have changed your life.

    For a serious reader, I think it’s impossible to name just ONE book.

    Matt, send me an email. I want to ask you something off-line.

  7. I love reading everyone’s answers to these questions. You and I have the same quote from The Go-Between.

  8. Marie:
    Philip Roth is one of the most under-rated authors. American author.

  9. Jef:
    Let me know how the discussion goes for Blindness. It will stir up a whirlwind I’m sure. I’ve got Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed by Doug Crandell somewhere in the pile.

  10. John:
    Have you realized that M&M, Go-Between, and Blindness are all on my top 10? 🙂

  11. Greg:
    You might have to make C.M. read the book before you guys go see the movie. 🙂

  12. Lisa:
    Oh my god! It’s my No.1 read!!! 🙂

  13. Isabel:
    It’s difficult, almost impossible to nail one book that has changed my life. I risk being oversimplified and biased, doing injustice to other books if I just pick one. Some books affect me during one station over another in my life. Others just consistently feed into me.

  14. Cathy:
    Don’t you just love that quote! 🙂

  15. I am totally going to steal this meme 🙂
    I love these memes but what always strikes me is that my answers (maybe not to all the questions) can change on any given day. It’s just so hard to pick favorites!

  16. iliana:
    Alright! I’ll hop over to read your answers. It’s always fun to read everyone’s responses. 🙂

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