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Plinky is a great source of prompts for blog posts. I have selected a few literary ones:

What book could you read over and over?
I know I have said it many times: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. It was banned during the author’s lifetime in Russia, since he was ridiculing Joseph Stalin and members of his cabinet. It’s literary fiction with such memorable characters as a cat who can talk and drinks alcohol, a woman on flying broom, and Satan disguised as magician.

Name a bookstore where you could waste an afternoon.
Green Apple Books on Clement/6th in San Francisco. The annex two doors down the main store houses used fiction where I browse (shelf-reading) against my ever-growing list of books to acquire. The main store has newly arrived used books to the left upon entrance and many new books at heavy discounts. I simply get lost in here without being aware of time.

Name a book that was difficult to read.
Beloved by Toni Morrison. Like any Morrison’s works, Sometimes I have to read a passage three times before making sense out of the long, complex, and beautiful curlicues of sentences. As befit to the complex nature of humanity—its existence, its endurance, and its suffering—that baffles even some of the greatest minds in history, literature that delves into such delicate subject matter must assort in literary forms in order to capture the human emotions. Beyond the prose are different levels of the pasts that challenge even the most skilled and observant readers.

Name a long book that’s worth reading.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It is a family saga set in the field of medicine. It is a map of ineluctable destiny of people whose lives are entwined by chance. Once the connection is established, their paths overlap for life. Everything they do—every decision they make, every action they take, and every seed they sow (or not sow), becomes part of their destiny. I read through the ARC and bought a brand new copy.

20 Responses

  1. A great source of information. I linked to you.

  2. Thanks for the Plinky hint. I need it to get some ideas right now.

    The Master and Margarita shows up on many Must Read lists, so I have a copy on my TBR shelf. I like the idea of Stalin satire, but I am not a fan of magic realism, so I don’t know how I will do with talking cats and flying women.

    Ahhh . . . I miss Green Apple! I lived in SF for 5 years and often spent Saturday afternoons on Clement Street, browsing at G.A. and stocking up at the big Chinese grocery store. Not to mention stuffing myself with dim sum. I could walk from my house, but walking back with groceries, books, and dim sum belly was a problem.

    • I can easily while away a whole afternoon at Green Apples. I look at everything on their new and bargain book tables, then head over to the annex to walk through the entire fiction section. It’s a treat for myself.

  3. That sounds like a fun prompter to use. I’m very interested in Cutting for Stone.

  4. I read The Master and the Margarita for a college course and loved it too. I really should reread it one of these days.

  5. […] Filed under: Books,Memes — liberrydwarf @ 4:24 pm Stole the idea for this meme from Matt. Thanks, a good meme is hard to […]

  6. I agree with cutting for stone and Beloved which I have only just finished, boy did Toni Morrison make me work for it.

  7. Cuting for Stone has been on my list forever, and I haven’t grabbed it yet because I’ve been put off by the length. Bad Sandy. And you were the inspiration that caused me to download The Master and Margarita on my Kindle. And there it sits. Bad Sandy.

    • Hmmm…take your time with it and you’ll be rewarded. I read the review copy and went to the store to get a real copy. I’m re-reading it soon.

  8. I absolutely love The Master and Margarita, it’s on my top ten favorite books. And I completely agree with you about Beloved. I love it too but it took me 10 years to get there.

    • The beauty of Beloved is the different forms of narrative stitched together to tell a haunting story. I have enjoyed my struggle through the book. 🙂

  9. I live in SF — Sioux Falls, SD, that is — and Green Apple Books is my favorite bookstore in the country and one of my favorite places to completely lose track of time . Whenever I get to San Francisco, which is too infrequently, Green Apple is number one on my “to do” list.

    • It’s not a secret for literary SFers, but I always recommend Green Apples (even though it’s out of the way) to visitors. You can while away the afternoon there browsing the aisles.

  10. I’ve been kind of curious about Plinky lately. If this is indicative of the kinds of prompts it gives, then I’m probably going to use it in the future if I need some ideas for posts.

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