Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For BOOK Memes

I stole (then shamelessly altered) this meme from Bookfool, who in turn stole it from another blog. Now you know what to do, right?

A book that made you cry: Charlotte's Web -E.B. White [She never moved again.]

A book that scared you:
The Stranger Beside Me -Ann Rule
Bad Ronald -John Holbrook Vance

A book that made you laugh: The Broke Diaries -Angela Nissel
Confessions Of A Failed Southern Lady -Florence King
Kitchen Confidential -Anthony Bourdain

A book that surprised you with its plot twist: Bridge To Terabithia -Katherine Paterson

A book that disgusted you: Billy Dead -Lisa Reardon [Boy loves girl. Boy loses girl. Boy meets girl again and they're still in love. They're also brother and sister. Soon, they take their love on the lam because one of them slowly and brutally murdered the title character who is also a sibling. The writing was dull, although it's obvious that Reardon was straining with every nerve to be as nasty and edgy as possible. I felt like I needed a shower after I was finished reading.]

A book you loved as a preschooler: The Plump Pig (don't know the author) [The title character is sad because he's plump and all the people and animals around him are thin. One day, he's taken to a new farm where everyone and everything is plump. He's the plumpest of all -- and the happiest!]

A book you loved in elementary school: The Secret Language by Ursula Nordstrom. [For decades, Nordstrom was a celebrated editor of children's books. One of her many writers was E.B. White. She was the Maxwell Perkins for juvenile authors. She was also a success as a writer, as this book about Victoria and Martha, two lonely girls in boarding school, proves.]

A book you loved in middle school:
Harriet The Spy -Louise Fitzhugh [7th grade]
The Outsiders -S.E. Hinton [8th grade]
Sunshine -Norma Klein [9th grade]

A book you loved in high school: The Bell Jar -Sylvia Plath

A book you hated in high school: [I don't remember the title, but it was something about how to be as popular as a cheerleader in high school. The gist was that you had to be perky about 150% of the time. Aaaaaaggghh. Too much effort.]

A book you loved in college: Endless Love -Scott Spencer [You know how sometimes, as you're reading, you'll cast a person from your real life? Even now, when I read this novel, I still see MEM, my first college boyfriend, as the protagonist and narrator, David Axelrod. When will someone finally make a decent version of the movie based on this excellent novel?]

A book that challenged your identity: The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn. [I read this book back in 2000, and it caused a paradigm shift (on page 232, I actually heard a "click"). For years, I was in the poor-me mode, envious of people who had more of everything, so I'd go shopping to make myself feel less deprived. Then, when I had even less money because I'd shopped, my mood plummeted. As a result, I was convinced that I was just a complete dumbass about money. Reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette showed me that when you have a clear goal in mind, saving money becomes fun, a challenge, a game. I don't agree with her advice about books, though! I guess bibliomania will always be the one thing that keeps me from being truly frugal. Lively and informative, this is a great resource for people who sincerely want to claw their way out of debt and don't expect an overnight miracle as well as college students and just-married couples or anyone starting out. I regret not finding this book earlier in life.]

A book you have that's all worn out and falling apart and bound together with duct tape, but you refuse to part with it:
1978 Betty Crocker Cookbook

A series you love: Little House -Laura Ingalls Wilder
Betsy-Tacy -Maud Hart Lovelace

Favorite horror: Thinner -Richard Bachman/Stephen King

Favorite SF: The Man In The High Castle -Philip K. Dick

Favorite fantasy: The Time Traveler's Wife -Audrey Niffenegger

Favorite graphic novel: Mail-Order Bride - Mark Kalesniko [A cautionary word to the easily shocked or offended readers of this blog: Mail-Order Bride is a cracking good story and the artwork has a beautifully cinematic feel, but Mark Kalesniko also puts the "graphic" in "graphic novel".]

Favorite comic book: Sgt. Fury And His Howling Commandos
[What do you expect out of a soldier's daughter? I especially enjoy the issues in which Sgt. Fury and his Howlers are matching strength and wits against evil Baron von Strucker. For a time, I had a slight crush on Eric, the Howler who used to be a Nazi. He was so intense and extremely handsome with those Nordic good looks in his black turtleneck. Loyalty prevailed though, and I soon changed back to Nick Fury as my crush, which persists even today. I felt so damn sorry for Nick Fury when his almost-fiancee, Lady Pamela Hawley died. She was a Red Cross medic, both brave and compassionate. She died during an air raid, trying to protect the wounded. After a mission with the Howlers, Fury went to ask Pamela's father for her hand, and Lord Hawley broke the sad news to him: "Her last words were: 'Tell my wonderful American sergeant how much I love him...'"] Maybe WWII was really never like this, but who cares?

Favorite mystery: [I really don't like mysteries -- too plotty -- but I read one once by Amanda Cross that has an English professor solving a mystery at her university. Lots of cool literary references.]

Favorite biography: Private Demons: The Life Of Shirley Jackson -Judy Oppenheimer [It's out of print, but track down a copy somehow. You won't be sorry.]

Favorite coming-of-age novel: Catcher In The Rye -J.D. Salinger
The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread -Don Robertson

Favorite classic: Little Women -Louisa May Alcott

Favorite romance: [I guess to be a true romance, everything has got to work out well in the end, so that lets out Gone With The Wind, The Thorn Birds and By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept. I prefer reading about love gone awry; it's infinitely more interesting.]

A book that's not on this list: We Have Always Lived In The Castle -Shirley Jackson


BabelBabe said...

You should read The French Lieutenant's Woman, re: your romance choices : )

Anonymous said...

Great answers, loved reading this post. :)

The Time Traveller's Wife really is a great book. A little heartbreaking but great.

I just finished reading Bridge to Terabithia for the first time. So lovely, and again, a little heartbreaking.

kookie said...

I love that you still have your cookbook from the 70's. I'm a sucker for old cookbook pictures.

I'm going to have to do this meme...after giving it a lot of thought.

Bookfool said...

That was so fun! I loved your additions to the meme, especially the duct-taped book. I thought about adding The Time Traveler's Wife, but I was trying to keep to one book for each question (note that I didn't succeed, oh well).

And, oh yeah, The Tightwad Gazette! Loved it! I probably ought to dig out my copy for a reread. You do sort of have to have a cooperative spouse; I think that was my problem. We didn't have any savings for years and years because he wasn't cooperative about that, either, but then I took his little inheritance from Grandma and socked it into a separate account from our checking and that did wonders.

MissMiller said...

I loved this list! Billy Dead sounds just delightful. I wonder how you endured so many sinister events.

I will have to check out The Tightwad Gazette based on your review and Bookfool’s concurrence. A few years ago, when I was even littler than I am now, I became interesting in saving/investing. But I often lapse. I tend to vacillate between saving and spending so it sounds like a good read to give me some perspective.

Eva said...

Fun! I might have to do this one at some point. :)

I can see how Naomi sounds like Memoirs of a Geisha....I feel like the chairman went about it in a more subtle way. lol In the end, though, overt or not, it's about men sculpting girls into their ideals. Disturbing.

Eva said...

and since you're in a meme mood...

Hi! I've tagged in a meme-you list eight little known facts about yourself, and then tag eight more people. I think it's fun to read about the little random details of other people's lives. :) Hopefully, you haven't already been tagged, and you're game! Of course, if you're too busy, just ignore this.

For the full rules, see my post: http://astripedarmchair.blogspot.com/2007/05/meme.html

Literary Feline said...

The Charlotte's Webb reference made me teary-eyed. Shame on you! I think a better question for me for that particular question would be what books don't make me cry. I'm a big cry baby when it comes to books--happy or sad.

For favorite mystery, have you tried Case Histories by Kate Atkinson? It's a mystery but also falls into the literary fiction category. You might hate it, but I know there are some mysteries out there that cross the boundaries of plot focused into character focused.

Bybee said...

Oh, I did. Don't worry ;-)

I'm all for heartbreaking. Or sidesplittingly funny.

When I go home this summer, I might be able to find something in storage re: old cookbooks that would please you very much.

Yes, you're right -- the cooperative spouse is the key to making it all work smoothly, but I was glad to change just my own attitude, which sucked royally.

I wish I were your age and reading The Tightwad Gazette for the first time. Wait till you get back from vacation, though. It's got days of good reading in it, but it's too chunky to lug around comfortably.

Maybe I was unfair to the Chairman. Maybe he just wanted to get Sayuri out of her lowly situation. But if she'd been plain without those unusual eyes, would he have bought her an ice cream?

Literary Feline,
Don't blame me! I was reading The Annotated Charlotte's Web & there was some correspondence between White and some people interested in making the movie. He wrote them that "She never moved again" was THE LINE that choked everyone up, and it should definitely be included in the movie version by the narrator. It hasn't been yet.

Case Histories sounds interesting. I think I've seen it here...hmmm, a reason to visit the bookstore! Thanks, LF!

Anonymous said...

It seems this meme stealing has been going around; I didn't even realise where this had originated from when I completed it yesterday!

Little Women is one of my favourite classics too. It's such a warmhearted read, and such a comfort to me when growing up.

I get what you're saying about the 'click'. I'm reading a similar book by an Australian writer, that argues that you have to be a cheapskate to be rich in everything - life's enjoyments, family, etc. - but that being a cheapskate doesn't mean settling for second-best all the time, just that you're selective about what you choose to buy, because you place higher value on your belongings and experiences. Interesting thought, and I don't know why I never thought about it that way before; I'm impressed though, I can't pinpoint the page at which I found my 'click'!

I'm glad I found your blog. I look forward to reading some more, and will be subscribing to your feed.