Thursday, May 05, 2005

It's all about moi-meme! Yes, that's right, I have succumbed to a meme, from Laura, no less. She wishes to know about my erudite reading habits. Ha! Ha!

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?

A tough choice. While I am tempted to save the Mills & Boon medical romance Prescription: One Bride by Marion Lennox, I think I would save The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. It can instill such intense, indescribable wonder in the reader - it really defined my childhood, and I would hope it could do the same for future generations.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

So many! I couldn't narrow it down to one. I remember being obsessed with the Vampire Lestat as a teenager, but I never turned into a goth or anything!

The last book you bought was...?

I bought three Ian Fleming novels from Savers: Casino Royale, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Moonraker. Come to think of it, I used to have a big crush on the literary James Bond. He is a much more complex and troubled figure in the novels: brutal yet tender, reckless yet calculating. And there's a certain un-PC glamour to him: one novel mentions how "Bond lit his seventieth cigarette for the day."

The last book you read was...?

The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis. I bought it months ago and only just got round to reading it on Sunday. I finished it in bed on Tuesday night. It was satisfyingly trashy, but frustrating because the characters never learn from their experiences. It was like the literary equivalent of my old favourite TV show Felicity, which I loved because it was so cathartic. I would shout at the screen, "You don't want him, you want him!" Sandor used to maintain a facade of sniffing at Felicity, but come 11pm, he would mysteriously be sitting on the couch ... and stay there until the show was over.

What are you currently reading?

Well, I am halfway through Geoffrey Blainey's A Very Short History of the World, and The Victorian Underworld by Kellow Chesney, but I don't feel like finishing them right now. I am supposed to be reading Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho for my book club on Monday, but I have been putting it off because I don't want to read such a depressing novel. On my bookshelf I have some unread books: Weapons of Choice by John Birmingham, Eucalyptus by Murray Bail (which I got to see what all the fuss was about), The First Crusade by Thomas Asbridge, two of the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman, The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, and The Girl Who Married A Lion by Alexander McCall Smith.

Five books you would take to a desert island...

Damn, I am no good at this. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It's nice and thick, epic, and trashily erudite. The Beach by Alex Garland. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and The Secret History by Donna Tartt, to feel like I'm intelligent and still connected to the world of arts and letters. Oh, and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, to remind me of the futility of list-making.

Well, now that I have opened my keyboard and removed any doubt of my philistinism, I feel kind of dirty. I don't really want to pass this meme on to anyone in particular. You can write about it if you want.

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