1. One book you have read more than once
Which one to choose, anyone who loves reading and procrastination has read multiple books multiple times. I guess I’d single out Jane Eyre, which I first read at 8 and reread at 23. On second reading I suddenly realized that the first reading seemed to have moulded so much of my attitudes and personality, without me even knowing it.
2. One book you would want on a desert island
The Bible. Sorry, not the coolest of choices but it’s hella thick so I’d have lots to read, and if I can think of one good time to reconnect with my faith, being stuck on a desert island would be it.
3. One book that made you laugh
Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn is funny most of the way through, but there’s a scene near the beginning which is just spectacular. The enjoyment’s all in the reading so I won’t bother summarizing it, but for those of you who have read the book I’m talking about the scene in the ER when Lionel’s Tourette’s syndrome is making him erupt with fragments of the lame joke he was telling his dying mentor in the car.
4. One book that made you cry
No book has ever made me cry, but Dan Rhodes’ Timoleon Vieta Come Home once came close. If I’d been reading it in a different context I’d probably have been fine, but I was in a train on the way to see a friend whose mother had suddenly passed away, so I guess I was feeling emotional to begin with.
5. One book you wish you had written
The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene). It showcases everything I love about Graham Greene, who showcases everything I love in a writer. If I could only write with such frugal elegance, such precise insight, and such deep compassion, I might come a little closer to displaying those traits as a human being. Oh, and it actually has a plot. I’d never write a book with no freaking plot.
6. One book you wish had never been written
Can I have a series, please? All ten million volumes of Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time saga (I quit around volume 6 and am stupefied as to why I stuck around that long). Ye gods, there are more likable characters in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich than in these books.
7. One book you are currently reading
Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves is probably the one most worth mentioning since Kafka On The Beach is an utter pile of poo so far. It’s a damn hard book to explain though – go read the Amazon synopses.
8. One book you have been meaning to read
A hilarious cab ride with Olive, Erik and their incompatible reading tastes reminded me that despite meaning to read David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest for the past eight years and borrowing it from my local library about five separate times, I’ve never started on it. Olive’s view: Lucky escape, hon. Erik’s view: READ IT! IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Which brings us neatly to…
9. One book that changed your life
I’m sorry but in all honesty I can’t come up with one. I mean, it’s like asking me to name one food that changed my life. No one food changes my life but obviously I can’t imagine life without food. (Man, I’m deep this evening.)