Monday, April 11, 2005

Questions About Books, Answers About How Smart I Am
Or: The Story of the Internet

I've been sent the book meme. I spent more time on it that I have actually reading books today, thank you very much. And can we please stop referring to it as a meme? I don't think Richard Dawkins (or Maeterlinck, for that matter!) would approve.

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

It seems like you should pick a crowd-pleaser -- no one wants to party with Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. So I'll be Bob Dylan's Chronicles, vol. One, which is hysterically funny when you read it in a deep, smoke-ravaged Okie/Iron Range accent.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

I've been thinking about this one for a while, because I'm pretty sure I must've, at some point. Maybe Y.T. from Snow Crash, when I was fourteen or fifteen... but sci-fi books all have hot female characters specifically designed for the fantastical needs of a lovelorn audience, so it may not count.

I'll just say Nately's Whore.

The last book you bought is?

Just Enough Liebling by A. J. Liebling (not the best anthology, I'm afraid)
and a couple Assigned Texts:
Dancing In the Distraction Factory: Music Television and Popular Culture by Andrew Goodwin
The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

What are you currently reading?

(re-reading) Most of the Most of S. J. Perelman
American Ground by William Langewiesche
The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett
Choose Your Own Adventure #130: You Are Microscopic by Edward Packard

You might notice that I'm completely lacking in contemporary fiction at the moment. I cannot bring myself to be excited by it. I liked "Everything Is Illuminated," and now feel guilty about it because Foer had to go and write another book that makes him look like a fraud and me look like a sucker (no, i haven't read it, but i've read the excerpts, and first chapters don't lie). I've read a couple good short stories in Harper's and the New Yorker (the last two magazines to publish short fiction, I believe, though every so often The Economist likes to print totally made-up emerging-market indicators just for kicks), [DELETED -- long discussion blaming celebrity authors for my own laziness and inability to find time or inclination to buy new fiction]

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Don Quixote (probably the Grossman translation, as a desert island may be the only place I'd ever get around to finishing it)
Gravity's Rainbow
Either "The Collected Prose" (Without Feathers, Getting Even, Side Effects) of Woody Allen or The Portable Dorothy Parker
Pale Fire
Some sort of omnibus edition of the plays and novels of Samuel Beckett (cheating! ha!). Oh, and it also has a shitload of Twain in it, for some reason. A printing error, let's say. It also has some Mencken essay scrawled in the margins. Oh, and I'm on the island where blank notebooks and pens and IBM Selectric II typewriters grow from palm trees, and the sea washes up copies of the OED.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I think every single blogger has done this by now. I mean it. So I'll pass it on to:
doghouse riley, because i can tell by his pseudonym that he's got good taste, plus I'm pretty sure most of his responses will be TV Guide or TV Guide-related.
and... uh... Jim Romenesko.

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