Thursday, August 10, 2006

Like a reading rainbow, only in little yellow text boxes.

Chris from Two Guys Buying Comics hit me with this, so blame him:

One book that's changed your life:

This'll sound weird, but probably Stephen King's Pet Cematary. Not just because I have my dead pets cremated now, but because that's the first of his books I remember reading, and I've probably read well tens of thousands of pages from him since. And that's a conservative estimate.

And it's a Ramones song, that's why.

One book that you've read more than once:

Oh, lots of books. A lot of stuff I read anymore is pop lit, like King, or licensed fiction novels. Plus, I read pretty quickly anyway, but if I'm enjoying a book, a lot of times I'll tear through it the first time because I'm anxious to see what happens; then maybe savor it a little more the next time around.

I was going to reread some of the Marvel licensed books again on my vacation, but was too busy watching the kids to re-read Captain America: The Great Gold Steal (by Ted White, a fifty-cent novel from 1968) or Iron Man: the Armor Trap (by Greg Cox, from 1995). The last book I definitely remember re-reading was the Dead Zone.

One book that's made me laugh:

For some reason, the first one that came to mind was Illegal Aliens by Nick Pollotta and Phil Foglio. It's been forever since I've read it, but I believe a street gang manages to take over an alien starship and its weapons. Of course they start making demands, and one is for new Star Trek episodes with the original cast, which still makes me laugh. I probably laugh out loud at books more than is normal though.

One book that's made me cry:

Sorry, haven't cried in years. Dead inside. I did have a gutwrenching "oh no" at the end of Stephen King's last Dark Tower book, though.

One book I'd want on a desert island:

Barring something helpful, Haruki Murikami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicles.

One book I wish I'd written:

Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, like Murikami's work, it entertains and I find something new every time I read it.

One book I wish had never been written:

A Confederacy of Dunces. Got it as a present once, but have never been able to read it more than a few chapters in.

One book I've been meaning to read:

Probably Stephen King's The Dark Tower: Song of Susannah, which I somehow missed and read the last book in the series.

Now I feel like I don't read enough book books lately, but with the kids and this blog and comics and this and that, I don't know when I'd read them anyway. There's writers like William Gibson or Murikami or usually Stephenson that I'll always buy stuff from, but they aren't exactly speedy writers.

And this is a contradictory answer, but even though I love serialized comic fiction, I usually can't stand buying novels that are 'Part 6 of 90,' which put me off of a lot of fantasy when I was a kid. Probably just as well on that one. In cases like that, I prefer something like a Conan or Star Trek novel: you pick it up, read it, done. I remember someone lending me Ender's Game, or one of Orson Card's books, and it was ok up to the last ten or so pages, when I realized he wasn't going to end this, this was going to be an interdeterminable series of books. Nuts to that. (Sidebar: the city I currently live in had that as their reading program book a while back, where the idea is to get the whole town to read it. My tax dollars at work...)

Read the Lord of the Rings books as a kid: really didn't like them. I much preferred the Howard Conan books or John Carter, Warlord of Mars. You know, books where things happened? (Let the hatemail commence! I liked the LOTR movies, but the books were a slog.) So I say I don't like the long series of novels, but I don't even remember how many Mars books there were. And King totally has a pass on the series rule too. Basically, I like what I like, and will slag what I don't, and the criteria probably changes depending on when you ask me...

If I could add a question to this, it would probably be: what books have you lent out and never gotten back? That would be a goddamn list...

Phooey. Stop reading this and check out Snow Crash or Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. Or some comics, those are good too...


Chris said...

what books have you lent out and never gotten back?

Honestly, I've bought this book 5 times because I lent it out 4 times and never had it returned: Raymond Smullyan's What Is The Name Of This Book?. It's a collection of incredibly well-narrated logic puzzles that engage as a narrative.

And I tried to crack Cryptonomicon by Stephenson, but keep falling asleep around page 66 or so. Should I read his stuff in order?

Brandon said...

"Snow Crash" was one of the first sci-fi books I ever read. Great stuff.

googum said...

Cryptonomicon is a tougher read than Snow Crash, that's for sure. Lotta stuff comes together in the end, though. I haven't read his Baroque cycle or whatever the hell that is, because that would be a fairly intensive investment of time.

Lately, it's all comics for me though, as I can put them down to see what that noise was...

Faceless Henchwoman said...

It's so refreshing to find someone who feels the same way about LoTR that I do...

Matthew E said...

I know I'm late to this post, but hey! Someone else who knows and loves Illegal Aliens!

Absolutely try Cryptonomicon again, though. Stephenson digresses a lot, but that's his intentional style. He's not into brevity; he'd rather explore. Doesn't matter what order you read his books in (except that his Baroque Cycle is a series), but I suppose they do get more complex as they go along, so reading them in order might get you used to his style.

But Cryptonomicon is absolutely my favourite book ever. If you stick with it it will reward you.