Courtesy of the increasingly invaluable Kate’s Book Blog, here’s a “one-book meme” that tickled my fancy:
– One book that changed your life. W. Jackson Bate’s Samuel Johnson. It showed me how to write a biography, and opened my eyes to the possibility that I might someday want to do such a thing.
– One book that you’ve read more than once. I read every book I really like more than once–usually several times. I suppose, though, that the book I’ve read most often, unlikely as it may sound, is Flannery O’Connor’s The Habit of Being.
– One book you’d want on a desert island. Montaigne’s Essays, which by contrast I haven’t read nearly often enough.
– One book that made you laugh. Kingsley Amis’ Girl, 20.
– One book that made you cry. Books almost never make me cry, even those that move me deeply. I’m much more likely to cry in the theater or while listening to music. I’m sure there’s an exception, but I can’t recall one off the top of my head. (If I think of one, I’ll let you know.)
– One book that you wish had been written. Paul Desmond’s How Many of You Are There in the Quartet? He claimed to be working on it for years and years, but all he ever published (except for a half-dozen liner notes) was a lone autobiographical essay for Punch about the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s worst gig ever. It’s reprinted in Doug Ramsey’s wonderful Desmond biography.
– One book that you wish had never been written. I was going to say Mein Kampf, but on further reflection I realized it was probably good for the world that Hitler set down his plans for world conquest in so unguarded a way. (Oh, that mine adversary had written a book!) This being the case, I’ll opt instead for sheer pissiness and pick Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, which I read in high school and found so time-consumingly awful that I swore I’d never read another word of Wolfe again. Nor have I.
– One book you’re currently reading. Honor Tracy’s The Straight and Narrow Path. It’s a total hoot.
– One book you’ve been meaning to read. Brace yourself: Anna Karenina. If Oprah can do it, so can I.
As always, I tag OGIC. Go for it, Girl!