Saturday, August 05, 2006

A book project

Holly didn't tag me with her responses to the book meme, but I'm tagging myself.

1. One book that changed your life?
Well, there are plenty. I'll stick with "The Killer Angels," a relentlessly researched historical novel by Michael Shaara about the battle of Gettysburg that attempts to set the record of the battle straight. I didn't even know there was a record to set straight, and after reading the book a few times (and listening to it on tape about 10 times more), I concluded that the history classes I took in high school and college were nothing but a digest version intended to spur students to dig deeper. I also concluded that the history classes I took in high school and college were mostly bunk.

2. One book that you have read more than once?
One? Well, the Associated Press Stylebook is probably the book I've read the most bits of the most often! In a way, it is just a book of rules and a glossary, but like a dictionary, it is easy to get lost in.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Like Holly, I would choose "Wind, Sand and Stars," by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Of airplanes, he says that progress is measured in how much can be taken away, how simple the machine can become for the pilot, that sort of thing. His writing, too, strips away all the chaff.

4. One book that made you laugh?
"The Bad Beginning," the first in the Series of Unfortunate Events. Holy cow, they're all funny.

5. One book that made you cry?
"Parsifal Rides the Time Wave." The kid's dog dies, 'nough said.

6. One book you wish had been written?
"How to Build Anything From Stone" Secretive stonemason motherfuckers, they never publish anything good.

7. One book you wish had never been written?
Look, many ideas suck, but keeping them out of print won't keep them out of circulation. I oppose the idea of unwritten books, even awful ones.

8. One book you are currently reading?
"Words and Rules: The ingredients of language" by Steven Pinker. A loaner from my father thta I've finally got to the top of the to-read stack. Pinker says the book is entirely about regular and irregular verbs (and of course, that means it is about a universe more), which suits me perfectly!

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
"Crypotgraphy: A Primer," which is in the books section of my profile. Reading that book will mean reading a few others first, so it is in the seriously long-term stack...

10. Tag 5 people to do the meme!
As people who know me often find to their annoyance, chagrin or relief, I rarely pass along projects. Self-tagging is so much easier.

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