"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


the book meme

I'm following Amy Butler on this, because it's totally appealling to book addicts, and I definitely qualify. If I could, I would tag everyone I know on this question. You learn so much about a person from knowing what they like. If you try it on your blog, leave a comment!

1. One book that changed your life: North Toward Home, by Willie Morris. I read it on the first birthday I spent up north. It made me understand how home is a place, but that its meaning changes over time, and that the people you call home are as important as the space. It's also such a great history of life in the 1940's small town South, in Austin of the 1950's, and in New York City in the early 1960's. Morris was the kind of writer I wish I could be - he could write about politics, society, faith, his friends, and especially about places, all with skill and gentleness. You never had to wonder what he thought, but he wasn't obnoxious about it.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway. Every year I read it, and every year I hope it will turn out differently. It doesn't. Tragedies never do. But Hemingway could write tragedy like nobody else.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Um, this. Clearly.

4. One book that made you laugh: 44 Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith. I read this in Congo. It is a super-funny story about the way different lives are woven together in ways we don't expect. Smith writes it as a serial novel in Edinburgh's daily paper. The second volume, Espresso Tales, is even funnier.

5. One book that made you cry: To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, which I did not read until I was 26. Wow, did I miss out.

6. One book that you wish had been written: Humility in Politics: 2,000 Years of Justice and Mercy

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. It's given Westerners an easy out to classify African people as "savages" for more than 100 years now. I don't think that was Conrad's intent - he seemed to be suggesting that the heart of darkness was in the white man who tried to destroy the place - but people only remember the title and the horror, the horror from 12th grade English. And/or their viewing of Apocalypse Now.

8. One book you’re currently reading: Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell. Vowell, who's a frequent contributor on This American Life, tracks down all the historical sites and artifacts having to do with the Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley presidential assassinations. It's a scream, except that it makes me giggle on Metro a little too much.

9. One book you've been meaning to read: The Myth of a Christian Nation, by Gregory Boyd.


Anonymous kir said...

Oooh - I've read parts of two of McCall Smith's series but I haven't read 44 Scotland Street yet. I'll keep that one in mind. I love his stories.

Friday, August 11, 2006 12:00:00 PM

Anonymous the librarian said...

I'm glad to know someone else who didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird until she was older. I didn't read it until I was 23. I was outraged, I cried like a baby, and I fell in love with it. It's now my favorite book.

Friday, August 11, 2006 4:18:00 PM


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