Saturday, January 26, 2008


I've been tagged by Jaime at Bell Literary Reflections who, I might add, has an insatiable appetite for books and authors of every kind. I envy you, Jaime, not just for your love of books but also for the cozy place you created to read them.

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I cannot put into words how tiresome and banal this book is. It's like watching grass grow while under deep sedation.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Well, quite a few come to mind. To be whimsical and literarily consistent with the tea portion of the question, perhaps the Hatter (a.k.a. Mad Hatter) from Alice in Wonderland would make for an interesting tea-time guest. For a night of clubbing I would bring Yossarian of Catch-22 to life. His comical gutlessness would keep me cracking up all night long. And finally, for the world cruise, I select poor old Jacob Jankowski from the novel Water for Elephants. He's had it far from easy, so a well deserved getaway might do him some good.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Again, Atlas Shrugged. There might actually be medicinal usages for this book. If given as a reading assignment before surgery, some patients might be so dummied up they might actually avoid the dangerous afterclap of risky anesthetics.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I have to agree with Jaime and go with The Davinci Code - although I have been perfectly clear with other people about not finishing it. I knew historically the book was a complete fabrication, but the plot and characters never engaged me like better written stories have.

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

If he's not a big reader, I would introduce him to a twentieth century literary classic: 2001 A Space Odyssey. It's an adventuresome and creative production by Arhtur C. Clarke that mysteriously describes an extraterrestial visitation to our solar system by alien entities, as well as the evolution of mankind.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

I'll take Russian, so that I may read Fyodor Dostoevsky in his native tongue.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Well, I LOVE books that make me laugh, and this one is an ol' favorite of a great many people: A Confederacy of Dunces. Folks, if any of you don't like to read but want to laugh until it hurts, pick this one up. You WON'T regret it.

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

A few weeks ago, Katie Alender, who has a book coming out this year, gave the book Life of Pi a great review. I had read the plot summary of this story and found it completely uninteresting. But with Katie's push I'm thinking that the summary I read might do the book no justice. Also, Jaime's positive review of the book Crossed: A Tale of the Fourth Crusade has firmly placed it in my must-buy list.

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Wow! This fairy better have a big budget. LOL! Actually, in terms of setting, I would like something that is both versatile and intimate. Something that draws from the contemplative atmosphere of a monastic environment while at the same time employing various components of an office space. A place where you can read and write as you read. And, yes, it would be filled with first editions that contained the authors' handwritten notes or dedication.

For sure I'm tagging Katie Alender. If you like to read and want to share with the rest of us some of our literary inclinations, take me up on the challenge and consider yourself tagged!

Well, I'm off to the gym. See ya!


paramedicgirl said...

Tom, have you read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time? I've heard it's good, and it's written from the perspective of someone who has a mental disability. I'm reading it next. And if you want another light, easy read, try The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Tom in Vegas said...


Thank you for the recommendations. I have not read any of those books you mentioned, but they do sound interesting. I shall look into them this weekend.