I've seen most of these questions on other folk's blogs. (although I'm still not sure what MEME means, or even how it's pronounced) It is a list of ten questions about books I thought I would convert into a Thursday Thirteen. So many blogs where I have read people's responses, really surprised me. It seems that, either people TOTALLY read stuff that I've never even heard of, or they are TOTALLY trying to impress people. Well, my chance to impress anyone is long gone with anyone who has read even a couple of my blog posts. So here's my honest answers to the original questions, and the other ones I made up to make 13. Of course I reserve the right to overexplain everything, as is my habit.
Also, as a Christian, the obvious answer to several questions would be, The Bible, but I intentionally answered some with stuff written from men's minds. That way you would learn something more about what I like to read, which is the real point with the Thursday Thirteen anyway. Plus, I didn't want to feel it when everyone rolled their eyes all day today as people read that too-predictable answer.
1. One book that changed your life? The Bible. Hey, that's too easy, plus it's 66 books (for Protestants)! Ok then, The Gospel Of John. I think the first few chapters are amazing insights into the nature of God. Still too easy, and obvious! What about a book from a more mortal source? Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity by Chuck Swindoll. It's when I first realized that we can truly make choices and perform actions that profoundly change our lives and the lives of those around us. And I was in my twenties then. That's how clueless I was as a young person.
2. One book you have read more than once? Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I have read so many of my favorite books by Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, etc., over and over, that I thought I would reach back to childhood for a children's book I loved to read over and over again. I never could get tired of that little bird going up to stranger and inanimate objects and asking if they were his mother.
3. One book you would want on a desert island? Of course, again, The Bible, and if that's too much, again, The Gospel Of John. Fiction, it would have to be To The Hilt by Dick Francis. A mystery set in Scotland and England about an unassuming painter that is much more than he appears to the world to be. It's like art, I can't really explain why I like this book so much. I think because I really relate to the main character.
4. One book that made you laugh? Beach Music by Pat Conroy. The main character and his brothers are always verbally jousting in this book, and I kept waking up Lovely Wife while staying up too late to read it. The main character's relationship with his mother is a hoot, too. She is exasperating and loveable at the same time. Although Mr. Conroy is always shoving his politically liberal views at you in his books, I ignore this because I do love the lyrical way he writes, and he captures The South like no one else I have ever read.
5. One book that made you cry? No question. Mister God, This Is Anna by Flynn. I cried so hard, and felt as if I had lost a friend when it ended. I missed a day of work, it affected me so. No joke.
6. One book you wish had been written? A sequel to Last Of The Breed by Louis L'amour. He really stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park with Last Of The Breed, about an American Indian Air Force pilot captured in Soviet Russia, and was reportedly working on the sequel when he passed away.
7. One book you wish had never been written? I don't really know, I put books down that I don't like, so it doesn't matter. Going by recent events, and listing one I did read all the way through, maybe The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I like his other books alright, but this wasn't one of his better ones. I don't personally think he's a great writer, his characters stay two-dimensional from end to end. But the hoopla over this overated book was ridiculous. But I don't begrudge him his success. Hat's off to the guy. But his claims about the factual nature of the book was a dumb move on his part.
8. One book you are currently reading? Stein On Writing by Sol Stein. Novelist and editor Sol Stein gives all his wisdom about the craft of writing. I'm not very far into it, but already I like it a bunch. He doesn't talk generalities, he says 'do this' or 'don't do that' and gives examples to help writers be successful in the craft, not necessarily financially successful. I like no-nonsense writing, and so far, Sol is my kinda guy.
9. One book you have been meaning to read? Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I keep circling this one like a prowling cat, I just haven't jumped yet.
10. Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction, preferrably. I like to escape when reading. I can step into other places and worlds in an instant with fiction. Non fiction is NOT an escape for me, though I do read it for learning, and enjoy learning about things that interest me.
11. Ok then, what is the last non-fiction book you read? The Fabric Of The Cosmos by Brian Greene. A physics book that takes you through physics knowledge from the beginning of history to modern thought, including string theory, in a non-mathematical way. The math is in the appendix for those who care to look. This book is flat-out profound. I read it once through, and immediately read it through again, underlining and writing notes in the margin. A blast of a book. By far the most fun I've ever had reading non-fiction.
12. What book originally hooked you on reading for pleasure? Shogun by James Clavell. I don't care for oriental stories now, but around 1981 when the Richard Chamberlain TV mini-series came on, I worked and couldn't watch it, though I really wanted to. (No VCR in 1981 when it first aired) So, I went and bought the 1200 page book. I had never read anything so big, or so fascinating. I became a voracious reader like my parents after that.
13. Who are your favorite authors? Dean Koontz, Dick Francis, Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, Tony Hillerman, Frederic Forsyth, Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens. I've read many others, but these usually take me away. (Though I have to say, I thought Tom Clancy's last book, The Teeth Of The Tiger was absolutely terrible.)