Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al (livredor) wrote,
Not sheepish, but individ-ewe-al
livredor

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Book questionaire

I really shouldn't be displacing like this, but I can't resist questionaires, especially about bookies. I got this rather lovely meme from rysmiel.

3 books you use most often for reference

To be honest, I mostly use the web for reference these days. Hm.
  • Chambers Dictionary
    The best small dictionary on the market; I can't afford the full OED, and regardless, sometimes a small dictionary is what I'm after.
  • Hertz' Chumash
    Yes, I know the translation is not ideal, (KJV with the obviously Christian bits mostly Bowdlerized) and I know that Hertz' commentary spends a lot of time polemicking against approaches to Judaism I have more sympathy with than his. But there aren't that many good translations available as parallel texts, and I know my way round the Hertz, and I happen to own a copy (it was a desperately unoriginal Bat Mitzvah present...) And it has a lot of information that is hard to find elsewhere convenientely collated into one place.
  • The Penguin Dictionary of 20th Century Quotations (ed JM Cohen & MJ Cohen)
    A general, rather than a 20th century, dictionary would be more use, but again, it's a matter of what I happen to own. Actually quotations are one thing I'd rather use a book for than the web; assessing reliability online takes longer than it's usually worth.
3 books you read on "high rotation"

There's actually almost nothing I reread at all; 'high rotation' in this case is every few years, and I was hard pushed to think of three.
  • JRR Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings
    Explaining why I love this book so much could take a whole post to itself. Suffice to say I find something new in it every time I reread it, ever since my dad read it aloud to me when I was 8.
  • GB Edwards: The book of Ebenezer le Page
    I've already mentioned this one briefly; it will have a whole post to itself at some point.
  • William Horwood: Skallagrigg
    In a way Skallagrigg tends towards the sentimental, but it's amazingly well written, and treats fairly unusual subjects. The fact that I reread it at all shows how much it means to me.
The only other one that might have gone on this list was AS Byatt's Babel Tower; I discovered it more recently than Skallagrigg, and have therefore only read it twice so far, but I suspect I shall be coming back to it more in the future.

3 books you read for comfort

Well, see above; I get a lot of comfort from rereading familiar and beautifully written books. But to choose something different as well:
  • Michelle Magorian: Goodnight Mr Tom
    It's a children's book, but that doesn't prevent it from being well-written, complex, moving and highly readable. I love children's authors who avoid patronizing.
  • Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac
    I always weep buckets over this one, total self-indulgence. I can't take my own troubles seriously while crying my eyes out over some fictional star-crossed lovers. And I love the language of it; knowing large chunks of the poetry by heart incresaes the comfort value! (Yes, you can all laugh at me now, I don't mind.)
  • Rudyard Kipling: Puck of Pook's Hill
    Again, hard to think of a third here. But I was brought up on Kipling and tend to return to his stuff from time to time.
3 books you really ought to read
  • Alexandre Dumas: The Count of Monte Cristo
    Well, Michael gave me a copy of this for my birthday, so obviously I ought to read it. But I've been holding out for a copy in French, because I'm a snob like that.
  • Primo Levi: If this is a man
    See my comments on The Periodic Table
  • The Koran
    I've seen this among various people's answers to this questionnaire, so this is not an original thought. The main reason I haven't read it is not knowing how to find a translation I'm confident of; the copy I have is abridged (it was given to me by some Muslim equivalents of evangelists, yuk yuk yuk), which puts me right off.
3 books you will never read

Um, there are few books I'll never read; I'm not at all a snob about trash, and there are few books I find so bad that I can't derive some pleasure from the act of reading them. So I could only think of two.
  • Marquis de Sade: The 120 days of Sodom
    Cos I can't cope with S&M. Nuff said. I probably won't read The Story of O either.
  • Protocols of the Elders of Zion
Er, scraping the barrel here...
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