Book questionaire - Livre d'Or — LiveJournal








Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes. * Blogroll * Strange words * More links * Bookies * Microblog * Recent comments * Humans only * Second degree * By topic * Cool posts * Writing * New post

Tags

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



livredor
Book questionaire
Wednesday, 01 October 2003 at 05:24 pm
Previous Entry Next Entry


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. 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. 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: 3 books you really ought to read 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. Er, scraping the barrel here...


Moooood: busybusy
Tuuuuune: Psalm 121 (in my head)
Discussion: 50 contributions | Contribute something
Tags: ,

Previous Entry Next Entry




Contribute something
View all comments chronologically



rysmiel: default
From:rysmiel
Date:October 2nd, 2003 02:53 pm (UTC)
21 hours after journal entry, 10:53 am (rysmiel's time)
(Link)
Protocols like Mein Kampf, I considered putting on the never read, list, but ultimately decided against on the grounds that there might come a point where it feels like a necessary value of knowing the enemy.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
livredor: teapot
From:livredor
Date:October 2nd, 2003 03:49 pm (UTC)
22 hours after journal entry, 03:49 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
I told you I was scraping the barrel; I really couldn't think of anything that I intend that strongly never to read. So I was being slightly facetious in picking something 'obvious' that I could be expected not to want to read.

a necessary value of knowing the enemy
The section of my enemy that is that bleeping stupid? I think I'll pass.

There's a limit to how far I'm prepared to take the principle that I shouldn't judge a book by second-hand impressions. I'm fairly confident that Protocols simply rehashes a lot of stuff that has been said many times before and since (some of which I have read, at least in extract; my choice wasn't intended as general comment to the effect that I won't read anything deliberately antisemitic). I'm prepared to take the risk of being wrong in that assessment rather than waste time reading the thing.

I may at some point read Mein Kampf, on the grounds that it may not be entirely devoid of historical interest. And I'd possibly read Pugio Fideii if I happened upon a copy. At least, those come lower on the anaethema list than Protocols!
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - rysmiel (10/2/03 07:06 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (10/2/03 07:49 pm)
(no subject) - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 08:13 am)
(no subject) - livredor (10/4/03 02:57 pm)
(no subject) - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 04:46 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (10/5/03 12:31 pm)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 2nd, 2003 02:57 pm (UTC)
22 hours after journal entry

Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability?

(Link)
Reference books: can't think of anything other than the OED that I use all that regularly, and since I use the online version I'm not sure that counts. I do dip into the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable a fair bit, but to be honest everything else varies according to what I'm working on this time. I'm still a poor wee undergrad!

"High rotation" tends to vary. I'll reread a book several times over four years, say, and then put it aside for another four. </i>The Lord of the Rings</i> has definitely been there. Total escapism, apart from anything else (we're moving into the next category here). Patrick White's The Vivisector and Christa Wolf's Medea are probably the main ones at the mo. Just reread the latter yesterday and there is always so much more there, not to mention the thrill of reading incredible writing.

"Comfort reading": developing a tendency towards P.G. Wodehouse in moments of stress. "Three Men in a Boat" by Jerome and the (separate but related) novel "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. Fantastic comedy, never stales. Although it's probably about time I put those two away for a few years, I've been reading them to death.

My "really ought to read" list can go on and on and on. If we ignore whole subjects (history, philosophy and so forth), I suppose the ones I currently feel most guilty about are the Bible (the whole thing), Ulysses by Joyce, Tristam Shandy by Sterne. (Those last two were spur of the moment, they were both the biggest, scariest books on my second-year course.) I'm currently attempting to read Rabelais so he doesn't count any more, I suppose.

Books I will never read: I'd probably shy away from Sade and co. as well. I've read The Sadeian Woman by Angela Carter which summarised and analysed quite a bit of Sade, and that was quite scary enough. (If pushed for time, read someone's precis of the author you're avoiding - something I don't do enough, no wonder I'm so bad at deadlines.) I'd go on strike about Freudian literary critics but unfortunately they're everywhere; I think I may even have to cave in and read Freud himself sooner or later.

I just lent Paul If This is a Man, by the way. He was warned that it's not exactly light reading but is still keen; perhaps he was feeling guilty, since I asked him for something light and amusing and he lent me one of the most depressing books I've read in a while, We Who Are About To... by Joanna Russ. Levi is definitely worth it, though, and it's certainly manageable (in the sense of, er, copable).

EM
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
rysmiel: words words words
From:rysmiel
Date:October 2nd, 2003 07:04 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 03:04 pm (rysmiel's time)

Re: Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability?

(Link)
I would have put it, not as bookies, but as bookses, my preciouss booksess, come to Ryssmiel..

Your "really ought to read" list does go on and on, because it includes a large chunk of the good stuff I've read in my life and some of the interesting but not so good.

And in re: de Sade, having dipped into it, I can say that the only thing more offputting than the content is the prose.

[ "Don't hurt me ! Don't hurt me !"
"I will hurt you, mwahaha. But first I shall spend twenty pages explaining why it is right and just and moral that I should hurt you."
"Can we just get on with the hurting ?" ]
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 3rd, 2003 12:51 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 12:51 pm (livredor's time)

Re: Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability?

(Link)
bookses, my preciouss booksess, come to Ryssmiel..
Ugh, no, not Gollum, Gollum can stay away from my bookies. Can you imagine him treating text with respect?

And preferably he can stay away from my psyche, for that matter; he's been well fixed in my nightmares for the best part of two decades. I don't react well to Gollum imitations.

(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
Re: Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability? - rysmiel (10/3/03 03:49 pm)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) (10/3/03 10:47 pm)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) (10/3/03 10:55 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (10/4/03 05:23 pm)
Gollum - livredor (10/4/03 04:57 pm)
Re: Gollum - rysmiel (10/6/03 03:46 pm)
Re: Gollum - (Anonymous) (10/7/03 01:28 pm)
subtexts - livredor (10/10/03 01:29 pm)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) (10/10/03 02:44 pm)
Re: subtexts - rysmiel (10/14/03 03:52 pm)
Arthurian adultery - livredor (10/15/03 11:55 am)
Re: Gollum - livredor (10/10/03 12:03 pm)
Redemption myths - livredor (10/10/03 12:17 pm)
Re: Redemption myths - rysmiel (10/14/03 06:06 pm)
Re: Redemption myths - livredor (10/15/03 11:53 am)
Re: Redemption myths - rysmiel (10/15/03 03:59 pm)
1984 - livredor (10/17/03 10:22 am)
Re: 1984 - (Anonymous) (10/18/03 01:15 pm)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 3rd, 2003 12:53 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 12:53 pm (livredor's time)

de Sade

(Link)
That's an absolutely hilarious parody! (I'm obviously not commenting on the accuracy, given my above comments) But brilliant.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 2nd, 2003 10:04 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:04 pm (livredor's time)

(Link)
Hello my dear, good to see you commenting.

Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability?
No, because book doens't have an oo sound in it, despite its spelling. But infer from this that you've been reading my webpage too, which is gratifying in an embarrassingly vain way...
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) (10/2/03 10:40 pm)
(no subject) - livredor (10/4/03 05:27 pm)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 2nd, 2003 10:17 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 10:17 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
I currently feel most guilty about... the Bible (the whole thing)
I'm not at all convinced it's worth the effort of reading the whole Bible. (Though admittedly I haven't, so I may not be in the best position to comment!) You possibly ought to read the whole Torah, though not all at once, and some of it you can justifiably skim. And the Gospels for the sake of being multicultural (are we including them under the heading of 'Bible' at this moment?)

Song of Songs and Ruth are worth it just as literature. Sections of some of the prophets at least. (Cue for pseudomonas to say Nach! in despising tones.) But things like Ezra, Daniel, Chronicles, Proverbs, Judges and the deservedly obscure bits of the prophets are quite missable.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 08:03 am)
(no subject) - livredor (10/4/03 05:30 pm)
I was young! I was bored! - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 06:52 pm)
ajollypyruvate: Moomintroll
From:ajollypyruvate
Date:October 4th, 2003 08:06 am (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, 12:06 am (ajollypyruvate's time)

Re: Shouldn't it be booooookies to indicate desirability?

(Link)
"developing a tendency towards P.G. Wodehouse in moments of stress."
Careful with those; they're rather like eating too many of your favourite sweets. After 5 or 6 in a row, you start feeling a bit bloated and ill and slightly irritable. I have just about every book he's written but I have to pace myself with them.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
Off-topic - livredor (10/4/03 05:44 pm)
(no subject) - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 06:07 pm)
From:(Anonymous)
Date:October 2nd, 2003 03:15 pm (UTC)
22 hours after journal entry

P.S.

(Link)
I am NOT about to succumb to LJ, by the way, I'm just trying to keep myself awake until it's time to toddle off to the scratch Mozart Requiem. (If I have any voice left, yesterday A and I spent the whole afternoon singing and then went to the scratch Monteverdi Vespers. Renaissance Singers are a lovely bunch, by the way; I've decided I'm still not healthy enough to do a choir this year, but hopefully A will get in, he got on with them very well.)

Hello everyone, by the way.

Rysmiel, have you read Levi? I think it's in The Drowned and the Saved (an analysis of Auschwitz, brilliant and grim reading), when he talks about how some ex-Nazis read his books and wrote to him. One particularly nasty one sent a gushing epistle in which he boasted about having, oh rats' tails, I can't remember, some Jewish text or other on his bookshelf. (Look-what-a-good-boy-am-I sort of thing.) Levi wrote back that he had Mein Kampf on his.

I'd probably read anything if I had to, but some would not be nice going. As you said, know your enemy, but I think there is also a responsibility to keep an open mind. By which I do NOT mean that I support Hitler and co., I mean that refusing to know anything about the ideas you are rejecting is the start of bigotry and/or self-righteousness.

EM
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
rysmiel: vacant and in pensive mood
From:rysmiel
Date:October 2nd, 2003 07:07 pm (UTC)
1 days after journal entry, 03:07 pm (rysmiel's time)

Re: P.S.

(Link)
I've not yet read any Levi. I am aware of this as something to be corrected.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 4th, 2003 05:33 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 05:33 pm (livredor's time)

(Link)
I am NOT about to succumb to LJ, by the way
I will refrain from citing you numerous examples of people who started off commenting anonymously and expressed very similar sentiments! But hey, I appreciate having your input even if you're not in fact going to succumb.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 4th, 2003 05:38 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 05:38 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
refusing to know anything about the ideas you are rejecting is the start of bigotry and/or self-righteousness.
This is a very good point.

I admit, I'd understood know your enemy in a different sense, a sort of Machiavellian, you need to know them to know their weaknesses so that you know how to defeat them. That's what I was thinking when I commented, jokingly, that anyone who reads Protocols is too stupid to be worth bothering with.

But yes, if we're talking about a moral obligation to attempt to understand someone, even if they are an enemy, that's a different question altogether. And the enemy's stupidity has very little bearing on that.
(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) (10/4/03 11:22 pm)
ajollypyruvate: Moomintroll
From:ajollypyruvate
Date:October 4th, 2003 07:52 am (UTC)
2 days after journal entry, October 3rd, 2003 11:52 pm (ajollypyruvate's time)

Those are some interesting choices.

(Link)
My mother bought me a boxed set edition of The Lord of The Rings for my 9th birthday and I've read it every year since. I've been having some interesting discussions with a friend of mine about the ways in which the movies are differing from the book. Since he's an effects editor for ILM with a degree in film, the conversation has been most intriguing.

My choice of comfort books tends to vary, depending mainly on whether school is in session or not. Daniel Pinkwater is always on the list, as are George Orwell and Jack Vance. E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, and C.S. Lewis are for when I'm seriously depressed and in dire need of cheering.

Would this be a good time for me to once again pimp [u]Bridge of Birds[/u] by Barry Hughart? :)



(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
livredor: default
From:livredor
Date:October 4th, 2003 05:52 pm (UTC)
3 days after journal entry, 05:52 pm (livredor's time)
(Link)
Interesting choices indeed! I don't know Pinkwater at all and have only vaguely heard of Jack Vance. But definitely yay for Nesbit and Eager.

Which CS Lewis? The Narnia books were spoilt for me by a really dreadful teacher who insisted on unpicking the Christian allegory to the point where I completely lost the fun of the story. And I've not read that much of Lewis' adult stuff; I've always found him hard going.

You must be a very exceptional person if you find comfort in George Orwell! He's undoubtedly good, but it's hard to regard him as other than depressing.

Would this be a good time for me to once again pimp [u]Bridge of Birds[/u] by Barry Hughart?
Duly added to the reading list. Recommendations always appreciated!

(Reply to this comment) (Up thread) (Parent) (Thread)
(no subject) - ajollypyruvate (10/4/03 06:45 pm)
Bridge of Birds - (Anonymous) (10/4/03 09:55 pm)
Re: Bridge of Birds - rysmiel (10/6/03 03:29 pm)



Contribute something
View all comments chronologically