May 12, 2007

A Book Meme

I found this meme over at Quixotical, who in her turn found it at Sci-Fi Chick:

A book that made you cry:
Almost too many to list. I'm a wuss. I cry more easily with books than with movies, I think. Just to name a few, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, the ending of Possession by A. S. Byatt, Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice, Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami, etc.

A book that scared you: Like Quixotic, I'm not easily scared by books, but Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury had some parts that really disturbed me. The description of the Witch, for example, and the little part about 3am (which gives me an idea of a Memorable Book Quotes post). Also, the story "24 Hours" in the first Sandman volume disturbed me a lot.

A book that made you laugh: an easy choice: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

A book that disgusted you: Hm, I can't think of any. Oh, wait... Blood Canticle by Anne Rice, because of how appallingly bad I found it. But I'd better not get into that...

A book you loved in elementary school: Gods, Men and Monsters from the Greek Myths by Michael Gibson. This was my first favourite book - I'd read it over and over again, and I think it played an important role in making me who I am.

A book you loved in middle school: A Portuguese book, Os Olhos de Ana Marta by Alice Vieira. It remains one of my very favourite books to this day. It's the story of a young girl whose mother is distant and cold towards her, and whose house has a room that can never be unlocked. What she finds behind that door, however, is the explanation for her mother's behaviour, and for the way her whole life has been shaped. This makes it sound like a fantasy or mystery book, but it's actually a realistic story about secrets, miscommunication, loneliness, loss and broken families. It's hard to talk about this book without giving away what it is that is discovered at the end. There's this huge sense of build-up all through the book that culminates beautifully in the last few chapters. The story is told from the girl's point of view, so the full realization of the importance of certain things is only slowly achieved. It's a very poignant and beautiful story, and if only it were available in English, I'd honestly buy copies to give away through this blog. Or, if I had permission, I'd translate it myself and introduce it to the world. This is a book that deserves to be a classic, but sadly, even in my country, it's more or less ignored.

A book you loved in high school: Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. She was my first favourite author, until, like someothers, I became increasingly disappointed with her work. But for better or worse, her earlier work shaped me, and even if it doesn't appeal to me as much as it once did, I still have a soft spot for it.

A book you hated in high school: The Magus by Paulo Coelho. Still do.

A book that challenged your identity: Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennet. It's one of the books responsible for as sceptic as I am today.

A series that you love: Harry Potter, Sandman, Discworld.

Your favorite horror book: Does Coraline count? I actually don't read that much horror. I guess Anne Rice could count too, and in that case, The Vampire Lestat or The Witching Hour.

Your favorite science fiction book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again.

Your favorite fantasy book: So many - Stardust by Neil Gaiman, Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett, Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin.

Your favorite mystery book: I can't think of any - I haven't read many mystery books, which is a shame, because I do enjoy mystery elements in stories. I'd actually appreciate some recommendations in this area.

Your favorite biography: I'm very ignorant when it comes to biographies. I don't actually think I've ever read one.

Your favorite “coming-of-age” book: Another easy answer: The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. Also, I think His Dark Materials can be seen as a coming-of-age story, and so can Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

Your favorite classic: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I could have answered with it to the favourite book in elementary school question as well. It was one of the first books I ever fell in love with, and I've read it numberless times over the years.

Your favorite romance book: Does Stardust count? There's a bit of romance in there. Other than that, I can't think of anything.

Your favorite book not on this list: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Eleanor Rigby by Douglas Coupland.


  1. For mystery, you might try Daphne du Maurier. Jamaica Inn is a brilliant book. Agatha Christie is pretty good, although I haven't read many of her books.

    Edgar Allan Poe would count too.

  2. Thanks! My mother has quite a few Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie books around, I'm going to borrow them one of these days and give them a try.


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