Monday, October 09, 2006


1. A book I have read more than once

Always Coming Home by Ursula Le Guin (and lots of other books, but I keep coming back to this one for the way it portrays a whole world and culture).

2. A book I would want on a desert island

Aarrgghh, only allowed one? Tricky. If I can only have one, it would probably be a large blank book with an inexhaustible supply of paper and pens, so I could finally write that novel. But I'd also like the Tao Te Ching. One would need something profound to get one through the experience.

3. A book that made me laugh

Watching the English by Kate Fox. Hilarious - and an incisive observation of what makes the English tick. Recommended reading for all non-English people, especially Scots (though it will of course justify your feelings of superiority).

4. A book that made me cry

Crikey, I'm always crying at books. Recently, though, I read the sequels to When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr, and those made me cry a lot - mainly at the utter drabness of 1940s Britain, and the difficulties experienced by the main character's beloved Papa and the other refugees, but also because of the way she evokes the little details of oppression, of lives wasted, whole communities destroyed.

5. A book I wish I had written

Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker - I got to the end and almost started reading it again from the beginning, I loved it so much. It also made me cry.

6. A book I wish had never been written

The Story of O. It's all wrong - tone, atmosphere, politics, everything. Though whether one should wish that a book had never been written, I am not sure. But I certainly wish I hadn't read it.

7. A book I am currently reading

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (alongside a couple of other things for my course) - I've only just started it, though. I was interested because a colleague recommended it to me, and it is about first contact and cultural misunderstandings - two fascinating topics. Oddly, it's not in classic SF style, it reads more like a thriller so far.

8. A book I have been meaning to read

Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro. It's about clones and ethics, and what constitutes humanity.

9. A book that changed my life

Indirectly, the works of Foucault - I went to a lecture about Foucault and that changed my life. All the doubts and niggles I had been feeling about psychology suddenly fell into place, or came into focus - Foucault had explained it all.

I don't normally do these memes, but this is a good one, and something I can respond to. Found it on foucaultonacid.

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