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5 Questions About Books

I stumbled on this fun meme over at Readers and Reference, and I really liked the questions it asks, so I bookmarked it for future use.  I tweaked it a little bit to be in question format and to be a bit clearer.  If you decide to do the meme yourself, please post a link in the comments here so we can all check it out and get to know you better too!

What’s a book you most want to read again for the first time?:
Hmmm, there’s a lot of books that have meant so much to me in my life, but I think I’d have to say The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  I had seen the movie and absolutely hated it.  My nerdier friends at university told me over and over again to read the “trilogy,” and I would love it.  I refused to for years, but then one day I decided to take a whack at it.  I can’t remember why.  Anyway, I was cracking up reading it, which hadn’t happened to me in years at the time.  It really reminded me why I love to read.

What was one of your favorite childhood books?:
Absolutely no doubt On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I loved the whole series growing up, but this was my favorite entry.  In it Laura lives next to a creek, and I lived next to three beaver ponds, so I felt a bit of camaraderie.  I also was completely obsessed with the sod house for some reason.  I wanted to live underground just like Laura in a house that plants grew out of and, best of all, that I could walk on.  I also enjoyed their problems with cows, since I was frequently sent out to chase cows back into their pastures.  Plus, Laura’s relationship with her father, Pa, I identified with as it reminded me of mine with my father.  Also, not gonna lie, I wished repeatedly that I had a mother like Ma.

What’s a book that you were assigned in school that you were expecting to be bad, but that turned out to be really good?:
I was a US History major in undergrad (my other major was English and American Literature).  We were required to take two courses that gave you an overview of all of US history.  I was dreading the Civil War portion, because I just don’t like that war.  Every historian has a time period within their specialty they don’t like.  Anywho, so this professor assigned us Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe to read, as it was one of the big stimuli for the Civil War.  She wanted us to see beyond the modern controversy and read it with historian’s eyes to see why it had such a big impact on the abolition movement.  I was expecting it to be fingernails-on-chalkboard bad, but, you guys, it is so good.  It really demonstrates how abolitionists saw African-Americans as equally human, just downtrodden as the victims of slavery.  It also shows the high expectations placed on Christian women at the time.  It’s a heart-wrenching book, and I encourage you to read it and judge it for what it is and not for the racist movies and plays that followed it.

What’s your “guilty pleasure” read?:
This is a tough question for me, because I don’t tend to feel guilty about anything that I read.  I’d have to say though that British chicklit books like Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella probably count.  The cheesey, romcom storylines annoy the heck out of me, but for some reason, I still read them periodically.  I guess it’s kind of like watching Teen Mom on MTV.  I can’t look away from the train wreck.

What’s a book you feel you should read, but haven’t yet?:
I’m not sure it quite counts as a book, but Beowulf.  I took this AMAZING class in undergrad on ancient mythology, and we mentioned it umpteen times, but didn’t have time to read it.  I absolutely love ancient myths, like The Odyssey is one of my favorite books of all time, so really there’s not much of an excuse for the fact that I have yet to read Beowulf.  Hm, except maybe that I’m not sure which translation is the best, and we all know how much translation matters in the ancient myths.

*waves* Hope you enjoyed the meme!

  1. January 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I certainly did enjoy this meme, it is the month for them, I think I will have to give this a go as well. I have always wondered about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I think it definitely needs to go on my TBR list now.

    • January 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      I thought you’d like it, Jessica. I look forward to seeing what your answers are!
      I’m glad Uncle Tom’s Cabin is going on your tbr list. It so does not deserve the bad rap it gets.

  2. January 21, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    This is a fun meme! I loved the Little House on the Prairie books too, but I don’t recall having a particular favorite. I just liked them all.

    • January 21, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      Hehe, my first thought was “Little House on the Prairie!!” but then I figured I should narrow it down. I also remember being annoyed at Farmer Boy every time it popped up (I insisted on reading the series in order), but now I’m glad I read it.

      I’ve discovered (this side of the pond anyway) that library blogs are a good place to find book memes, if you ever *actually* need to look for one. 😉

  3. January 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    The Seamus Heaney translation (you have reproduced the cover for this post) is supposed to be very good. It has facing-page translation (Old English on the left, modern on the right), if you’re into that. However, I read the Burton Raffel translation in high school, and very much enjoyed it. You might also want to take a look at John Gardner’s Grendel for an alternative version of the story. Maybe I will take the time to do this meme myself one of these days . . .

    • January 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Oh thank you for the translation recommendations, Anna! I did notice when I was grabbing the cover image that it has facing-page translation, which is usually a sign of a good one. I’m thinking this will probably be what ends up fulfilling my poetry challenge for the year.

      And I hope you do end up doing the meme. I’d love to see your answers!

  4. January 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    I loved the Little House books as a child as well. I read them many, many times. Also loved the Fables of the Green Forest books.

    I think I’d like to re-discover the Harry Potter books if I could. Such an amazing world to get lost in.

    • January 22, 2010 at 8:37 am

      I’ve never heard of the Fables of the Green Forest books. Guess I’d better put the google to work!

  5. L.
    January 22, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Stopping by to post my answers. I had a lot of fun with this meme: http://bookbark.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/book-meme/

    • January 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks for linking us to your responses!

  6. January 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Awesome literary meme! I’m a huge LHotP fan as well, and always wanted to make a sod playhouse. I couldn’t figure out why my parents wouldn’t let me dig one into the hill we lived on!

    Also, totally agree with Shopaholic as a guilty-pleasure read. I miiiight have read it twice one summer when I was flying around Europe.

    • January 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      Oh boy, if I’d lived on a hill, I’m pretty sure my parents would have discovered me digging into it–permission or no permission!

      I’m still appalled that they moved the movie of Shopaholic to the US. If Bridget Jones’ Diary can be filmed set in Britain, that should have too!

  7. February 3, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    All right, I finally got down to business and posted my version of this meme: http://fadedhat.blogspot.com/2010/02/meme-five-questions-about-books.html.

  1. January 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm
  2. January 22, 2010 at 1:41 pm

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