Friday, December 5, 2008
Two memes in one month? Weird.
Adrianne asked me to do the book meme. I love books and I love Adrianne so ... why not?
First one disclaimer. The language of this meme uses the phrase "must reads." But one of my core values has to do with my belief that there's no such thing as "the best," or that everyone should do anything, or that there's such a thing as a "must read." I loved reading (and re-reading) these books, but they might not mean a thing to you.
FICTION - This category is hard since I haven't read fiction in more than twenty years. Do myths and folktales count as fiction? I tend to see them as cultural studies, but if they count then my collection of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales could be the choice here, especially the story The Snow Queen. I've read that story literally a hundred times, maybe more. Another way cool choice would be a collection of Arctic shamanic folktales. They are so WEIRD. I love them! But if we're talking about novels, the last time I latched on to a "must read" novel, it was Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar. Like I said, that was more than 20 years ago. Does that count?
AUTOBIOGRAPHY - Didn't even have to think about this one. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama is the autobiography of autobiographies for the early 21st century, oh yeah. The book blew me away.
NON-FICTION - This category, too, was difficult because all I read is non-fiction and there are so many categories of non-fiction that I LOVE, including history, biography, philosophy and poetry, as well as all the hard sciences. I decided, finally, on Annals of the Former World by John McPhee. I'm cheating here, since Annals is a compendium of a whole bunch of his books about geology. I loved every one of the books that are a part of the collection, maybe especially The Control of Nature.
RANDOM BOOK - I turn again and again to a collection of Native American portraits, sepia-toned photos taken around the turn of the 20th century by Edward Curtis. My other favorite is Planet Earth As You've Never Seen It Before, the book version of the National Geographic TV special. WOW.
OK, that's it. I'm all memed out for awhile now. Have a great weekend, ya'll.