July 17th, 2003
I know I need to write something, but at the moment, I'm putting my efforts into finishing Reefer Madness
by Eric Schlosser, catching up on television, and getting my place clean and presentable (if you're wondering, it's for no one in particular--I just want my place clean). The stuff I'm thinking about writing lately is fandom-agnostic, too, so oddly, I'm not really all that excited about it.
Found on the friendsfriends list
yesterday: Ali Davis had an interesting job.
Well-spoken and insightful, her musings on the various vagaries of working as a video store clerk are a delight to read.
- What books are your comfort reading -- the ones you slink back to in times of stress?
I think the Harry Potter books most qualify as the answer to this question, although if we can include comic books, I think I read Etrigan's "A flower grows in Hell that's named for her" couplet from Alan Moore's Swamp Thing: Love and Death TPB when I was melancholy about relationships.
Most of the time, I watch television when stressed.
- What was your favorite book as a child, and why?
Probably the Chronicles of Prydian, by Lloyd Alexander. It likely started my unending fascination with quest stories. I never saw Disney's animated Black Cauldron, because I thought the characters were drawn a bit too young for my interpretation of them (and Gurgi, at least in my mind's-eye, was far more man-sized than a puppy-like sidekick).
I didn't read much else, aside from starting Piers Anthony's Xanth and Phase/Photon series. And looking back on those, they're just rather silly.
- What was your favorite book as an adolescent, and why?
Either Carrie or The Shining by Stephen King. Both had the otherworldly/fantasy elements to them which my tastes tended to, as well as some sexuality which my adolescent self rather enjoyed.
- What is the most-unread category of books gathering dust on your bookshelf -- the books you've bought but just never got around to reading?
Poker books. I've picked up a good five or six how-tos and biographies and books of poker stories, and I've made it through some of them, but they're starting to come out with them faster than I'm able to read them...
- What kind of books would you like to say you read, but never do?
Detective fiction. About the closest (and I use that term very loosely) I've gotten is listening to a bunch of Philip K. Dick stories in audiobook form on a drive down to Miami.
- What's the oddest book you ever read?
I haven't read all of it, but Jerzy Kosinski's Steps got the freak on. Those of you who have read the book will probably understand what parts I have read, and why those parts in particular are exceedingly strange to me.
- What book were you never able to get through, despite the recommendations of people you respect?
In all honesty, I don't think I've ever not finished a book that's been recommended to me. I've got a few which were dropped because of impending book club deadlines (The Undertaking by Thomas Lynch, A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks), and a couple where I couldn't really get into it (A Widow for One Year, John Irving). But if someone recs a book to me, I either completely read it all or don't even pick it up...
- What's the book it took you a couple of tries to get into, but was as good as promised once you finally made it?
Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson. It was just massive.
- What's your favorite short story . . . or do you even have one?
"For Esmé -- With Love and Squalor" - J.D. Salinger. It's where I got the title for Faculties Intact.
- The desert island. Three books (and collected works don't count; if you want *Lord of the Rings* it'll cost you all three slots). Go:
Well, if I'm reading the books for enjoyment,
- Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.
- Angels and Visitations by Neil Gaiman.
- The Biggest Game in Town by A. Alvarez.
If I'm reading the books for survival,
- The Worse-Case Scenario Handbook
- Endurance by Alfred Lansing for some foraging advice.
- War and Peace for kindling :)
"Alegria" - Rene Duperé, Alegria