Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Relaxing By The Fire Karen the Gem of the Ocean has tagged me for this book meme. A book meme, yippee. My poor dh will sigh and roll his eyes and mutter that oxymoronic phrase "Too many books".

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Life just seems too short to read Harry Potter books. Although I have seen the less-than-positive reviews too. It's the hype-as soon as anything is hyped I refuse to read it.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I think I would like afternoon tea with Don Camillo, Fr Lewis from the Susan Howatch novels of the High Church of England and dear old Fr Brown. I would sit back and sip Earl Grey while they discussed what the Anglican, but oh so nearly Catholic Fr Lewis would call the 'unvarnished truth'.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Like a lot of people my first reaction to this was the Duh Vinci Code, but it has been more than taken so I'm going for Middlemarch by George Elliot. I know, I know, what kind of homeschool mum am I to dislike such a classic. But I had to study it for A'level and I loathed it. I would have happily shot Dorothea!

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
I don't think I have done that, although I have helped my son answer questions about Julius Caesar, without actually reading the whole play; Lamb's Tales to the rescue... Shy Whistler

But here's one for RITA over at Tigerish Waters I have read Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time. It was quite interesting at the time-can't remember much about it other than my being less than convinced by String Theory. But I'm no scientist. I did read somewhere-though not in Hawkings I think- that the first thing to exist in the Universe was sound. I always like to think that sound was God saying 'Let there be..."
Creation Of Adam

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

In this case I am going to say what I did for my dyslexic son when I pulled him out of school three years ago aged 13/14 and found he couldn't read; or was so afraid of reading by this point he wouldn't read.
Obviously the really easy stuff is all aimed at little children and although I am sure there must be adult literacy books out there, I was not aware of them, nor where I could get them. I thought my best bet was to start him with something he actually wanted to read and he would move up from there.
I started him with Spiderman Comics because they were visual and had few words per page. From there I introduced him to 'trick reading'; that is I would trick him into reading stuff such as recipes and instructions for video games.
Then he read What Einstein Told His Cook which he enjoyed. Gradually I introduced him to other books and soon he was reading the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
He came a long way in two short years. It was hard, hard going at times though.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
Ooooh! This is a hard one, Greek, Latin, Hebrew and I love Italian...but right now I think I would actually choose German (not a language I like really) because I would love to read the works of Deitrich von Hildebrand and St Edith Stein in their original language and because there is so much of Dr von Hildebrand's writings that are not yet in English; although the Legacy Project are dealing with that little problem.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
Familiaris Consortio. I have it as a little book and I think it's the best family life book I have.

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
I have discovered whole books I can download from the Internet Archive such as Chesterton, Belloc and even a couple of Dorothy Sayers.

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

My dream library would be a large room with a proper fire. There would be huge leather armchairs and a little table for the small pile of books I would be reading then. There would be a coffee machine with a permanent jug full in one corner.
The bookshelves would be floor to ceiling with one of those slide ladders- that would be fun.
Then I would sit in one of those huge chairs, with coffee and chocolate and I would throw a log on the fire and get reading.

The children would have their own corner with easy reach shelves and those big square wooden boxes full of books, a rug and some little soft play stools.
Perhaps those huge bed size leather bean bags for the teens to flop out and read on.
Ah dreams are bliss.

Not sure who to tag at the moment; so all non-bloggers out there who would like to answer this one, feel free to use the combox.


Rita said...

Very impressive answers!

Ma Beck said...

How did I not have your blog on my sidebar????

[Drops head in shame. Goes to fix situation.]

Anonymous said...

You lot are way ahead of me on these memes!

marcella said...

Ah, Don Camillo! Thank you for reminding me of these wonderful little books. They were the only interesting thing in our school library at the time (St. Ursula's Convent, Greenwich) and myself and my friends just adored them. The illustrations were so charming and Don Camillo was so delightful!

PS A book I pretended to read but didn't was Peter Ackroyd's biography of St. Thomas More. I really WANTED to be able to read it - but I just couldn't! The spirit was willing enough but the brain was still yearning for Don Camillo...

gemoftheocean said...

Oops!!! Meant to drop you a note earlier saying how much I enjoyed reading this entry of yours.

I always love to see what other people are reading. You can tell a lot about someone from looking at their bookshelves for 1/2 hour!