Mary's Library

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Book Meme

I've been tagged by Sharon at Ex Libris for the bookish chain letter that's going around called A Very Selective Book Meme. The idea is to answer some questions about your book preferences and then pass the questions on to five other people. I love this sort of thing.

This meme was started by a guy named Benjamin Myers at a site called Faith and Theology on the 26th of July and it's all over the place already. You can follow it from link to link. I've been surprised and sometimes amused to see the books that folks have chosen in answer to Ben's questions.

Here are my responses:

1. One book that changed your life

The Bartlett’s of Box B Ranch (1949) by Camilla Campbell. This is an unusual choice, in part because it’s a mediocre book that I doubt anybody but me has read. But it was the first book I ever borrowed from the library. I was nine years old and I had just joined the Girl Scouts. My new friend, Elaine Craven, took me to Acushnet's Russell Memorial Library, where I got my first library card. And this is the first book I borrowed. The rest is history.

2. One book that you've read more than once

I’ve re-read a lot of books but the author that I am always re-reading is Anthony Trollope. A favorite for re-reading and re-re-reading is Can You Forgive Her?

3. One book you'd want on a desert island

Proust’s Recherche du temps perdu. (In French, please, along with a French dictionary. I could spend the rest of my life trying to translate it properly, something nobody else seems to have been able to do. But don't let that stop you from reading it.)

4. One book that made you laugh

Lawrence Durrell’s Antrobus: Stiff Upper Lip; Sauve Qui Peut; Esprit De Corps

5. One book that made you cry

The death of Mr Harding in Trollope's Barchester Towers always gets to me.

6. One book you wish you had written

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather. This is a perfectly crafted book . It portrays beautifully the hot and dusty adobe world of Santa Fe and the dedication and love and struggle with which the American West was built.

7. This started out with 7 a but has morphed to 7b. I like both questions so I've answered both.

7 a One book you wish had been written

The book about Melville's life and works that my college English professor, Barbara Chellis, was working on when she died in her early 40s.

7 b. One book you wish had never been written

Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s unreadable . I have been assigned to read it in high school, college, and graduate school and I never could get through it. I couldn't even get through it when my on-line trollope group read it a while back.

8. One book you're currently reading

How to choose? The most interesting of the many books I’m reading is probably the Garry Wills’ book, Henry Adams and the Making of America.

9. One book you've been meaning to read

Don Quixote. I’ve been meaning to read this for some 50 years now and I thought I had it licked last spring when I got my hands on the new translation by John Rutherford. But it was not to be. But I’ll try it again some day soon.

10. Now tag five people.

Ben said: "I’ll tag anyone who happens to read this!" I am doing the same. If you don't have a blog, answer in a comment to this post.

However, I'd like to hope the following people will read this and consider themselves tagged:

Anna (aka cello girl) at Beware of Greeks Bearing Knitted Objects

Sarah at Sarah's Bookarama


At 8:10 AM PDT , Anonymous DGus said...

"Pilrim's Progress" unreadable? Nay! Alas.

At 8:38 AM PDT , Blogger Mary said...

Alas, DGus, too true.

I'd be very interested to see your book meme list.


At 7:07 AM PDT , Anonymous Ex Libris said...

Enjoyed reading all the memes :) Thanks for playing, Mary.

At 10:50 AM PDT , Anonymous Sindhu said...

Hi Mary, I reached here throughthe Bronte forms I think. May I consider myself tagged and play, please? Loved your blog, and Arnim is one of my favourite writers too and I remember laughing myself sick over Durrell's Antrobus&Co!

At 12:31 PM PDT , Blogger Mary said...

Sindhu, please do consider yourself tagged. I'm eager to see what people have enjoyed whose taste in books is similar to my own.

Put your choices in a comment or an email to me and I'll post them.

Welcome to my blog!



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