Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What Have You Been Reading?

Sportin Life over at It Ain't Necessarily So . . . tagged me for this one. I am an avid reader, so will gladly participate. (See Literary Reflections of an Avid Booklover for all my recent reads.)

1. One book that changed your life.

I don't really have one book alone that has changed my life, but a combination of several. Three of the top ones are Bertrand Russell's Why I am Not a Christian, Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, and the Bible. All three were instrumental in my coming to the realization about the absurdity of religion and humankind's quest for the impossible (to live forever) and how humans create explanations for things they do not know or understand. After reading the Bible straight through a couple of times, I finally realized the contradictions, violence, inconsistencies, intolerance, incest, etc that can be found in it. The whole basis for xianity is founded on violence...this god even tortures and kills his own son (don't tell me people did it--we know that already...but xians believe god plans all and god allows shit to happen.) Paine and Russell's writings address these various issues of the xian faith and made me come to terms with what I actually did believe...which is there are no gods. God and religion are merely human inventions.

2. One book you have read more than once.

The Bible, Mark Twain's Letter's From the Earth, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Salem's Lot by Stephen King, When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops by George Carlin, Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing, A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, White Noise by Don DeLillo, The Awakening and Other Stories by Kate Chopin, most of Shakespeare's plays, The Portable Dorothy Parker (short stories by Dorothy Parker). There are more, but too long to remember all of them.

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

Wilderness Survival Handbook

4. One book that made you giddy?

Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. There is nothing like Native American humor. In spite of the bleakness of reservation life, Alexie uses humor and passion while juxtaposing ancient customs with such contemporary artifacts as electric guitars and diet Pepsi. Alexie captures the absurdity of a proud, dignified people living in the squalor, struggling to survive in a society they disdain. I would be laughing till my sides ached one minute, and crying in sympathy the next. Reading Alexie's books are like the roller-coaster of life -- full of ups and downs, happy and sad, silly and serious.

5. One book that you wish had been written.

Parenting is for a Lifetime:
Everything One Needs to Know About Being a Parent

6. One book that wracked you with sobs?

I never get wracked by sobs by anything I read, no matter how sad the story. The saddest things I read are in the news everyday.

7. One book you wish had never been written.

Toni Morrison's Beloved. . .the chariman of the English Department at the university I went to was obsessed wtih Tony Morrison and since this was her favorite book by Morrison, it appeared in nearly every literature class I took at that school. Those of us who graduated with degrees in English joke that we have a Masters in English with an emphasis in Toni Morrison. (Morrison is an excellent writer, but this English department chairperson and her obsession ruined it for us. I will probably never read Toni Morrison again.)

8. One book you’re currently reading.

David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I am also reading Carl Sagan's The Dragons of Eden.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read.

I have started War and Peace about a dozen times in the last ten years and keep stopping after a few pages. I know it is recognized as one of the greatest works of literature, but I just can't seem to get into it.

10. Now tag five bloggers.

I am tagging Uma, my pet Repuglican commentor Jason, KA at Biblioblography, MichaelBains, and jdhurf.

1 comment:

MichaelBains said...

Hey now Stardust!

I've seen quite a few bloggers doing this Tag lately. As a matter o' fact, I've already been "it" just last week. Beep! Beep! caught me at a seriously low tide (emotionally) and it really helped pick me up again, so I do be appreciatin' your thinkin' of me. :-D

I think you get to tag someone else now. Uh huh! (I bet they'll end up glad for it, too. I was.)

I really want to read Carlin on "...Porkchops..." THAT should be good.

And the way you've described Sherman Alexie's work makes me want to look for it the next time I'm in the library, which would be this afternoon, eh. I've just got to finish the Grapes of Wrath 'fore I can read it. I'm thoroughly enjoyin' that one, btw.