Well its only fair that Maksim tags me with this meme as I did the same to him quite some time ago with another similar blog-meme. Since he posted this on the 15th its also a bit of a slap on the wrist for me to keep up to date with my blog reading.
Name one book that changed your life:
World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven. This is perhaps the first sci-fi novel that I read that made me aware of the power not only of my own imagination but also in a book and writer’s ability to transcend reality and take you to a place that doesn’t exist and explore ideas. Niven’s early work is often a mental sandbox from which he exercises utterly outlandish concepts. Its easy for me to still recall the sense of awe that I felt when first reading this book.
One book you’ve read more than once:
There are quite a few books that would fit into this category but The Illuminatus Trilogy is probably the only book that I have not only reread but reread in several formats. Its a wonderful book for many reasons but mostly, to my mind, for its ability to make you doubt your own reality. The book spends hundreds of pages to build up a baroque conspiracy and then demolishes it in a few paragraphs.
One book that made you laugh:
Anything by Terry Pratchett but I am especially fond of his work with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens. I’m lucky enough to have a paperback copy of the book that has been signed by both authors using a special autograph they designed specifically for the book. The running gag with the BBC Gardening show is classic.
One book that made you cry:
Nothing since I was young and then it was one of the ubiquitous “animal-friend dies in chapter 12” books that seem to be popular with people in elementary school or at least popular with elementary school teachers.
One book you’re currently reading:
Eon by Greg Bear and a history of the Punic Wars that has made such a monumental impression on me that I can’t be arsed to even get up and read the title. It would be nice if someone could write an interesting history of that period. Maybe something with maps as well?
One book you wish you’d written:
Gï¿½del, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter if only because it must be fun to be that frikin’ smart.
One book you wish had never been written:
Anything by Ayn Rand. A series of books that provide an epistemological excuse for being a self-absorbed cunt.
One book you’d want on a desert island:
Well if it was a deliberate trip onto a desert island then I’d probably want to take Unpopular Essays by Bertrand Russell as it is a book teh requires some time to contemplate and I’d hope that a desert island would provide me with the required space, quiet and time to do so.
One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs. A fascinating work by a fascinating scholar but I can never bring myself to finish it as it confirms all my worst opinions about North American culture.