Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Desert Island Reading

What author do you own the most books by?
Far and away, Rudolf Steiner. He was an amazing man, the father of: biodynamic gardening, Waldorf Education, anthroposophic medicine…. Would I have so many of his books had I not gone to school for Waldorf Education? I don’t know. There’s just so much in them that I haven’t experienced myself. His books give me indigestion. But I love them.

What book do you own the most copies of?
I don’t own multiple copies of any book. Why would I? There are so many calling to me. However, my friend Georgia buys multiple copies of books she loves so that she can give them as gifts. Isn’t that a great idea?!

Did it bother you that those questions ended with prepositions?
Psh, no. It bothers me to write something that way, but if I write it proper, it sounds archaic. So I usually switch back to the improper and conversational. Ah, the (d)evolution of language. Sigh….

Which fictional character are you secretly in love with?
I can honestly say that I’ve never fallen in love with a fictional character. It’s the real people that I get crushes on, people who are articulate, authentic, and passionate—no matter what their appearance, gender, or age. Alexandra David-Neel, Dennis Klocek, Thich Nhat Hanh, Isaan Dorsey, Michael Pollan, Anais Nin.

Which books have you read the most times in your life?
I read the The Lord of the Rings in its entirety seven times. I love rich epics.

What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Ten? Why ten?! The boys realized that I was a girl and…eventually I realized that they were boys. Was there anything else? Oh, yeah. I think Mtv came out that year.

What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Hmmm…I’m usually pretty lucky with books. I held my distance from The Shack. But when my mom died, it was given to us as a gift. I almost put it down a few times, but I read it. Yep.

What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Probably The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. Did I mention I like epics? Well, epics re-written from the female point of view are even better. Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant are also excellent. I liked The Clan of the Cave Bear series, as well.

What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I can’t even answer this one! Most books are so much richer than their movies. There is only one book that I can actually say was better on film—Big Fish.

Which book would you least like to see made into a movie?

What is the most low-brow book you’ve read as an adult?
I like low-brow. It is generally pretty raw and unedited—think Bukowski. How about rephrasing the question: What is the most trashy book you’ve read as an adult? Probably Outlander by Diana Galbaldon. Well-done romance trash.

What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
The one I’m reading right now--Saharasia. It is an exhaustive thesis on the correlation between violence and climate change. It’s very academic. And it’s just hard to read account after account of violent practices toward women and children. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it. I’ve been reading it for a year, now!

Ulysses was hard to get into but worth the perserverence.

What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
What about that visually stunning movie version of Hamlet?

Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Crime and Punishment trumps Remembrance of Things Past, but I like Rimbaud and Baudelaire very much.

Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Shrug. I read more biographies than fiction and more children’s fiction than adult.

What is your favorite novel?
That’s a hard question. Even picking my desert island top ten would be next to impossible. I wanna cheat and blurt-write a whole bunch real quick. Pick one? That’s like picking a favorite child! I’ll just say novelist Tom Robbins.

Theodore Roethke.

Work of non-fiction?
Old Path White Clouds, Street Zen, and Spell of the Sensuous.

What is the most influential novel you've read?
Another impossible question. The Little Prince, Siddhartha, Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
It’s too easy to be a critic. I will only say that J.K. Rowling’s writing style does not appeal to me.

Which less widely read novel would you recommend?
Foucalt’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

What are you reading right now?
Check out Goodreads in my sidebar to see what I’m reading right now.

So many books, so little time…. I would love to get paid to read. But, for now, I have my desert island fantasy.

Thank you Mon, for getting this meme going.


  1. Blogger just ate my comment! Ack!

    Interesting post. That's all I feel like saying now...sorry.

  2. Bad Blogger! Bad!

    Ooh, I hate it when that happens! I'm sure it was brilliant, Lisa.

  3. very interesting :-) My dd read Jonathon Livingstone Seagull several times when she was younger.

  4. Hmmm how much more i need to get readin on...xx

  5. Great post - I read The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and was pleasantly intrigued..perhaps I shall have to hunt down your suggestion....

  6. Sarah, I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Little Prince when I was younger, too. They belonged to my parents. They were a little over my head but gave my little mind something to reach for.

    Ooh! I've got a good Robert Browning quote for you:

    "Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
    Or what’s a heaven for?"

    Hi, Amber! I know...there're just too many good books. You know what I do now? Every time I hear of a book that intrigues me, I log it into my Goodreads to-read page. That way, I never have to go, "What WAS that book called that I wanted to read?!"

    Mel, the only book I've read by Eco was Foucalt's Pendulum. If I remember right, it had a lot of freemason ideas in there. Was The Name of the Rose like that, too?

    (Sorry I'm not more articulute. My head is POUNDING. I'll post about it later today....)

  7. This is a great list! I love so many of your choices...Anita Diamant, Thich Nhat Hanh, Anais Nin, Ulysses...I'll definitely be checking out your goodreads for some reading ideas.

  8. Thanks, docwitch. You know, I've had trouble opening your page the last couple days. It'll take me there, and I can see a colorful, intriguing header, and then it says operation aborted. Aargh, Blogger!

  9. Foucalt's Pendulum was bloody fascinating. I love Eco. Even read his semiotics stuff. Name of the Rose is a LOT easier (less complex) than FP. Pretty good film too.

    OMG, LotR SEVEN times??? The whole trilogy!? lol

    Will have to check out some more Roethke.

    A lot of us are on LibraryThing too.

  10. Mon, looks like I'll have to check into Eco further.... I didn't know he was into semiotics, but I guess I can see it in his writing.

    Not just the trilogy, The Hobbit, too! This was all pre-motherhood, pre-internet days. Living in the mountains with nothing else to do but get in trouble.... ;) But only The Silmarillion once post-child.