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Reflections of a working writer and reader



That Book Meme . . .

That book meme…

Thanks to Crimeficreader I have been well and truly tagged. So here are my answers:

1. One book that changed your life?
I suppose it was Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago. A book has to be very special to change someone’s life. Most books don’t change anything at all. As a child I read a lot of fiction, escapism, reading for pleasure, and then adolescence stole the habit away and I only picked it up again years later when Pasternak’s book became the subject of much political controversy. Reading the book reminded me what I knew instinctively as a child, that the only place to find truth is in art, ironically amongst the bed of lies that we call fiction.

2. One book you have read more than once?
Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. I’ve read it several times. I don’t keep count. It means more to me than any other novel. It is wholly original, funny, tragic, and it offers me, on each rereading, a fresh set of metaphors with which to view life as a whole and my own life in particular.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
I don’t do desert islands. One book in such circumstances would leave me feeling bereft. I’ll take Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude.

4. One book that made you cry?
The last one was William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault.

5. One book that made you laugh?
The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy.

6. One book you wish had been written?
How the Redistribution of Wealth was Successfully Accomplished by A. Reliable-Witness.

7. One book you wish had never been written?
I don’t want to stop people writing, but there are many books that should never have been published.

8. One book you are currently reading?
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector.

10. Now tag five people…
Andrew Eglinton, Bhaswati, Jennifer Snow, E. Lim, Todd-A.

4 Responses to “That Book Meme . . .”

  1. […] I’ve never been “tagged” for a meme before but John Baker just hit me up. So here I go: […]

  2. Thanks for answering John!
    Both you and Andrew Taylor mentioned William Trevor’s The Story of Lucy Gault, and in the same answer, I believe. This is now tickling my curiosity…

  3. Sharon Lamb says:

    Have to write and say, YES, READ HOUR OF THE STAR. And read something that someone somewhere says about it and what she was trying to do in creating the female character. It’s very short. Read it tonight…
    and here I was searching for blogs I could talk to about my own book, Packaging Girlhood, (which is fine for you to read too) but when I saw that you were wanting to read Hour of the Star I had to simply write and say, do it!

    jb says: Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon. I’m going to read Hour of the Star real soon. But I had a look at your site and your own book looks like it shouldn’t be missed. One of those books that you wish had been written, and there it is just waiting for you to come along.

  4. Maxine says:

    I remember reading Dr Z as a teenager, and feeling similar to you.
    For some reason, when I saw Julie Christie in the movie with those gloves without fingers, trying to write in the cold — I thought this was a fantastic image and will never forget it.