All About Books
1. Favorite book(s) when you were a child and why?
I loved Babar. Madeline, too, but with the Babar books I still remember the feeling I got reading them. I think it was the art – I adored how they looked. Madeline... I think I loved how she dressed and where she lived – how exciting, a foreign land AND with lots of other girls (I had only a brother, so this was a mysterious and magical idea all it’s own)!
2. First “grown-up” book you remember reading?
Okay, this is really funny. I think it was like Poltergeist or Ghost House or something. I LOVED to be frightened, and reading it was far scarier than seeing it in a film or something. Honestly, it was more likely a work of classic literature, but I read so much, it’s all jumbled up together. This is what stood out. No! Wait! I just remembered! I read a Danielle Steele novel - crazy-long for a preteen, I must say (and embarrassing as an adult). No idea how I got my hands on one in my household growing up!
3. Favorite movie that came from a book?
I would go with Pride & Prejudice, but the version I like was a mini-series so that doesn’t really fit the parameters of the question. Probably Peter Pan. I loved the animated version as a child, and think the live action version made in the 90’s was fantastic, too.
4. Movie that you loved so much that you WISHED there was a book out so that you could find out more about the movie?
I guess it would be Amelie. This is possibly my all-time favorite movie. It is very parabolic, so would make a great book. (I love movies like this – that roll like a parable.) I’d just love to hear more of the little things that she did to continue to effect positive change. Ack! Just such a precious movie, I think I might have to watch it again tonight now! The only thing about it being a movie is that it is really visually interesting, using color and images to effect mood and such, so that it mightn’t be as interesting in the end as a book.
5. Worst book you’ve ever read?
Hands down, a horrid thing called Blue Angel by Francine Prose. When I lived in Italy, a great friend at the time gave it to me saying it was so incredible – has this major twist at the end. So I hungrily read it. It got worse and worse and I just wanted to chuck it out my 6th floor window, but I kept thinking how it MUST redeem itself at the end, what with that twist. The letter fairies must have got in and changed all the words around by the time I read it, because there was no twist, no redemption, and NOTHING INTERESTING about it. God what a waste of my time that was!
6. Book that everyone raves about that you either a) haven’t read and feel slightly dumb for not having read it or b) have tried to read and hated and so feel slightly dumb that everyone is getting something you don’t?
Okay, first of all, I don’t feel dumb if I don’t like it – because I generally see what “everyone is getting,” but just think whatever that is is rather lame, or at least not up my alley. Nor do I feel dumb if I haven’t read it because I read all sorts of vital and awesome things, but still have a life so can’t get to everything at once... and besides, I don’t tend to follow the masses in anything, but most especially reading. Except Harry Potter – it’s just that good. But a book that is huge which I haven’t read but want to? Hmm... The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, most anything Dickens (used to hate him, rediscovered recently), and as for modern stuff... maybe Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, Arcadia by Tom Stoppard, and Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.
7. If you were forced to choose only 3 books that you could read for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?
Well, I’d likely cheat and make them anthologies of authors or something... but if it were a strict island life with book Nazis patrolling, maybe – wow, this is hard! – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and something by Dickens... as I’m just now getting into him, I’m not sure which yet. Maybe David Copperfield or Little Dorrit. I must say, tomorrow I might change the first two to Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen and Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, though. Crap, you know what? I just wouldn’t choose. That’s evil and wrong. Three books? *mumble-mumble, whine, mumble*
I really had to think on this one because I know a diverse crowd, many with strong viewpoints, and that can get dicey for a blanket recommendation... but I settled on Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Incredible.
9. What is your “guilty pleasure” reading?
I guess the closest I get to that is the book American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson. I don’t feel guilty about it because he’s actually a good writer and is very transparent about himself in it, but you know, books by famous people generally fall in that category. Also Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert would probably fit here. Indulgence and abstention bound together – says “guilty pleasure” if ever a thing could.
10. What book (excepting the Bible or other major document of your religion/faith) has changed your outlook on life the most?
Honestly, there was recently a succession of books that together changed my perspective on life... a few of them are: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, cheesy as that sounds, really reminded me to keep my mind always focused and positive, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman trilogy gave me the gift of seeing the intrinsic value of THIS MOMENT – of life right now as well as how precious every single life is (plus it’s a fun story), and then years ago I remember No Graven Image by Elisabeth Elliot altering my perspective on cultures and how faith interacts with it. I’ve read many, MANY books on faith, but it seems those that are about living effect the most change in me.