Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Five: Books, Books, Books, Books, Books!

From RevGalBlogPals is this week's Friday Five on books. It reminded me of a post I wrote a few weeks back about being people of the book, and I'm afraid that in this same vein, I gave a real non-answer to #5.

1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????

I read pretty widely. I've never been very fond of Westerns, and too much romance makes me gag. My first love is science fiction and fantasy, but I also enjoy historical novels, suspense, and mystery novels.

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?

I tend to devour books. Then, for the really good ones, I'll go back and read them again at a more leisurely pace, and soak up more of the details.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?

Over time, there have been some books that I've returned to again and again... but for a time. Then something else takes their place. To be in this category, the books have to be very well-written, engaging, thoughtful and thought-provoking, but also comforting. Some of the ones that have been there for me over the years are Dune, Stranger in a Strange Land (especially when Heinlein's daughter published the unabridged version), Anne of Green Gables, Bird by Bird, and for when I've finished something spooky and need help calming my mind so I can get to sleep, the Robert Asprin MythAdventures series.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?

For non-fiction, I tend to mostly read memoirs, especially spiritual memoirs. Over the last year or so, I've been quite taken with autobiographical writings by Richard Feynmann. He is an amazing character - full of joy and wonder and exuberance... and most of all fun.

But to answer the question of what book has influenced me the most - the single non-fiction book that has shaped my life the most would have to be the Book of Common Prayer, which is at the center of identity as an Episcopalian and an Anglican. The BCP is almost entirely based on the bible, and it contains just about everything one would need to worship in solitude or in community. I often find myself leafing through it, perusing the lectionary or browsing the prayers and collects or skimming the catechism.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)

I can think of very few places that are not perfect for reading! I guess if it's too noisy or too dark or too otherwise visually stimulating, reading might be difficult... but that's why God gave us earplugs and clip-on reading lights! I love to read on the couch on a crisp fall day with the windows open to the breeze. Or on my bed with the picture window next to the woods, where I can smell the honeysuckle and hear the soccer players on the other side cheering each other on. Or in a warm bath. Or at the table, if I'm eating alone. Or in an airplane. Or in the waiting room at the doctor's office or the auto repair shop. Or in a hammock on the deck. Or in a box, or with a fox, or in a house, or with a mouse, or here or there or anywhere!

Update: This wasn't asked, but right now I'm readingThe Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. And it is very very good. It ends with this song, which you can find sung by the Brobdingagian Bards on this CD.