Tuesday, 22 April 2008

the books, i've read them.

1) What book are you reading right now?
The Collected Stories by Amy Hempel.

2) What is the fourth sentence on page 133 of that book?
"Jean had five boyfriends, all named Jim."

Amy (or Hemps as I call her in my head, we're totally BFF after me having read, like, everything she's written) loves DEATH. It is her favorite thing to write about ever I SWEAR. Anyway, I was certain that the sentence would be at least a little like death so I could tell you about how much she loves it and that sentence up there with the boyfriends and the Jean isn't deathly at all. But let me just say that the fourth sentence on page 133 is the fourth sentence of her short story "Murder." Gee whiz, Hemps, lighten up.

3) What is one book that changed your life?
I can only pick one book? That's dumb.

4) What is one book that you read again and again?
I have this weird thing where I don't like to read books again and again because I tend to forget details--hang on. I've written about this before:

"The thing is that book is back there, in the memory, somewhere because the moment I start re-reading (Hey! I remember liking this book but not what it was about ... I'll read it again!) I REMEMBER EVERYTHING. Ohhhh, I remember, this is the one with that lady... and I bet she does that thing? I wonder if she does that thing or not? was it another book? for another 12 pages when she finally does the thing and I move on to wondering about something else. This process makes me absolutely crazy. I've never been able to enjoy a book the second time around unless I already remember the entire plot going into it."

5) What three books would you want on a desert island?
The Da Vinci Code. I would take the Da Vinci Code. So I could burn the Da Vinci Code.

6) What is the funniest book you've ever read?
One of my college roommates brought home a book one day from the freebie shelf at the church where she worked. My Husband, My Friend was a marriage book, a guide to being happy and making your spouse happy. It was offensive on all the levels possible--put a ribbon in your hair to surprise your husband when he returns home from work, etc. It had a whole section listing things that could help you feel more feminine: choosing a stencil such as ducks or teddy bears to decorate the home with, subscribing to a woman's magazine, taking a daily bubble bath with candles to relax, etc., etc. We would have readings of it--you know--to keep us feminine. The Notorious AMR, our ninth roommate and boyfriend about town could read it in the most condescending way. I used to have a video of him doing this and I just scoured all my backed up photos from back in oh-five and the videos are gone. I'm trying not to think about what other videos were lost. Anyway, I also scoured the internet desperately trying to find the book as well and I think it's too old and atiquated and offensive to have survived the dot com boom. Old housemates, if you're out there reading this, please comment funny things about the book, kthnx.

7) What book made you cry the most?
Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts: I threw that book across the room, I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon crying, and I couldn't pick it up again for a day. Something about reading despicable stuff makes it so much harder for me to swallow and I felt so caught off guard by it.

8) What book do you wish had been written?
I really loved Cold Sassy Tree. Olive Ann Burns died before finishing its sequel which was published as a collection of notes. I devoured the notes, burdened with guilt. Spenser's Faerie Queene is unfinished, some say Canterbury Tales is unfinished. And I sure do wish my coCollectivers would write me some books already.

9) What would be the title of your autobiography?
Uh, Abigail M. Schilling?

10) What book do you keep meaning to read?
She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel because Heather is always chattering about it.

11) What five books should everyone be required to read?
Heather picked this topic. Obviously. Heather LOVES forcing people to make favorite lists. I HATE making favorite lists. (See here.) Here's why: I choke. I feel like it's a life or death decision and I don't have the capacity to make it. I can't choose! OKAY!?

(But you should read Harry Potter. And most books on those lists that the internet likes to post.)

12) What book was the biggest waste of your time?
I'm really good at not finishing a book if I don't like it. In fact, I'm really good at not finishing books in general so I've never wasted my time. Unless you consider chick lit a waste of time. I obviously don't, nor do I consider all the trashy TV I watch wasting time. Standard.

13) What was your favorite book as a child?
Goodnight Moon
The Boxcar Children Series
The Twelve Candle Club Series (Christian babysitters club knock off)
Homer Price, Centerburg Tales, and everything else by Robert McCloskey

14) What book have you read the most?
Is this different than question four? I'm tired of questions. How about a story instead?

Canadian author Yann Martel (Life of Pi) has been sending a new book every two weeks to the Canada Prime Minister. See the PM doesn't really believe in the arts or funding the arts or allowing the arts to exist and Yann thinks he just doesn't know any better so he's been sending him books to help educate him. He's been making sure each book is less than 200 pages too because "the Prime Minister is a very busy man." Isn't that so awesome? You can read about his project and his letters to the PM here at What Is Stephen Harper Reading? (I heard about this from my blogging friend Anna from junior high. She finds cool things before the rest of the internet, I swear.)

15) Is there any book's ending that you would like to rewrite? What would you change about the original ending?
I'm sure there is a million, but see I get all pissed and rage-y if I don't like the ending, I tell the whole world, and then, disenchanted with the author, I start to forget about the book, and slowly, return to my regularly scheduled excessive use of commas. My life, it is fleeting.

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