The Books of My Numberless Dreams

A windfall of fluff

Posted on: October 16, 2007

There are memes, quiz results and potential book challenge lists to share.

Sylvia tagged me with these 10 questions bit some days ago.

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
Honestly it depends on my mood, how nice the dust jacket and actual hardcovers are, whether I think the author is worth $30+ for heaven’s sake (thank goodness for saner YA hardcover prices) and so on.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…

I came up with a name then forgot it. A new idea would be something silly and terrible for publicity Cerebral Desserts or Book Bingers Unite!.

3. My favourite quote from a book (mention the title) is…

There can never be only one.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

From “Odysseus” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems)

I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.

From “Tithonus” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems)

The windy waves mount up and curve and fall,
And round the rocks the foam blows up like snow,–
Tho’ I am inland far, I hear and know,
For I was born the sea’s eternal thrall.

From “Sea Longing” by Sara Teasdale (Poems of the Sea, ed. by J.D. McClatchy)

Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who Present, Past, & Future sees
Whose ears have heard,
The Holy Word,
That walk’d among the ancient trees.

Calling the lapsed Soul
And weeping in the evening dew:
That might controll
The starry pole:
And fallen fallen light renew!

From “Introduction” by William Blake (Songs of Innocence and of Experience)

4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be ….

Uhhh…Diderot, I guess. I don’t really want to have lunches with any authors. (Although I’m sure they were and are all very nice lunch companions.)

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

Ummm…the Collected Stories of Andre Dubus maybe if such existed. Or the Collected Fiction of Steve Stern, that could work.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….

It’s already been invented.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of….

Me. Some of my musty poetry collections.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….

Eh, I dunno. Maud Bailey in Possession by A.S. Byatt, probably.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….

I have a few here. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. My first from his, bought on the wave of publicity with which it was greeted. It was good enough but for the life of me I could not see what all the fuss was about. I promptly bartered it at a used book store and not even Darby could persuade me to purchase it again for a reread, since last I checked it’s still there.

I saw Unconsoled in hardcover going dirt cheap (about $10 if not less) at another used book store and bought it in the hopes that it would reveal Ishiguro’s true greatness. I know, I know, try the book with the ventriloquist butler, but every time I read or someone describes the plot my eyelids begin to droop. (I’ll commit heresy by stating that the movie is an excellent substitute for me, thanks.) I’d pick the one about orphans first. (And who passed on those namby pamby pastel covers? Good heavens.)

A Short History about Nearly Everything or Whatever It’s Called by Bill Bryson. I couldn’t make it past page 5. I can’t seem to stand the jocular, humouring tone of those science books for general readers. Ugh. Maybe it doesn’t really count as “overestimated” but I really, really can’t stand those general reader science books.🙂

Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets are mostly rubbish because the prose style is about Enid Blyton level. Fine if you’re 8 but….

It’s quite possible that had I read the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis as a child I would have enjoyed it immensely (but I doubt it because even as a child I was never enthusiastic about bible stories that weren’t directly from the Bible). As it is I read them before the New Line adaptation was released and found most of the stories sagging with Christian theology. Only “A Horse and His Boy” and “The Silver Chair” manage to be anything exciting. I’m assuming his non-fiction is way better.

10. I hate it when a book….

Has endnotes, rather than footnotes. I’m with Sylvia here.

****

Heather at The Library Ladder mentioned yet another reading challenging, a Sea-Faring one, that starts on November 1st. Since I’ve already successfully completed the Outmoded challenge I decided it was no hardship to consider joining another. Going by the title you can guess that it involves books having anything to do with the sea and nautical affairs. I combed through my shelves and came up with

  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • Celtika by Robert Holdstock
  • Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
  • Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
  • Beowulf
  • Ingo and Tide Knot by Helen Dunmore
  • A Burnt-out Case by Graham Greene
  •  Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route by Saidiya Hartman

(I edited this post on Wednesday to add the last two.)

You are accorded different ranks based on the number of books you complete at the end and I figure I could make Commodore easy, if the first two in the Dunmore trilogy are as good as everyone says they are.

****

I found this quiz over at Charlotte’s Web where a soup recipe is part of the fun as well.



“What Kind of Blogger Are You?”

9 Responses to "A windfall of fluff"

Yes! I agree about footnotes vs endnotes! I am a purist socialite too, but I got expert instead of upstart, which is funny since I think you have been blogging longer than I have! Silly quizzes.

Am very curious now about Remains of the Day…its is on my shelf and I thought I was get to it in a month or so. I liked Artist of the Floating World but that is the only Ishiguro I have read until now. I completely agree with you on the first few Harry Potter books as well as the Narnia stories.

LOL I’m a purist, expert, undiscovered! Giggle. Whatever.

Do you have the “easy-read”? Do you like it? Looks like it might break the backs of some books.

Purist expert socialite here.

I think Book Bingers Unite is an excellent bookstore name🙂 Enjoyed your meme answers

Dewey I wasn’t quite sure what to answer for a few questions since none of the selections available seemed to fit. I certainly don’t see how I rated as a socialite. Ah well.

Verbivore yay, nice to see someone with me on the Narnia stories as I seem to the be in the minority. (It is a childhood favourite for many, after all.) As for Ishiguro I do think he’s a good writer, maybe even really good (heh), which is why I’m determined to try his other novels to see if I like them any better.

Heather T. “undiscovered”? Ha! Hardly.

Sylvia I don’t know, as I wouldn’t be able to justify spending all that money on a book gadget rather than actual books. It’s a good thing you mentioned the spine breaking issue, I hadn’t thought of that. I watched a video of it and the long piece across on which the book rests on does not seem to be adjustable in order to avoid that.

Setfanie really? Then I might seriously consider it if I have a store one day.😉 Thanks, glad you liked the answers.

You know, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I want to have lunch with any authors either. What would we talk about after all? Tell me how you come up with your ideas? I don’t think so.

You’re so out of the will.

Just kidding! I still think you’re keen.

Though, yeah, I think I would recommend The Remains of the Day or When We Were Orphans before The Unconsoled. It’s his most ambitious and strange and weird to grasp book.

Dorothy see? I figured the same thing.

Darby this means I’m still IN. I want your music collection.

I do think that I might want the strangeness though. One of the main reasons I avoid the butler book is that it sounds so…conventional. Excellent, no doubt, but it’s like, you know, yeah, WWII, butlers, something about Ishiguro’s ventriloquism, why bother? But Unconsoled has a pianist! And it’s weird!

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