The “One Book” Meme

Mark at The Elegant Variation may hate blog memes, but I love ’em. I think they make me look smart. Feel free to do this one, too.

  • One book that changed your life – The Magic Mountain — complex, poignant, austere. There is no trickery in this book, it’s just flat-out magnificence from start to end. One of the only novels I’ve ever read where the passage of time is more real inside the narrative than outside of it.
  • One book that you’ve read more than once – Gravity’s Rainbow — I read it the first time because somebody I looked up to told me it was worth the effort. I read it the second time because I knew it was worth the effort. As fucked up as it is to admit, this book, more than any, wired my brain to its current method of reasoning.
  • One book you’d want on a desert island — Don Quixote — because I still haven’t read it.
  • One book that made you laugh — Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson isn’t thought of by most people as a “funny” reader, but this book is hilarious.
  • One book that made you cry — White Noise — I know, this book is supposed to be funny, and it is. But it was also the first book I read that dealt with the pathos of middle age and it knocked me for a loop.
  • One book that you wish had been written – Blood Meridian — This book is so hard to forget, passages from it often come whispering back to me in the middle of seemingly unrelated activities. Not sure when I’ll get around to reading it again, but it’s a remarkable thing.
  • One book that you wish had never been written — Can I say the entire Left Behind series without sounding anti-Christian? I can? Good, then that’s the one.
  • One book you’re currently reading — The Snowman’s Children — This book is crawling up inside my consciousness.
  • One book you’ve been meaning to read — Middlesex — it’s beautifully written (at least the first few pages I read through) and it’s been on my shelf for a long, long while, but I still haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe this fall…

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