Sunday, August 13, 2006

Laugh, cry, reread, resolve, metamorphose - my book list

CW tagged me with this meme yesterday.

1. One book you have read more than once . Monkey Grip Helen Garner.
First read it at 15 and thought "yeah, I'm going to go to uni and live in share houses and experiment with new ways of doing lurve and have deep political discussions and intimate personal discussions". Usually read it about every 2 years. Last time I read it, I thought "Wow, this woman had a kid and she was doing drugs and going out late at night. How come I didn't notice this before?".

2. One book you would want on a desert island. Complete works of Lewis Carroll
If I'm going to go ga-ga, then it's nice to have a bizarre world to keep me company. If I'm going to stay sane, then his logical conundrums would keep me that way.

Apologies to Mrs S Milligan Manby.

3. One book that made you laugh. What the papers didn't mean to say: a scandalous collection of clangers, misprints and other typographical disasters by Fritz Spegel
A teeny tiny book published in 1965, full of clippings of typos from British newspapers. Also the companion volume, What the Aussie papers didn't mean to say.

4. One book that made you cry. What the papers didn't mean to say: a scandalous collection of clangers, misprints and other typographical disasters by Fritz Spegel

No, it didn't just mildly amuse me, it had me in gaping great gusts of laughter, falling to the floor, crying and actually having an asthma attack.

5. One book you wish you had written. A suitable boy by Vickram Seth
I could pretend it was for the preciseness of the structure, the detailed research, the absolutely consistent internal world, the grammatical exactness of the language, the preciseness of expression, or the playful way it is all intertwined with the lightest touch. Actually, I just fell in love with the people.

6. One book you wish had never been written. Thomas and the birthday party
See last night's post. I may add that the kids LOVED the cake....but Mr3to4 had me perform an act that may have traumatised every child at the party. He had first choice of the cake, and decided he wanted Thomas' face. In front of a 9 small children, I decapitated Thomas.

7. One book you are currently reading. The Meaning of Tingo: and other extraordinary words from around the world by Adam Jacot de Boinod

8. One book you have been meaning to read. Web 2.0 and Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software by Michael Stephens

9. One book that changed your life. The Optimistic Child: Proven Program to Safeguard Children from Depression & Build Lifelong Resilience by Martin Seligman
My mum died of cancer almost six years ago, with very little time between diagnosis and death. All the books I read said "people with positive attitudes live longer with terminal cancer". Boy, did that piss me off...she hadn't had time to absorb it all and knew that she was going to die and leave people she believed couldn't survive without her. She hadn't had time to get to sweet, gracious acceptance. She was mad and confused. "This stuff is all just blame the victim", I thought.

Seligman was president of the Amercican Psychological Association. He uses psychological method not to treat problems or abnormality, but to define what happiness is and how we can attain it. Reading his books restored my faith in optimism and in positive attitude and made me less angry at the "just smile and accept it" school of thought.

10. Now tag five people:

  • Morgan - tag!
  • Tom Goodfellow - your turn.
  • Jan M S - I know you don't blog, but email me and we'll save it for when I convince you to start one!
  • Peta - you're it!
  • Bronwyn - can't duck.

1 comment:

Tom Goodfellow said...

I've never been tagged before, how exciting!