There are plenty of memes that want to know all about your book history and your all-time greats and your grand ambitions, but let’s focus on something more revealing: the books you’re actually reading now, or just read, or are about to read. Let’s call it The Immediate Book Meme.
Aww yiss! I hate having to come up with the top ten most important or most influential books. It happens that I was heavily influenced by books that weren’t very good. And it happens that I can’t think of anything besides what everyone else already put on the list. This one, I just have to shove my bed away from the wall and rummage around on the floor to make my list. Here’s the questions, with my answers:
1. What book are you reading now?
(I do almost all my reading in the 20 minutes before I fall asleep, so there is a lot of variety under my bed, to accommodate how tired I happen to be.)
- Holy Sex! by Gregory Popcak (GREAT! Review coming.)
- Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross by Sigrid Undset, translated by Tiina Nunnally (GREAT! Of course.)
- So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger (Meh.)
- Review copy of Eve Tushnet’s upcoming book about her life and times on an oil rig in Kachemak Bay. Ha, just kidding. It’s about gay Christians, and is very engaging and interesting
- Write If You Get Work: The Best of Bob and Ray. These are just transcripts of their radios skits. No idea if they would be funny if you haven’t already heard the audio.
- These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body by Emily Stimpson. Very enjoyable. TOB is not only about sex!
- I Don’t Want to Be a Hoo-er! by Elizabeth Scalia. I could kiss her if only for the ones about art.
- The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende. Hey, what do you want, I’m a lady, and I read lady books. Really quite a good novel. The rest of her stuff I’ve read by her is kind of ridiculous.
- Moby Dick by Horace J. Schmiddlapp III
- The Lives and Times of Archy and Mehitabel by Don Marquis Do people know about Archy and Mehitabel? They should.
2. What book did you just finish?
- The Human Factor by Graham Greene. Wah. Not nearly so much blood and thunder as his over novels, but it broke-a my heart.
- The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks. So good. There’s nothing worse than a story that comes up with a really good idea, but then the people don’t act like people would when some amazing thing happens. In this book, they do act like that.
3. What do you plan to read next?
- For me, I have no idea. Maybe for Lent I’ll get back to Jesus of Nazareth, which I just barely started a few years ago.
- For the kids, we are planning to read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader out loud, once we finish While Mrs. Coverlet Was Away.
4. What book do you keep meaning to finish?
- Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty. It’s so good, but I just can’t deal with all those southern people. It’s kind of a problem.
- Theology for Beginners by Frank Sheed. Five chapters in. Not waving the white flag yet, but boy do I feel dim.
- Playback by Raymond Chandler. Probably won’t bother finishing. It doesn’t make very much sense, and Marlowe really crosses the line in this one.
- Charley Is My Darling by Joyce Cary. I don’t think I have the courage to finish. It’s just too melancholy.
- The DaVinci Code by whatever whatever. I bought it in a book bin to take it out of circulation, then got curious. First I was amazed, then I was fascinated, then I was entertained, then I just got depressed, and couldn’t finish. The idea of so much paper and ink and proofreading and delivery truck drivers’ labor going into something so thoroughly awful was just crushing. Couldn’t get to the end. So I guess I’ll never find out who whatever whatever whatever. At least the dollar I paid for it will go to the senior center.
- We are 75% of the way through The Princess and the Goblin with the kids, but it’s been such a long time since we picked it up, I’m afraid they won’t remember what’s going on. I always forget how difficult it is to read George MacDonald out loud. There’s a lot of, ” . . . Wha? Let me read that sentence again.”
5. What book do you keep meaning to start?
Introduction to the Devout Life by Francis De Sales. I’m gonna, okay?
6. What is your current reading trend?
I’m making an effort to read books I’ve never read before, rather than re-re-re-re-re-re-revisiting old favorites. Working my way through more non-fiction than usual. Pro tip: it’s easier to read non-fiction if it’s about sex.
Okay, now your turn! And thanks, Darwins!