Wednesday, September 13, 2006
A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy etc. etc...
We got tagged. Twice. Once by The Rev. over at Kevin's Woodshed, and once by Annamarie at Verbena-19 (duly added to the "Blogs I Like" list). And so, here goes!
A book that changed my life
Wheelock's Latin (6th Edition). This book not only changed my life, it is still changing it. You see, one of the reasons that there hasn't been much action around here the last couple of weeks is that I have been busy teaching Latin 101 to 30-odd eager students, using the aforementioned as a textbook. It's great fun, and I hope the kiddies are learning (their first actual thing for marks is on Friday, so I suppose we'll know then), but it's quite tiring and requires a lot of work. Anyway, Wheelock's Latin has been the standard North American Latin text for about fifty years now, and it's really quite good at it.
A book I've read more than once
Far too many to count, in this category. However, I'll select one, and I thought I'd go with a graphic novel (that's a comic book for big people). Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan is one that I've come back to a number of times. It's basically Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail set in a near-future, sci-fi sort of world. It's wildly and darkly funny, and the art's good too!
What book would you take to a desert island?
Probably Lord of the Rings. A classic, and big enough to help me get through a lot of hours waiting for rescue!
A book that made me laugh
Plug time!! If you have not read the works of Terry Pratchett (and really, pick any of them), then you have been missing out. Dry in the same way Douglas Adams was, Pratchett manages to avoid Adams' cynicism, for the most part, while staying uproariaously funny. I would, if I had to pick one of his books, recommend Guards! Guards!
A book that made me cry
Euripides' The Trojan Women. It's actually a play (which I've both seen performed and read), and as an anti-war screed it's impressive in its ferocity and emotional depth. And, unfortunately, all to apropos today.
A book I wish had been written
The part of Vergil's Aeneid that he didn't manage to get written before he died. Actually, Vergil didn't want any of the work published at all, and asked that it be destroyed after he died. Fortunately for posterity, his friends went against his wishes.
A book I wish had never been written
Beyond the obvious suspects, I would have to say about 90% of the crap that festered on the Self-Help shelf in the bookstore I used to work at. Utter garbage, designed to bilk already unhappy people out of their money while doing nothing for their state of mind. I was actually at a local Chapter's yesterday (big bookstore chain here in Canada, for those of you not from these parts), and was disgusted and nauseated to see that they'd actually renamed the Self-Help section. It is now called the "Success Library." Think about that for a minute.
Books I am currently reading
For fun, Shadowmarch by Tad Williams. Good, honest, swords-and-sorcery fantasy from an author who's skilled and experienced in the genre. Professionally, Il Princeps e il Suo Impero: Studi di Storia Amministrativa e Finanziaria Romana by Elio Lo Cascio. It's all about the economy and monetary policy of the Roman Empire, which, dry though it may sound, is actually quite interesting, and my specialty besides.
Books I've been meaning to read
I've had a copy of The Rules of the Game, the autobiography of former top soccer referee Pierluigi Collina, sitting around my bedroom for some time now, and I just haven't had time to get to it. I'm looking forward to it, though!
What turned me on to fiction
Having The Hobbit read to me when I was little. Simple as that!
I know people who have never read a book that was not assigned to them by a teacher/professor (and contrary to what one might expect, most of these people are not young, x-box-playing, cell-phone-jabbering tyros, either), and I think that's kind of a waste, myself.
Ok, and now to spread the wealth! Five completely random victims...
1. Ceej, who runs both marathons and Ceej-try-2-keep-up.
2. Paige, over at Paige From My Book.
3. The mysterious She who posts at Falling Into You...
4. Alfonso, who brings us Today's Word (it's "penchant").
5. Kristykay, who blogs at spacebeer.