i usually avoid blog-memes. i've been watching this one circulate around for last few weeks, laying low, hoping no one passes it to me. but nathan put the hit on me yesterday. damn you, spirit of bipartisanship! but the law is the law, so here goes:
You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
apparently this has been interpreted as a question about your most hated book. my official most hated book is My Antonia. everyone should have an official most hated book. it's like a state bird. why does each state have to have a bird? no one knows. they just do.
"My Antonia" is one of those books that was ruined by the circumstances under which i read it, not because there is necessarily anything wrong with the text itself. i don't know whether everyone's school did this, but when i was a high school, we were mailed a summer reading list each year. the list would assign one mandatory book we had to read during our summer vacation, plus we had to choose a couple of books off of a longer list of elective books. as an ubergeek in high school, i always resented that list. it was designed to keep students reading over the summer, but i spent much of my summer reading anyway. the elective list was not the problem, i usually could usually find a few books that i had already read and claim retroactive credit. but the school never chose a mandatory book that i had read before, so i was stuck having to actually read a book i didn't want to. "My Antonia" was a mandatory book one such summer and in my mind it is forever under a cloud of forced reading. i don't actually remember anything substantive about the book. for all i know if i discovered it today, it could have turned into my favorite book ever. but it's too late for "My Antonia" now. it may not be fair to the book, but life isn't fair sometimes. blame my high school, not me.
wow, that one was long winded. i'll try to be pithier.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
The last book you bought is:
Lonely Planet Syria & Lebanon
The last book you read:
They Marched Into Sunlight : War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
What are you currently reading?
Middlesex (i'm almost done too. it's really good)
Five books you would take to a desert island.
maybe i'm thinking about this one too much, most people seem to take this question as an opportunity to list their five favorite books. but why would i want to be trapped on a desert island with five books i already read? on the other hand, how can i pick five books to be trapped with that i never read before? i don't know if they're any good.
so i'm dodging the question by taking the practical route. as my outdoor survival abilities are pretty appalling, here's my list:
Desert Survival Skills
98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive
Wilderness Medicine: Beyond First Aid
The ABCs of Wireless Radio
Teach Yourself Arabic (i'm probably a little beyond this book, but think of all the study time i will have. i could memorize the whole book!)
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
the first person is easy: sarah, because torturing her is practically my hobby.
i'll also tap baji because i think she'll actually do it.
and the liberal avenger because he doesn't deserve this.