The fabulous Dr. B. has passed the book-meme baton to me:
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Damn, I read that way back in high school. I don’t understand this question. Do I have to get burnt in a pyre if I’m a book? Generically speaking, I want to be a fascinating nonfiction book that not only enlightens readers on some infectious disease/epidemiology topic, but also lands on the bestseller list or racks up major writing awards. Randy Shilts’ AIDS book, And the Band Played On, was one of the first such books I read. Abraham Verghese’s My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story is another.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Oh, yeah. Tea Cake from Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. A flawed man, to be sure, but hot Hot HOT. (The guy in the recent TV movie didn’t quite attain the level of hotness I hoped for.) And Loyd, the Native American hottie in Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams. It took the protagonist so long to fully appreciate his fineness and open herself up to him, I was shouting Springer-show style at her throughout the book. “Girl, get that man!” And Howard, Alice’s underappreciated husband in Jane Hamilton’s A Map of the World. I was actually glad when he started that affair because somebody needed to be good to this man. If not me, then fine. Another character in the book will do.
The last book you bought is:
Several kids’ books (my son’s birthday is coming up) and several tough crossword books. Do those count? And I just got a cool new reference book, Stephen Glazier’s Word Menu. Page 560 lists more than 100 terms in the “fusses and troubles” category. Callithump! Billingsgate! Shindy! Not to mention hullabaloo, rumpus, and whoop-de-doo. Love it! But the book was a prize, not a purchase.
The last book you read:
Hmm, possibly the last one I actually finished was Ann Leary’s An Innocent, a Broad. She’s married to comedian Denis Leary. This is her story of when they were just starting out and spent a weekend in London so he could do a show there. She was pregnant and ended up confined to a British hospital on bed rest, and had to deal with having a preemie while living in a foreign country, often alone. Great writer, funny and gripping story.
What are you currently reading?
I must deplore this meme’s pro-book bias. I spend much more time reading magazines (particularly the New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, and Esquire). And while I’m deploring, let me deplore the New Yorker’s insistence on employing an assortment of British spellings. I find them disorienting.
That said, I’m also reading the very funny Calvin Trillin, Feeding a Yen. It’s one of his food books.
Five books you would take to a deserted island:
This one’s too hard. In the last decade, I haven’t read five books I’d want to take with me. I’d have to think back to high school and college, or pick books I haven’t read but really should. But who wants to add to their sense of obligation when they’re stuck on a deserted island, having to hunt and gather and construct shelter? Feh.
P.S. Shout-out to Charlie over at Shades of Grey for telling me how to include links in posts. Charlie, I finally stopped having to refer to your e-mail to remember how to do this.