Monday, March 21, 2005

Variation on a Meme

As requested:

I'm not really a book person anymore. (One of the reasons that Grandma E. never really accepted me; she read all the time, mostly boring stuff.) When I was younger, I read all the time (even when I was supposed to be doing other things). When I started college I thought that I was going to be an English major; I think that having people always telling me what to read is what got me off books.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

That's too silly. How about:

Four books you want to shamelessly plug:

Much better.

  1. Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. Recommended by a friend in a letter that she wrote to me from the psychiatric hospital. Immediately upon reading this book I knew why she was drawn to it and why she insisted that I had to read it. Re-reading it after she died (13 years ago next Friday), I understood that she had much more in common with Cordelia than I had originally realized. Yes, in a hotel, with pills, of course. I was so self-centered at the time that I never picked up on that until it was too late.


  2. Landscape Painted with Tea by Milorad Pavic. Those who met me in a previous online life would recognize the name of the main character's wife: Vitacha. Narrative mixed with non-sequitor. Non-linear storyline. Poetic language.


  3. Hopscotch by Julio Cortazár. Another non-linear story. I named the last computer I owned Hopscotch; her hard drive was named La Maga (after the character). I wrote a terrible paper about this book (connecting it to a Borges story -- I think "Garden of the Forking Paths" -- and the Greek myth about Ariadne) during a term that I took an overload and my life was simultaneously falling apart and coming together. When I realized how bad the paper was, I felt terrible for letting down such a good book.


  4. Digital Typography by Donald Knuth. If I had known about this field of study when I was 16, my life might have turned out much differently. Since I first started using a Macintosh in 1988, I have been obsessed with type. I'm the kind of girl who will kern by hand if she thinks it's necessary. When I gave a talk to the undergraduate math majors, I talked about something in a paper reprinted in this book instead of something related to my own research.


You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

I haven't read Fahrenheit 451, so I'll take a wild stab here that this is a book to save? Pragmatically, McConnell and Robson would be the way to go.

The last book you bought is:

Scarf Style by Pam Allen.

The last book you read:

Ditto.

What are you currently reading?

Nothing, really.