I’ve been tagged by Morgan for a literary meme: 10 questions about books.
1. One book you have read more than once
I've already declared that I'm not a re-reader. But of course I have re-read some books, non-fiction books mainly, like cookery books, travel books, how-to books on the few practical subjects I've ever pursued in depth, such as running. And baby-care. What to Expect the First Year is a book I must have read several times in all.
[I'm aware that there's criticism of the What to Expect books and I can see why that is. I didn't uncritically accept all they had to say by any means - Penelope Leach is more my cup of tea when it comes to outlook on parenting, but I did find the WTE books practically helpful and informative.]
2. One book you would want on a desert island
I hate these sorts of questions. Um, if I was really on a desert island I'd probably want some kind of survival manual. But assuming it's just to pass the time and because I don't like to re-read, let me choose that big series by Proust that I've never read but which is supposed to be good. Or Ulysses by James Joyce which I understand is quite fat so would last awhile.
3. One book that made you laugh
Chocolate: the Consuming Passion by Sandra Boynton
4. One book that made you cry
I often cry while reading - I cry quite easily at films or books. Most recently, I actually burst into tears at the point in An Equal Music when the hero receives a letter telling him about the content of a will.
5. One book you wish you had written
I don't aspire to write fiction or poetry and I don't really aspire to have written what other people have written (what's the point? I'm happy being me, as the Sesame Street song says (or does it? I've never really watched that show.) But a non-fiction book which I very much admire is Cries Unheard by Gitta Sereny. Another is Daddy We Hardly Knew You by Germaine Greer. I'd like to be able to write that kind of investigative prose.
6. One book you wish had never been written
That's a hard one because retrospectively eliminating any one book isn't going to change the course of history. Although, come to think of it, if the Bible hadn't been written down, perhaps Christianity wouldn't have become so powerful.
But I suppose this question is really about a book I wish I had never read - or had to read.
I think I'm going to pass on this one, as no one can force you to read a book (except for an educational course). There've been very few books that I've detested.
7. One book you are currently reading
Only textbooks, I'm afraid. (And I should be reading those instead of writing this.) And The Walker Book of Fairy Tales to Olle every night. That was a birth present to him/us but I'm findng that 7.5 is a good age to read fairy tales.
My next book group book is The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm which I have in fact already read some years ago, so I'll be breaking my no re-reading habit and reading that within the next couple of weeks.
8. One book you have been meaning to read
A friend gave me the hardback edition of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake for my birthday two years ago. I love Atwood but the jacket blurb makes this story sound very depressing so I've taken it away on several short holidays but never brought myself to read it.
9. One book that changed your life
Getting Pregnant by Professor Robert Jansen. I started to browse through this in a bookshop in mid 1997 (I spent a lot of time reading books on that subject.) I skimmed to a back chapter which was about the social dimensions of ART (assisted reproductive technology) and read that Dr Jansen's IVF clinic in Sydney offered lesbians access to IVF. I had been trying to do as the title said for quite some time and was being treated by a gynaecologist whose ethics committee did not yet alow him to do that, even when there were clear medical problems which only IVF would address. I bought the book, took it to my GP, she rang Dr Jansen's clinic and made an appointment for me. That's how I ended up getting pregnant.
10. Now tag five people:
Elissa of Squiblog
Kate of Moment to Moment
Jennifer of Penguin Unearthed
Mikhela of View From the Bush
Helen on the Cast Iron Balcony