Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Summer Reading Club, Volume II

Here's a meme which is a good reminder to get moving to the local library before summer is over. Thanks, Birthday-Girl Brigita!

A book that changed your life: Upon immediate reflection I can’t think of one book that jumps out more than another. If the book was good and meant something to me, it changed me and the way that I view life, at least a little bit. Those great books (and some not so great books) stick with me.

Recently I read a book by Marge Piercy, which reminded me of how her books have changed me. The book I read this summer by her was The Sex Wars, which is a fictionalized account of several famous, infamous, and fictitious characters from the 1870’s (Victoria Woodhull and Elizabeth Cady Stanton among others). This book, as well as others that Piercy has written, has a very vivid subtext relating how very little power women have had historically, legally, financially, and even biologically. It is a good reminder to me of how much power and privilege I really have and makes me appreciate a little bit of what it must be like to be one of the many in this country who do not have that same privilege. This inspires my work in policy analysis and is probably partially the reason I’m currently focused on institutionalized racism.

A book you’ve read more than once: So many children’s books… I’d say the one I’ve probably read the most times is Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. I probably read that annually between the ages of 7 and 12. I’ve read all of her children’s books multiple times, but that was my childhood favorite.

A book that made you laugh: Most recently, it was one of the Bartimaus books that I read because I kept hearing Jeff laugh as he was reading it.

A book that made you cry: The last book that I can clearly remember that made me cry was the last Harry Potter book, but I’m sure that I’ve cried over a book since I read that last summer (admittedly there are times – when I’m tired, have had a little too much to drink, during certain times of the month – that I’ll cry if someone looks at me cross-eyed).

A book that you wish had been written and a book you wish had never been written: This is an odd question and one I can’t think of a good answer for, so I’ll change the questions:

A book that you’re glad to have read and one that you wish you hadn’t: I’m glad that I read The Fountainhead by Ann Rand. She and her writing are referenced so often; it’s nice to understand the reference, and the book did make me think more about the impact policy has on individual welfare versus the impact on many. It’s a good thing to keep in mind. One I wish I hadn’t read might be Hannibal, a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs. It was just full of gross images and I can’t think of any redeeming qualities to the book. I can’t remember why I even read it, other than the fact that a friend of mine was an extra in the filming of the movie (which I couldn’t bring myself to watch after reading the book).

Books you’re currently reading: Nothing. I’ve started a few, but nothing’s really grabbed me. I kind of want a cheesy summer read, but then feel guilty about that, so haven’t gotten one, so I just do sudoku puzzles and read magazines before bed these days.

A book you’ve been meaning to read: So many! This was supposed to be the summer for pleasure reading, too, and I just haven’t gotten down to it. Ones that have been on my nightstand a while include Cold Mountain, a Louis and Clark bio, and Founding Brothers. And then there are others that have been sitting in my bookcase for years like War and Peace.

Okay, now I think I'm ready to crack open a good novel.

Anyone else want to take a gander?


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