Saturday, September 02, 2006

Enterprising blogger Beep Beep tagged (remarks), who in turn tagged the Center. So here it all is, keeping to the format. [Even the part about the crying, as in books that make you do so. Not shyin away. Not here.]

A Book That Changed My Life

Handily, this goes to Nineteen Eighty-Four by the venerable George Orwell (Eric Blair). My God, what an unthinkable dystopian picture of the future. None of it ever came true.

A Book I’ve Read More Than Once

Probably Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, but I’m sure there are others. Have to dig it.

The One Book That Would be Goin’ to a Desert Island

’Tuff question. How about Paul Johnson’s A History of the Jews. Not to pass the time per se, but rather to reflect on familial heritage going back to ancient times. And, yes, incidentally it would pass the time. Big ’ol book.

A Book that Made Me Laugh

Nothing recently, but if The Onion’s “Complete News Archives Volume 16” (or Embedded In America) counts as a book, most definitely.

A Book that Made Me Cry

Well, I’m no sentimental windbag, but several years ago there was a book that at the end of it left me with, say, a raindrop a-fallen on my head. It goes to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, an integral part of literary Americana. Or, on the other hand, I was so tired of the book that, as I closed its last page, was just so happy it was over. But that was a long time ago.

A Book that I Wish had been Written

Richard B. Cheney’s classic, comprehensive tome Iraq: Its People, History, and Customs. Not a best-seller.

A Book I Wish had Never Been Written

Mein Kampf does rank high in this category, but I’d pick Jayson Blair’s scheme to get-rich-off-my-shame-of-plagiarism that his publisher titled Burning Down My Master’s House. To add insult to the injury of staining the reputation of one of the world’s finest newspapers (the New York Times, that’s right), it seems he played the race card. Sure, no one died, and I do not intend to compare him with the former in any way, as it is obvious that Mr. Blair’s book did not lead to the unconscionable horrors of human history. And to be fair to the disgraced journalist, I did not read his book. Nor do I intend to.

A Book I Have Been Meaning to Read

The Knights Templar by Stephen Howarth. My father recommended it highly.

Currently Reading...

A few books right now, first of which is Karen Armstrong’s Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World. Then, shifting gears, America Beyond Capitalism: Reclaiming Our Wealth, Our Liberty, and Our Democracy (Gar Alperovitz).

TAGALONG

Ali Eteraz

David Masciotra

Jane Holland

Andy Dunn

Jill Stevenson

2 comments:

PJB said...

Funny, when we're dealing with the Blairs, how much a first name means.

Incidentally, I read a book by one Gar Alperovitz about the decision to drop the bomb on Japan. I assume it's the same guy since there probably aren't too many Gar Alperovitzes running around the academic community. Or are there?

Alex said...

If it was *Tony* Blair, for instance, yeah; he plagiarized that graduate paper to inflate Iraqi weapons capability. Or rather his people cited it for our guys and we did the lifting.

Yep, same Gar. I think I ran into that very work while researching a high school debate on whether it was in fact legitimate to obliterate populous port cities with unthinkably powerful bombs. Not too many Gars, true.