In Her Shell
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
  Way Better Than Original Tag

My beloved CP has tagged me, and this time I'm all psyched to play. Why? Because Reading Is Sexy and don't you ever forget it.

A Book That Has Changed Your Life: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
(Because it inspired me, the second I finished it, to sit down and write and every time I re-read it I am inspired again.)

"You were a wanted child, God knows, she would say at other moments, lingering over the photo albums in which she had me framed; these albums were thick with babies, but my replicas thinned out as I grew older, as if the population of my duplicates had been hit by some plague. She would say this a little regretfully, as though I hadn't turned out entirely as she'd expected. No mother is ever, completely, a child's idea of what a mother should be, and I suppose it works the other way around as well. But despite everything, we didn't do badly by one another, we did as well as most.
I wish she were here, so I could tell her I finally know this."

A Book That You Have Read More Than Once: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
(All the books on a certain shelf in my room could fall into this category, but this is one that I will pick up again and again, just to read certain passages.)

"The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier, minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath--already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the center of a group and then excited with triumph glide on through the seachange of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light."

A Book That Makes You Laugh: Glory Goes and Gets Some, Emily Carter

"So I'm hovering over this Lara, and like always with really small women, I feel like Alice after she took the one pill that makes you larger, big and--here's the word--galumphing. Galumphing, good word, and that of course makes me feel this heady sensation of protectiveness toward the smaller woman, and then the usual realization dawns on me. Oh My God I Am A Lesbian. And not one of those hip stylish ones who write avant-garde movie scripts and get their pictures taken in nightclubs either. I'm some sad old thing sitting at the bar while my little femme fatale girlfriend cheats on me with anything, male or female, that happens to be around. In other words, I get treated the way I've treated certain men in my life, which as a thought is worse than thinking about car accidents."

A Book That Made You Cry: Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"There was nothing there but a flash of yellow close to his ankle. He remained motionless for an instant. He did not cry out. He fell as gently as a tree falls. There was not even any sound, because of the sand."

A Book You Wish You Had Written: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson
(Because it is my favorite and everything I like in a book: funny and poignant and simply stated and lyrical with a dash of magical realism.)

"Like most people I lived for a long time with my mother and father. My father liked to watch the wrestling, my mother liked to wrestle; it didn't matter what. She was in the white corner and that was that.
She hung out the largest sheets on the windiest days. She wanted the Mormons to knock on the door. At election time in a Labour mill town she put a picture of the Conservative candidate in the window.
She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends and there were enemies.

Enemies were:
The Devil (in his many forms)
Next Door
Sex (in its many forms)
Friends were:
Our dog
Auntie Madge
The novels of Charlotte Bronte
Slug pellets

And me, at first."

A Book You Are Currently Reading
(Lest anyone not believe me when I claimed membership in Lulu's Book Addicts Club...)
The Orchid Thief, Susan Orlean
Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
God: A Biography, Jack Miles
The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
The Culture of Fear, Barry Glassner
Lighthousekeeping, Jeanette Winterson
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The Cheating Culture, David Callahan
Teacher Man, Frank McCourt
How the Universe Got its Spots, Janna Levin
Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino

A Book You Have Been Meaning To Read:
(And here's the other half of my bedside table...)
Side Effects, Woody Allen
The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
War Talk, Arundhati Roy
Islam, A Short History, Karen Armstrong
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander
The Fifties, A Women's Oral History, Brett Harvey
All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren


Whew. That was fun. I'm spent.
How are we all supposed to find the time to read all the great things we should? I've read
I loved the way you used passages to illustrate your choices. I loved the excerpt from Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit.

Stop wasting your time reading this comment.
I second Dale - only a schoolteacher would be so thorough as to provide quotations!

Handmaid's Tale: I guess I'll read this. I saw the movie version with Faye Dunaway, but it probably sucked compared to the book?

Gatsby: Now I want to read this again. Especially since I technically live on Long Island.

Petit Prince: I feel sad when I think about this book because when I was in the hospital getting my tonsils out when I was 7, my mom gave it to me wrapped like a gift. I opened it and was visibly unimpressed. It hurt her feelings. Ok, I'll seek therapy.

Oranges: Again, saw the movie which I LOVED. I honestly didn't even know it was a book. I will read it.

Glad you mentioned Glory. I'm always looking for new books to make me laugh.

Sorry for such a long commentary on your commentary.
Thank god you didn't tag me! That would have taken me DAYS to complete. :)

I like the passages too. And I frequently re-read The Little Prince because it makes me happy in a teary-eyed kind of way. I've been meaning to read some Jeanette Winterson for so long. I'll add Oranges to my list.
I am not nearly so industrious as you. I'm a scientist. We take things very literally. But I did answer it. Does it make me lame that I had to spend an hour studying my bookshelves to come up with answers?
The Handmaid's Tale: the movie was terrible, the opera was atrocious, the book was really good. How's that for in depth analysis.

I noticed up in my comment that there was a stray *I've read* - early morning comment editing. Ugh.
Thank you all for saying nice things about the quotes. I am obsessed with quotes and also could never follow CP's wise and witty reflections over in his world.

Dale: Thanks for the props and you are so very right but I can't stop blogging! Blame Lu and Hapabukbuk for sucking me in.

CP: I love the indepth nature of your comments and don't you dare stop. I've never seen the movie of Handmaid's Tale but I cannot imagine that it was very good at all. Gatsby: if you read it again let me know what you think. Same with Oranges and Glory; they are well worth adding to the list. PP: I did not appreciate this as a youth either, partially because I was forced to read it in French. Much like Margaret, it's not for kids.

Megan: I cannot believe I DIDN'T tag you! But if you are relieved I won't try a late-game entry.

JAG: You are not lame, just thorough and meticulous. Thanks for playing.
Oh, I'm tagging Megan though, once i get my list posted.

Gatsby will figure prominantly on my list as well. Not only is it my favorite book ever, it is my favorite book to teach.
Oh good, I'm glad to hear you are planning to rope Megan in!

And Gatsby kicks ass.
In all my years of listening to kids bitch about what crazy book their evil English teacher is making them read now, I have never heard a thing about Gatsby. Kids dig Gatsby.

And thanks for the heads-up, Lulu. I'll be sure not to check your blog for a while. :) Actually, you know I LOVE talking about books.
"Side Effects" might be the funniest thing ever written. Woody Allen is so funny he makes me sick.
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