Thursday, 19 May 2011

30 Day Book Challenge

I'd like to credit Becky (@stupidgirl45 on Twitter) for this idea which I have nicked and adapted for my own. You can read her original here

Day 1: Favourite Book: "Hard Boiled Wonderland And The End Of the World" by Murakami. An extraordinary book unlike no other I've read, in that it has two entirely different narrative worlds winding down to meet one another. One is a fairly straight forward Japanese noir thriller, the other a semi-mystical dystopia. Mind-expanding

Day 2: Least favourite book: Oh man too many to mention. But probably "Demo" by Alison Miller which is seemingly about political protest to the Iraq War, but actually is about a couple of Trustafarians slumming it for a bit

Day 3: Book that makes me laugh out loud: quite a competitive little category this one, but the late Steve Tesich's "Karoo" narrowly edges out Steve Toltz's "A Fraction Of The Whole". Both have a laugh on almost every page, but Saul Karoo is a more satisfying character to guide us through the laughs

Day 4: Book that makes you cry: I'm a geezer so I don't cry period. Can honestly say I don't think I've cried at a book, though I've moistened at the odd film or so. My father however claims that as a young child I laughed at the death of Bambi's mother. I have no way of verifying this

Day 5: Book you wish you could live in: "Sum - 40 Tales of the Afterlife" a wonderful small book positing 40 imaginative scenarios for life and post-life. Not only does it give the brain endless food for thought, but I'm rather taken with its notion that there is life after death, so yes please I'd like to reside there...

Day 6: Favourite young adult book: I'm sure they weren't called YA books when I was a lad. I didn't read books as a boy anyway except Asterix and Tintin. I'm a bit out of my depth here, but I'd recommend "Watchman" though it's not really about YA themes

Day 7: Book that you can quote/recite: Even though I have a good memory that got me through my exams by memorising stuff by rote, I would actually have to apply myself to learn quotes which I don't tend to do with my reading for pleasure. I never remember jokes either. But I did use to religiously (sic) read Camus "The Outsider" once a year for about ten years, so after repeated readings I managed to commit the first line to memory "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday I can't be sure"

Day 8: Book that scares you: What in a treehouse of terror sort of way, or the horror of knowing that it ever got published? Let's go with the former shall we? I don't scare that easily just through the power of art - I rarely surrender my disbelief, but the Jo Nesbo crime thriller "The Snowman" which I'm reading now is pretty neat on that front. For non-fiction, FBI Profiler Robert Ressler's "Whoever Fights Monsters" is pretty chilling in parts

Day 9: Book that makes me sick: Again, an extreme reaction I'm not really given to. I can tell you a film that I've tried to watch on several occasions and never made it past the first third and that's Polanski's "Repulsion". I think if I picked up any reality TV star's autobiography, penned at the tender age of 20 for the Tv tie in, that would make me upchuck. But this is supposition. Same thing Kenneth Branagh's autobiography (age 24), but I never read that either

Day 10: Book that changed your life: Okay, I don't do self-help right! But returning to Camus' "The Outsider", it was the first proper book that I read of my own volition and set me on my devouring course of literature. I'd been tipped off to it by a cooler older cousin who said check out the song "Killing An Arab" by the Cure and then read the Camus book, both of which I dutifully did and have never looked back

Day 11: Book from your favourite author: Kafka's "The Castle" sadly incomplete as Kafka ordered all his work to be destroyed on his death, but a tantalising piece of writing all the same. The author's control of both the fates of his characters and the journey undertaken by the reader are so deft and light. Mesmerising

Day 12: Book that is most like your life: Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Underground". I'm saying no more...

Day 13: Book who's main character is like you: I know how Meursault feels in "The Outsider" but I'd stop short of killing someone, plus I stay out of the sun... Probably one of Michel Houllebeq's misanthropes. #lowselfesteem

Day 14: Book whose main characters you want to marry: Actually I'd have to say my own character Karen Dash from "A,B&E". She is the strongest woman I know and she would keelhaul me every single day of our married life and I would be eternally grateful to her for doing so


Anne Stormont (writeanne) said...

This a great idea. Enjoyed reading about 'your' books. Look forward to next instalment.

Virginia Moffatt said...

This is a really novel (!) way to tell us about books you've read good and bad. I confess to having read none of these, though I've always meant to read L'Etranger, as my sister raved about it when she did it for A Level!

Sulci Collective said...

Plus it's only 102 pages long! Heart Of Darkness is another good shorty!

Kath said...

Fascinating reading list and I have to admit that I haven't read many of these. I do have Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole in one of my TBR towers though. Look forward to reading the next instalment of this tomorrow!

Mari said...

I shall bookmark this post for future reference of good literature. Loved your comments to each "day" and book.