Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thoughts of Unusual Daring

I feel the need to write a post that has less than my usual 25,000 words, and I figured that perhaps this could help me do that.

But I'm not holding my breath.

1. One book that changed your life: The Autobiography of Malcolm X. As a Wonder Bread kid who grew up in a suburbia filled with tree-shaded lanes and lots and lots of white folks, this book scraped the scales from my eyes about race and urban life in the U.S. Just the story of Malcolm's life was a journey into a world as foreign and unreal to me as Narnia. Whenever I believe that I know how the world works, or where someone else comes from, or what life is like elsewhere and for others, I remind myself of how humbled I felt when reading this book, and remember just how little I know.

2. One book that you've read more than once: I'm with Zygote Daddy on this one. There are so many books, so little time, and so much to do in this world that I'd rather not read books more than once. That said, there are several volumes of poetry as well as philosophical works, such as Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, that I've read repeatedly, although generally not from cover to cover as I would a novel.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Lonely Planet's Guide to a Desert Island.

4. One book that made you laugh: The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. Although I haven't finished it yet, Five Million Words Later, the autobiography of a relative who, by the time I had the good fortune to know him was a warm, charming old man, who would come to holiday dinners at our house along with his lovely wife, Rosie. Dogs Are from Jupiter (any Peanuts collection, for that matter). Also, anything by Ogden Nash. Is that more than one? What can I say? I like to laugh.

5. One book that made you cry: Fatherloss. Despite the 22 years that have passed since I lost my father, not a day goes by that I don't miss him in some way.

6. One book that you wish had been written: Make Millions As a House Husband.

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Oh, there are some crappy books out there that have caused the demise of many an innocent tree, but I don't wish that they had never been written, just that I had never been exposed to them.

8. The book that you are currently reading: I'll leave out any book with "parent," "child," "baby," "mother," or "father" in the title because there are far too many to list here. That leaves me with the one nonparenting book that I'm reading right now, A Crack in the Edge of the World, a birthday gift from my Mom that reminds me of my roots. Unstable, shifting, calamitous roots, sure, but they're mine.

9. One book that you've been meaning to read: The next book in the stack on my bedside table, not to mention those stacked in the drawers of my beside table.

10. Five people to tag: Like Hanes, I'm supporting a tag-free world. For the record, nobody tagged me with this one, although Zygote Daddy and Anthromama could have. So, yes, I would still jump off a bridge if all my friends did. Will I never learn?


  1. Hmm... as always, you make me think. I've got to read two biographies next term. I might make Malcom X's one of them. I've already decided on Gandhi's autobiography as the other.

  2. Anonymous11:54 PM

    My dad died 24 years ago. Now I want to read that book. But maybe I don't. Gotta be in the right mindframe for something like that, you know?

    Great to learn more about you through your book choices. Thanks for that.

  3. Oh, you are too too clever with that desert island pick...