Phooey, I’m sick.
Either I got hit with a case of bad Mexican food, a short-term stomach bug, or the eldritch and cyclopean Elder God of Making Me Feel Bad.
So instead of writing up a real blog post for today, I’m just gonna rip off this list of favorite books and authors that I wrote for Facebook.
1. What author do you own the most books by?
Probably Ray Bradbury.
2. What book do you own the most copies of?
I generally avoid keeping multiple copies of books, but I do have two copies of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens — one because it’s an easily portable paperback, and one because it’s one of those nice annotated editions.
3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Magrat Garlick from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series.
4. What book have you read more than any other?
“Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury. Used to be, I’d read it every winter.
5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Possibly one of the “Three Investigators” novels.
6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
Nothing memorably bad springs to mind.
7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
I got a lot of joy out of “Soon I Will Be Invincible” by Austin Grossman.
8. If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
“Chuck Amuck” by Chuck Jones. It’s about Warner Brothers cartoons and storytelling and really weird cats and old Hollywood and it’s an extremely fun, enjoyable, and enlightening read. I especially recommend this for writers, for his advice on creating characters.
9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
For some reason, it took me forever to read “The Stand” by Stephen King, and I eventually found it very disappointing. The most difficult and most satisfying read was “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco.
10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
You mean French lit vs. Russian lit? Neither. I really find both of the national styles very boring.
11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?
12. Austen or Eliot?
(kicks dirt, looks embarrassed) I haven’t read either.
13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I haven’t read much that’s not genre fiction. Makes it hard to impress the Sexy Librarians when I’ve read very little of the Classics.
14. What is your favorite novel?
Probably “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury. Just an intensely lyrical and sensual book.
I don’t read a lot of plays, but the very best I’ve ever seen produced was “Terra Nova” by Ted Tally, as produced by the drama department at ENMU in Portales back in the late 1980s. The play is about the Scott-Amundsen race to the South Pole — specifically about Scott’s team, which of course died on the way back. A wonderfully sad, head-trippy play.
“Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. I’ve had it memorized since sixth grade. (However, favorite poets are Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes)
Either “The Tombs” or “Xenogenesis” by Harlan Ellison. The first is about a night Ellison spent in jail in the Tombs in NYC, and the second is about the shockingly awful things that science fiction fans will do to the authors who write for them.
18. Short Story?
That’s a tough one, ’cause I love short stories. I’d say, in fairly random order: “Pickman’s Model” by H.P. Lovecraft, “Kaleidoscope” by Ray Bradbury, “There Shall Be No Darkness” by James Blish, “Homecoming” by Bradbury, “There Shall Come Soft Rains” by Bradbury, “The Repairer of Reputations” by Robert W. Chambers, “Oh Whistle, and I’ll Come for You, My Lad” by M.R. James, “Survivor Type” by Stephen King, “Mr. Skin” by Victor Milan, “SCENE: A Room” by Craig Anthony, “Through Thy Bounty” by Lucy A. Snyder, “A Study in Emerald” by Neil Gaiman, “The Night Wire” by H.F. Arnold, “The Screwfly Solution” by Alice Sheldon.
Oh, and the following, all from Everything2.com. Go read them all. READ THEM ALL.
And more, I guarantee. I love the heck out of short stories.
19. Non Fiction?
“The Beast Within: A History of the Werewolf” by Adam Douglas. Just the best plain overview of the werewolf in myth, legend, history, psychology, film, and literature.
20. Graphic Novel?
“The New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke and “The Golden Age” by James Robinson and Paul Smith.
21. Science Fiction?
“City” by Clifford D. Simak, with “The Demolished Man” by Alfred Bester coming in a close second.
I’m going with “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury, and “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski.
23. Who is your favorite writer?
Ray Bradbury, no question.
24. Who is the most over-rated writer alive today?
Neal Stephenson. I enjoyed “Snow Crash,” but I’ve just thought his other books were not Teh Bomb.
25. What are you reading right now?
I’ve got a number of collections of short horror stories I’m alternating with.
26. What writers/books have been most important to you (not mentioned above)?
Alan Moore, Fritz Leiber, Warren Ellis’ incredible “Transmetropolitan” comic, Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood,” and Christopher Moore.
Feel free to add your own selections in the comments or on your own blog.