…in the punchbowl


The Book Meme

Filed under: books, meme, punchbowl — Matt @ 7:05

It’s not complete yet, but I’ll update as I can…

This is the result of this post on Chronicle West, who was in turn led to this by Chazzbot. But, of course, I found the list incomplete, so I’ve added a few categories of my own (marked with a †).

A Book That Made You Cry

A Book That Scared You
Stephen King’s The Stand. I happened to be reading The Stand during the time period in which the outbreak was supposed to occur: same year, same month. On top of that, I was staying at my aunt and uncle’s farm house in Ohio, keeping more or less out of touch with the world around me. This isolation let me sink deep into the book. I can honestly say I was pretty freaked out.

A Book That Made You Laugh
Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. An account the life of Jesus (technically, Joshua, the book will tell you) that includes the “missing” years between his birth and his ministry. It has some great situations, and it really brings out the “man” part of the “fully Man, fully God” claim.

A Book That Disgusted You

A Book You Loved in Elementary School

A Book You Loved in Middle School

A Book You Loved in High School

A Book You Hated in High School
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. No question. A large part of the hatred stemmed from the rants of my English teacher, Ms. Twiss, regarding the symbolism of the novel. That and being subjected to the movie with Robert Redford on top of it all.

A Book You Loved in College
Emile Zola’s Germinal. Good, gritty stuff.

A Book That Challenged Your Identity
A People’s History of the United States of America: 1492-Present by Howard Zinn. It didn’t so much challenge my personal identity as my national identity. This is history meant to balance the way it is taught in our elementary, middle, and high schools, opening each and every closet and trotting out any and all skeletons to be found. A solid example of there being two sides to every story.

A Series That You Loved
The Sword of Shannara trilogy from . I cranked through these; if I remember correctly, this series helped hook “mi hermano” Anthony E. on reading.

Your Favorite Horror Book
A tough call. Both candidates are the products of Stephen King (surprised, aren’t you?): Misery and the previously mentioned The Stand. If pushed, I have to give the nod to The Stand. Not because it’s a better a book, mind you; just read the ‘Book that Scared You’ entry and you’ll understand why.

Your Favorite Science Fiction Book

Your Favorite Fantasy Book

Your Favorite Mystery Book

Your Favorite Biography

Your Favorite “Coming of Age Book”

†The “Best” Book You Never Finished
“Best” in the sense of acclaimed…Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. Overwhelmingly crushing and depressing. I hate to leave a book unfinished but I just could not get through it.

†Your Favorite Book Not on this List



  1. It’s killin’ me to be trapped here in this dark tower with only a small window that lets me peer out onto blogland. Sorry, dear, but you’re my window. One of these next days I’m gonna weigh in on this, on the tagging that’s been doled out to me… but alas, the damn firewall.

    Comment by Erica — 2006.04.15 @ 20:08

  2. Say it isn’t so! You dare smite the Great Gatsby!? Great Scott, man!

    First Sigman Nu and then anti-Fitzgeraldism! What gives, sir? You should know that my son’s middle name is Fitzgerald after the man himself! Sheesh!

    And come on, give poor Twiss a break. By the way, volumes upon volumes have been written on the symbolism in Gatsby. Volumes dedicated, in fact, just to the color Yellow in the novel.

    Beyond all of that academic pomp, however, the GG is one of the great stories about the ills and wonders of the American condition. Perhaps you should give it another read?

    Full disclosure: I HATED, HATED, HATED Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea that Craner had us read. Years later, however, I fell in love with its scope, its elemental truths.

    I have had some beers tonight. Perhaps that explains my blah blah blah blah! ‘


    Comment by Brandon — 2006.04.16 @ 0:12

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