What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Book Tag

Picking up the "book tag" from Kate.

For those who may not know what this is, it's pretty self-explanatory, but I don't know who out there reads this. Kate, whose blog I read, answered this questionnaire and then challenged me of all people to return the favor. Then I have to Tag some people and so on. So, here we go....

1. How many books have I owned?
I think if I were to have counted I might be embarrassed to say, but it would still be way more than I've actually read. Probably in the hundreds, maybe 200s.

2. What was the last book you bought?
A Partly Cloudy Patriot (oh, and also, here) by Sarah Vowell. That is, unless you count plays, which I don't. But if you do it was Sordid Lives by Del Shores. Plays take less of a commitment and so I can do more of them. Plus, if a play doesn't grab me I put it down because I know I'll not want to produce it.

3. What was the last book you read?
Same as above.

4. What are FIVE books that have meant a lot to you? (These are in order of when read - not favorite order)

1. "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. This is the same as Kate (the person who sent this to me) said, but it really did make a big difference in my life. I didn't really appreciate it until I was older, but I did read it as a child.

2. "The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I read a lot of books as I was growing up, but this one sticks out in my mind for some reason. There has been a trend in my life of being moved by stories that focus on major transitions and change for the better. This is about orphans who take care of themselves and are eventually adopted and given a good home. I just really remember liking it. This is the original book in a series. The rest of the series was about the orphans solving mysteries, which I thought was stupid.

3. "Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger. I read this as an adolescent, as most of us do. I imagine that I loved it for the same reason most teenage boys love it. Holden Caufield as a boy who wanted more than the drab mainstream that seemed his destiny related to Kyle Martin at age 15 in a major way. I had felt or was feeling all the things he felt in the book and pondered all every issue the book through at me. It was one of a few books that I actually finished while in high school.

4. "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis. I read this as I was attempting to truly discover who God is and what being a Christian means to me. This book helped me a lot with that.

5. "Rewrites" and "The Show Must Go On," the companion autobiographies of Neil Simon. Even though this list is chronological if it was a ranking list this would be numero uno. I read these books while living in New York, Simon's home, while studying at NYU to make films. By this time I had already decided to focus on playwriting and screenwriting as much as possible and these books not only served as an entertaining look into one of America's best dramatists, but it acted as a sort of handbook to writing plays and the business of theatre. I learned as much or more from these two books as any course I took in college. That's saying a lot, too. It's inspiring, heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny, and brilliant.

Honorable Mention:
The "Harry Potter" books (J.K. Rowling). Gosh darnit, I love 'em. So addicting and I'll be buying the new one soon enough.

"America, the Book" by Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. The DS is my all time favorite show of all time (I know I what I did), containing everything I love: people who really don't have any business or credentials to report the news satirizing and exposing those who do report it and make it. These brave men and women are my heroes. I predict that it will go down in history as a very important show. It tells the truth and is respected by both sides of the isle for that. The book does the same thing.

"Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. Another one I was able to finish in high school.

"The Partly Cloudy Patriot" by Sarah Vowell. I liked this book so much I actually wrote her a fan letter. I've never done that before. I thought it would be lame to put it in my top 5 since I just read it, plus I couldn't decided which book to eke out of the way. Probably that one about the brats in the old train. Oh, well, I had to include one from that time when I read a bunch of kid books...When I was a kid.

"Liars and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" by Al Franken. Very funny and less conspiracy theoryish than Michael Moore. More speculative than anything. And funny. Not for people who think any of the following people have anything worthwhile to say: Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'(liely) Riley.

What I should read:
I have "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis checked out from the library, so it's next. People tell me I would like "The DaVinci Code" so I should probably do that before the movie comes out and everyone's like, "the book was so much better" so that I can tell them to shut up.

Tag You're It:

Jason: Hey, Jason. Where did the blogging go?
Mad C
Steph: what are the youth reading? I'm sure you're list won't be typical, but I'm curious, nonetheless.
Royce: I know you don't blog, but I'm interested what you're reading, so just reply, I guess. Or don't.


hkmart3 said...

Here are a few books that have stayed with me and affected my thinking for the long term:
1. Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger - probably more than any other book, this one continues to affect my thinking about politics, economics, personal finance, how Americans (and Christians in particular) should and do treat the world, how the world thinks about Americans, and the Christian perspective on all of the above. I've never thought about the American tax system the same since (and this was a good 20 or more years ago.
2. The Ugly American - a great shaper of my thinking as a teen. I don't remember how old I was when I read this, but I think it was for a high school course. I would love to give a gift to whatever teacher it was that assigned or encouraged us to read this.
3. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - The basis of all American humor. 'Nuf sed.
4. Your God is Too Small - This little paperback book will open your eyes. Especially if you think you've got it all figured out.
5. Ball Four - Best baseball book every written. It's tone is so irreverential, especially in the context of when it was first published. And I own a later edition autographed by the author.
6. The Lords of Discipline - Actually this one will have to proxy for most of Pat Conroy's books that I've read. He's super. Last one was a jewel - My Losing Season.
7. The Count of Monte Cristo - Another one I read in high school. Like my son Kyle, I did not get through a lot of novels in school like I was supposed to, but this one stuck. I don't even know if it was assigned, maybe an independent project, but it's a great adventure. Themes of justice and revenge.

Nathan Bruhn said...

I read your post. This may take a little while to get back to you on this one. This seems to be a bit more involved than the usual banter we exchange in a comment. Good though.

Oh.....what the heck......you twisted my arm already!

The last book I read was Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. I read it very quickly and it was very satisfying - after I got over the disappointment of the ending. But then I got what Salinger was trying to pull off and then it made me appreciate my frustration even more. You crafty writer, you, Salinger.

Right before that I read The Money Book for the Young, Broke and Fabulous by Suze Orman. She's the shizznizzle. I read through it knowing that I would probably need to read it again to relearn some of the skills she introduces. If you are 35 and younger and you have money - read it. If you are 35 and younger and don't have money - read it twice.

Other than that it has been college textbooks and lots of Edward Albee and Arthur Kopit. Wings was a great inspiration for me. I read it after writing my first draft of LCS. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is just...I mean, what do you say? Brilliant. Zoo Story - the best. I'd like to see that staged sometime - IN CENTRAL PARK - ON THAT BENCH - that would be cool. (There really is an exact bench that the script describes be distinct location.)

I also read at least three books having to do with the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets before production of LCS so I could be assured that I was being authentico.

Other than that, I haven't had much time for reading. I am getting back into it now, but it is pre-reading for my GOVT 2302 class at Lee College. It's not work for me because I love the boring government mumbo jumbo that most people hate, and I love anything political. I take that course as individualized instruction, so I am my own boss.

Ok....I'm bored with myself now and you should be too. Good night, then.


ML said...

I will try to answer the Book Tag on my own blog.


The Mad C said...

Awww crap! I've been tagged. This is going to take a bit to sort out.

My answer will be posted at my Xanga blog sometime in the near future.

Jason said...

Done. You can read my "book tag" post on my blog.