Sunlit Water

October 2, 2006


Filed under: Personal — by teofilo @ 3:35 pm

It seems I’ve been tagged with this here book meme that’s been going around.  I don’t actually read that many books, so this should be interesting…

1. One book that’s changed your life

I wouldn’t say there are any books that have really changed my life as such; there are some that have nudged me in different directions academically or politically, but it’s never been drastic.  One book that has had a fairly large effect on my thinking is Arthur Hertzberg’s The Fate of Zionism.  While I don’t agree with all of his conclusions, it’s a thought-provoking look at the origins of the Zionist movement and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

2. One book that you have read more than once

I almost never re-read books.  There are too many books I haven’t yet read to waste times on ones I have.  The only books I can think of that I’ve read more than once are ones that I read on my own then later had to read for school.  The one in particular that comes to mind is Brave New World.  I liked it a lot when I first read it, and it held up well on re-reading.

3. One book you would want on a desert island

Something big, fat and non-narrative.  A scholarly edition of someone’s complete works (Shakespeare, say) with a long, detailed introduction and lots of notes sounds good.

4. One book that made you cry

I don’t think a book has ever made me literally cry; I seldom cry in any case.  I did choke up a bit at parts of Beowulf.

5. One book that made you laugh

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy.  That is one hilarious book.

6. One book you wish had been written

My grandparents had a good friend, practically a member of the family, who always wanted to be a writer but was never able to.  He led a fascinating life, and I wish he could have written a memoir, but he was always very poor and too busy working until he was quite old, and by that point he was too feeble to write anything.  I miss him; he used to tell great stories.

7. One book you wish had never been written

The DaVinci Code.  No question.  I haven’t read the thing, but it distresses me how many people assume it to be historically accurate when it’s so obviously just a shoddy bestseller.

8. One book you are currently reading

I’m between books at the moment, and these moments can last for months.  I just finished Tristam Shandy, which was pretty great.  Not sure what or when I’ll read next.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read

So many.  Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton has been on my bookshelf for months now; I don’t know when I’ll get to it (it’s so long!), but I really should just start it already.

I’ll tag Megan, Stanley and Macarena.  Have fun!



  1. 7. I liked that movie a lot, except for about a half hour. I wanted to read a library copy, but so did everyone else in the fucking county, and I waited so long that I forgot. Why “obviously…shoddy”?

    (Great, an assignment.)

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — October 2, 2006 @ 5:35 pm |Reply

  2. Obviously shoddy because the whole premise is just so ridiculous. I mean, “symbology”? Give me a break. While there are plenty of problems with the traditional story of Jesus in the New Testament, the story Brown tells instead is no better supported. I also hear it’s poorly written, but since I haven’t read it I can’t say for sure. This is related (and hilarious).

    Comment by teofilo — October 2, 2006 @ 8:33 pm |Reply

  3. That excerpt is horrible! I can’t believe anyone continued reading. I had to look up “symbology,” and the movie couldn’t have used the example in the excerpt, because “CKUF HET EPOP” = “FUCK THE POPE.”

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — October 2, 2006 @ 8:49 pm |Reply

  4. That’s not a real excerpt.

    Comment by teofilo — October 2, 2006 @ 9:11 pm |Reply

  5. I guess I should feel stupid. And there I was, really liking the idea that FUCK THE POPE got by the editors. On the other hand, it explains why you called it hilarious.

    Comment by ~Macarena~ — October 2, 2006 @ 9:54 pm |Reply

  6. Don’t worry, this guy didn’t get it either.

    Comment by teofilo — October 2, 2006 @ 9:58 pm |Reply

  7. #7. i read the galleys … it was a trainwreck. the editor deserves any awards forthcoming!

    Comment by n!ta — October 18, 2006 @ 11:53 am |Reply

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