at the request of others
1. How many books do I own? Not all of them, if that’s what you wanted to know. My books are in three different piles in three different states, and the piles, size-ways biggest to smallest, are cleveland heights, chicago, new york.
2. Last book I bought. Do magazines count? the last book i bought i don’t rememeber; the last book i wanted to buy but didn’t was another reader about the Yankees being evil (not the same one as afore), or if it wasn’t that, it was Europe Central, which I don’t think I have the vertical to finish but would like to thumb through.
3. Last book I read. The most recent books I have tried to read in non-consecutive order: The Great Gatsby (brought on by Whet’s purchase), Tender is the Night, Hunger by Knut Hamsun, Literary Theory by Terry Eagleton, You Bright and Risen Angels, The Alienist, Super-Cannes, some weird book about Japanese caste system and how they have untouchables. Also part of some book of street photography and Money by Martin Amis. I never finished Rainbow Stories either. Also End Zone by Don Delillo, which is a bad book, but a good idea.
4. Current reading. Still working on Hunger.
5. Fiction or non-fiction? They’re the same thing? Do you prefer black or white people?
6. First book ever read. Falcons of France.. Key line from that review: “I reckon that if you sprinkled Falcons of France with some f- and s-words, then added a bedroom scene or two, it would challenge the average college graduate of today.” i don’t agree; i have a college degree and this book still haunts my alleyways and shit.
7. Largest impact. Dead Souls. comedy jokes, is the answer.
8. Most read book. I don’t like to re-read books in their entirety for some reason. i’ve read Gatsby four or five times; i’ve read Dead Souls at least three front to back; so now you know. Am meaning to get through Moby Dick again, probably the Inferno as well.
9. Fav. scholarly book.
i’m not sure that i have one, since i read literature for the jokes, and scholarly literature is just literature without the jokes. i tried reading that terry eagleton book, but it sort of has jokes, so there you go. I think i read Theory of the Leisure Class a long time ago; that was good, in some capacity. My current least favorite scholarly book is Orientalism by Edward Said, mostly in relation to people hating on Indiana Jones.
10. Sexiest book. I think i’ve made my statement with Falcons of France. this question set is sort of hit and miss. You get what you pay for.
11. Biggest disappointment.
Lolita. the way some white men beg off having to read Toni Morrison i wish i could attempt for Nabokov. i just don’t like his attitude. The first 100 or so pages of Lolita are great; the rest is poo if you ask me, which no one did. Anyway, I’m not sure why but I deeply disliked this book and its author. part of it might be that vladimir nabokov was a big jerk in his non-writing life, but i shouldn’t incorporate that into my criticisms.
12. Five important books.
Fear and Loathing on Campaign Trail. Apart from one or two monologues from Las Vegas, this is actually a better book. It’s certainly funnier, and the fact that there isn’t a Terry Gilliam movie made out of it helps. Also taught me that it was OK and not gauche to have feelings about politics and campaigns.
Dead Souls. More people need to read this and find out what novels are supposed to be like. Jokes are better than sweeping metaphors for national character. They travel and age much better.
Pierre. More people need to get on the Herman Melville, first post-modern novelist gondola and off the Herman Melville, whale-hunting tortured adventure beard man gondola. Not that all that many people are still on the second gondola but I’m tired of people only having read “The Quarter Deck” and Bartleby the Scrivener.
Does anyone even care abotu the other two books. I don’t.
13. Who’s next. No one. No more surveys. This one is particularly non-instructive.
Some hastily written hate notes for various people and institutions:
1. Parents of young children: I understand your kid knows no better than to kick the chair in front of him. You, on the other hand, do know better, and clearly are trying to pawn off your child’s destructive, feebleminded chairkicking as the byproduct of your total exhaustion, your noble disengagement with the act of parenting so long as you are sitting. this is wrong and bad. PS your kid is walleyed and you will die for it.