Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Five Questions About Books

(Mimus Pauly hit me with a book tag)

Q1 -- You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to save?

I think I would want the collection Radical Reader to survive—this way I would have something to teach my fellow warriors as we sat around the campfire—these are the voices the book-burners are trying to silence, these are our ancestors, their voices will help us to envision a new society.

Someone might think that the book is limited by only being the voices of radical Americans (which it is, but you just need to supplement it if you have the luxury of being in a society that isn't killing people for reading books), but most likely the next book-burning republic will be in the US and I want people to remember our radical roots ...

Q2 -- Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Yes, … the last character that successfully seduced me was Raule (and Beth in a different way) in K.C. Bishop’s novel The Etched City

Q3 -- The last book you bought is?

I have a slight book fetish/addiction and I haunt used bookstores and track down bargains online:

Last purchase from a used bookstore was:

Society and Technological Change, 2nd ed—Rudi Volti
The Culture of Nature: North American Landscape from Disney to the Exxon Valdez—Alexander Wilson
Ship of Fools—Richard Paul Russo

Last purchase was:

The Physiognomy—Jeffrey Ford
Ill Nature—Joy Williams
House on Mango Street--Sandra Cisnero

Last new book purchase was from the amazing City Lights Bookstore when I was visiting the great city of San Francisco (I was getting books for my Dissertation):

Technologies of Landscape—ed. David Nye
Animal Rites—Carey Wolfe
Green Ink—Michael Frome
From Apocalypse to Way of Life—Frederick Buell

Q4 -- What books are you currently reading?

The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams; I'm currently teaching My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki; Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action—ed. by Anne Waldman and Lisa Birman; The Companion Species Manifesto by Donna Haraway; The Passionate Mind of Maxine Greene—ed. by William Pinar; Political Ecosystems by J.P. Harpignie; Discourses in Place—Ron and Suzie Scallon

Q5 -- Five books you would take to a desert[ed] island?

Encompassing Nature: A Sourcebook—ed. Robert M. Torrance
Documenta X: The Book
Boatbuilding: A Complete Handbook of Wooden Boat Construction--Howard I. Chapelle or An Island to Oneself: Six Years on a Desert Island—Tom Neale
The Master and Margarita—Mikhail Bulgakov
Voices of a People’s History of the United States—Howard Zinn and Arnold Arnove

And I, in turn, asked these sites to post their responses (you are supposed to invite at least five others to post their response to the five questions):

About Politics whose list is up here ... you have to admire anyone that recognizes the genius of Monty Python

Bitch. Ph.D. who supplied an earlier version from a previous request

Daimonic Reality who supplied his readers with an amazing list of books and is one of the people whose suggestions always lead to great readings.

Elena Mary

El Os, El Moreno, and El Abogado

Foxy Librarian

Holisticstoner who shares my love of science fiction and plant life and along with Rickenharp and I, appreciates the brilliant work of Michael Pollan (I assigned this to my students last week)


WebGuy said...

I'll get even with you for this... ;)

Jim Yeager said...

I recently wrapped up A People's History myself. Thought about including it in my list, but I got depressed enough reading it the first time...

Michael said...

The one I mentioned is The Voices of a People's History of the United States (which is a supplement to Zinn's original in that it collects the actual writings/speeches/manifestos of the historical figures of the book)... I find it much more uplifting and inspiring in that it reminds me that although there are a lot of bad things happening in the world, there are also many, many people fighting to make it a better place...

Here is Zinn from the intro:

"When I began work, five years ago, on what would become the present volume, Voices of a People’s History of the United States, I wanted the voices of struggle, mostly absent from our history books, to be given the place they deserve. I wanted labor history, which has been the battleground, decade after decade, century after century, of an ongoing fight for human dignity, to come to the fore. And I wanted my readers to experience how at key moments in our history some of the bravest and most effective political acts were the sounds of the human voice itself."
—Howard Zinn, from the introduction

Michael said...


anytime, have fun ;)

Jim Yeager said...

Whoops -- my bad.

I could use some uplifting, especially from the guy that got me down in the first place.

I'll have to snag a copy of that...

Mad Mike said...

I like the idea of this book tag. I always do a round of the local charity shops when in town. After moving many times, I am now building a nice little collection of books again.

oso said...

Fantastic ... I'll have to think about this one. I must read The Voices of a People's History of the United States. Sadly, I didn't even know it existed.

A House on Mango Street is next on my bedstand. Give me a couple days, I'll make sure to write my list up.

Michael said...

Oso, make sure to let me know when you have it up, anything you are reading I definitely want to check out!

Foxy said...

I wanted to wait until I had time to do this justice but now I have finally completed it. It was harder than I thought (what an exercise!), but I enjoyed it immensely.

oso said...

It only took me a few weeks! Finally it's up.