Muse by Craig Ranapia

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Muse: Friday Fluff: Shelf Life

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  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    for me it's a question with a completely different answer

    and to me, that's a different question - books for loved ones, not books for lovers. I have a feeling they weren't thinking of cake-lovers, either.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    11) What book would you give to a lover?

    I once gave a lover a copy of Michael Herr's Dispatches.

    This was shortly after our first date, which was a big-screen showing of 'Apocalypse Now'.

    So how did that one work out for me? Reader, I married her.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah,

    Outlook is having "issues" so I may as well waste my time fruitfully thinking about books:


    1) What are you reading at the moment?

    I've just finished re-reading The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, Richard Zimler. I like to re-read when I'm stressed or having trouble finding books that I love. I have just started Barbara Ewing's The Circus of Ghosts.

    2) As a child, what did you read under the covers?

    Eveything and nothing - I actually don't recall ever being made to stop reading. But if I was, it would have been a Narnia (probably The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) or something unsuitable (adult reading age+speed reading = Catcher in the Rye at 10) that I failed to truly understand.

    3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?

    Umm. Yes. Too many to list. Schwartz-Bart's The Last of the Just is perhaps the one that astounded me with its beauty the most.

    4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?

    Persuasion. I can re-read that until the cows come home. The Collected PG Wodehouse as I'd need a laugh. The Cazelet Chronicles, Elizabeth Jane Howard.


    5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?

    Atticus Finch. I know that's probably a bit freudian, but there it is.

    6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?

    FML

    7) Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading in high school English classes?

    Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood. A welcome update from the compulsory Handmaid's Tale (of which I heartily approve) and I think Grace's creepy sulleness and ambiguity speaks to the teenage condition.
    I'm a traditionalist - the kids should have a Shakespeare each year - to read him aloud and discover the beauty of his language and the hilarous comtemporary nature of his themes and characters is a revelation. It's quite good for kids to know that there's actaully nothing that new under the sun. Love, sex, death etc
    Poem. Ah, this is the tricky one. My black-wearing romantic teenage self loved reading Keats and Byron, but they're not everyone's cup of tea. Umm, the pressure: yep I'm a sad emo kid but Yeats will win out. there's something there for everyone.


    8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

    I'm going to have to go with one thrown by Jay Gatsby. Or Mr Tumnus

    9) What would you title your memoirs?

    Misrememberings

    10) If you were an actor, which literary character do you dream of playing?

    Cassandra Mortmain

    11) What book would you give to a lover?

    Books I have given: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to a poor 18 year old who'd never read it. He didn't like it much. Hence it didn't last.

    My husband was reading Wolf's Fight Fire with Fire when I met him. We give each other all kinds of books .... he is a wonderful buyer of books for me.

    12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary deal breaker?

    Oh I do hate to parrot - but it's all about the breadth and depth of the books. And obviously someone with NO BOOKS fails the test.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    This was shortly after our first date, which was a big-screen showing of ‘Apocalypse Now’.

    So how did that one work out for me? Reader, I married her.

    But that was because of the movie right? Such a romantic click flick...

    I never read books under the covers. I used to sleep with the door open and after I had to turn my light out, I put the hall light on full bore and put my book on teh floor beside my bed for reading. Much easier to just drop your head back onto your bed in a second when someone came. Suspect it's part of the reason I have been wearing glasses since I was 9.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6147 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Such a romantic click flick...

    Napalm Pour L'Homme: because chicks love the smell of it in the morning.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    I think Grace's creepy sulleness and ambiguity speaks to the teenage condition.

    do you reckon a teenager might like reading it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Kate Hannah,

    Grace’s creepy sulleness and ambiguity

    Was she sullen? It's many years since I read that book, but I rather liked her. I thought she was brave. Perhaps I need to re-read it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3410 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

    Any one in any Iain Banks novel. Or any Iain M. Banks novel. Culture or otherwise.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Oh Jackie, I'm so with you on Tales of the City. And Brian. I never quite got why he was so into Maryanne. I guess he wasn't the first person to have their head turned by a pretty blonde.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    I suspect this is one of those ones that would change every week, but here's today's answers!

    1) What are you reading at the moment?

    The Information by James Gleick. It is now horribly overdue at the library because I can't read more than a few pages without stopping to have a good think.

    2) As a child, what did you read under the covers?

    Oh, lots and lots. Most often, something from The Bagthorpe Saga by Helen Cresswell, or some 1940's potboiler about an English boarding school.

    3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?

    Yes, many. Just recently something devastated me, but, like Jackie, because I tend to read very quickly I can't remember what it was!

    4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?

    Arggh. Any of the Adrian Mole books, to encourage me to document my own days, and because they are pretty re-readable.

    And then a book I've been meaning to read for ever: The Transformation of Ireland, and then perhaps one taken at random from the shelf so I could be surprised.

    (I was once stuck on an 8 hour ferry ride with only a copy of Artemis Fowl. I read it really slowly to try and make it last; I'm sure I could eke these out over a year.)

    5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?

    Rob from High Fidelity, if only for the great conversation and list making afterwards.

    6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?

    How to be even more idle.

    7) Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading in high school English classes?

    Book: Lord of the Flies, if only because I studied this when I was 13 and it really was the perfect time to read it; it's a time of your life when savagery is all around you and often not very well disguised.

    Play: The solo works of the much missed Sally Rodwell, published as Gonne/Strange/Charity: perfect encapsulations of the humour, ennui, violence and surreality of life in NZ.

    (I'd also say King Lear but only on the proviso that it's taught by someone who really know their stuff).

    Poem: Monologue by Hone Tuwhare. Because when you are young you are often conned into thinking poetry is about flowers or love, and this one teaches you, amongst other things, that poetry doesn't have to be nice.

    8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

    Definitely one belonging to the before mentioned Bagthorpes; in one dinner party alone they have champagne, scotch eggs, a rampaging goat, a "pudding -footed hound", a fire, maggots in chocolate boxes, a dandy uncle who only wears cravats and lots of shouting.

    9) What would you title your memoirs?

    Cheerio!

    10) If you were an actor, which literary character do you dream of playing?

    There's lots - but since I'm thinking about Tales of the City I'll say Mona from that.

    11) What book would you give to a lover?

    Love in the Time of Chlorea

    12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary deal breaker?

    I have some absolute trash on my bookshelves, so I am in no position to be all judgey. Seriously, I own The Ultimate Guide to Mary-Kate and Ashley.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to Lilith __,

    Oh I like her - I just also happen to find her productively sullen - for her own purposes ......

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to Sacha,

    depends on the teen .... mine did.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Kate Hannah, in reply to bronwyn,

    +1 on Tales of the City. My mother gave them to me to read when I was about 16 - LOVED them.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2010 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    When I first read P&P as a callow yoof, I didn’t have the literary or emotional software to understand it was a lot more than highbrow Mills & Boon.

    Ah well, topical cross to your links on Twilight the other day...

    Add a few werewolves to Pretty In Pink, or stock Pride And Prejudice with a bunch of self-absorbed millennials, and you’ll pretty much get the same googly-eyed result.

    It’s time to stop being angry at Twilight

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O – for all those 2? -3? people who reccommended Karen Healey’s “Guardian of the Dead” as their choice for the secondary school novel? Might I say this? Gaylyn Gordon did it waaay better with her series, many years before (but with YA novels
    that are still far better reads) – and Healey really should acknowledge her (and me)
    for a couple of ideas.
    And, on third thoughts, Joan Aiken is probably THE BEST recommendation for novels for young people with a Certain Turn of Mind-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    It’s time to stop being angry at Twilight

    Oh, I'm perfectly well aware that Stephanie Meyer isn't speaking to a middle-aged gay man like me, but it just bemuses and creeps me out a little. It's still useful to, now and then, try and figure out why stuff that leave you cold affects others who can't all be idiots. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • David Herkt,

    1) What are you reading at the moment

    I am three quarters of a very enjoyable way through Peter Wells' new book 'The Hungry Heart: Journeys With William Colenso' which I'm betting will make a lit award winner next year. It is very good and a lovely production to boot with heft, weight, and texture. My late night long poem is James Merrill's 'The Changing Light At Sandover' strange book-length poem featuring seances where the great and near-great speak via ouija board. My current Simenon novel ( I am working my way through his 200 plus books) is 'The Little Man From Archangel'.

    2) As a child, what did you read under the covers?

    I was an insomniac child. I just waited until every one else was asleep and had free-range over the house and kitchen cupboards and could turn the lights on without fear. As a ten year old I remember reading James Bond with erotic frisson.

    3) Has a book ever made you cry, and if so which one?

    Don't really tear up reading, but I loathe animal cruelty so much that I will stop reading if any animals are harmed in the course.

    4) You are about to be put into solitary confinement for a year and allowed to take three books. What would you choose?

    Lots for the length. 1] I'm presuming multivolume sets are permitted. Proust. I've only ever made it to vol 3 before. 2] Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. 3] Ezra Pound The Cantos.

    5) Which literary character would you most like to sleep with?

    Gay depends if I'm topping or bottoming. Topping: I'd probably choose the Jack Kerouac character in On The Road or Jean D. from Genet's Funeral Rites. Bottoming: The Emperor Hadrian in Marguerite Yourcenar's Memoirs of Hadrian. Lesbian: I'd probably go for the Gertrude Stein character in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Straight. I'd probably go for Molly Bloom from Ulysses.

    6) If you could write a self-help book, what would you call it?

    A User's Guide To Illicit Drugs.

    7) Which book, which play, and which poem would you make compulsory reading in high school English classes?

    Book: Either Song Of The Lark or My Antonia by Willa Cather
    Play:The Balcony by Jean Genet
    Poem: The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower by Dylan Thomas

    8) Which party from literature would you most like to have attended?

    The Banana Breakfast party from Gravity's Rainbow


    9) What would you title your memoirs?

    Words From The After-Life



    10) If you were an actor, which literary character do you dream of playing?

    Lear.


    11) What book would you give to a lover?

    Francoise Sagan's Bonjour Tristesse



    12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary deal breaker?

    You've got it. I think a complete set of Dan Brown would probably do it for me.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2007 • 37 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rich Lock,

    I once gave a lover a copy of Michael Herr's Dispatches

    I did that too. The eventual outcome was bloody. He lent me O. Henry, who I loved.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2552 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I once gave a lover a copy of Michael Herr's Dispatches

    I did that too.

    That's going some way towards making my day. The giving, not the outcome, I hasten to add.

    12) Spying Mein Kampf or Dan Brown on someone’s bookshelf can spell havoc for a friendship. What’s your literary deal breaker?

    Anything by Martin Amis. It'll be a cold day in hell before I forgive you for 'London Fields', Amis, you sneering snobbish quasi-intellectual ass-hat.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    12) With apologies to Ronnie Reagan... a Nazi reads Mein Kampf, a non-Nazi understands Mein Kampf. So the deal breaker would be anyone who believes in book burning.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4058 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    From what I've heard (not having read it), no-one actually understands Mein Kampf, it being several hundred pages of incomprehensible semi-literate raving. Like some religious texts, it's more of a totem than a teaching aid.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2326 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I really like this from Doug Coutts, in Onfilm November 2011:

    "...I've always thought that the only people who do well from self-help books are those who write them, and sell them. Everyone else may have a bookcase stacked with programmes for total fitness through 20 minutes of creative visualisation a week, healing pimples with macrame and sleeping your way to riches beyond compare, all with copious notes in the margin, but they're still fat, pock-marked and broke. Although they might have a nearly full loyalty card from Borders."

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2265 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    healing pimples with macrame

    brilliant

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    1) What are you reading at the moment?

    Just finished The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, by David Mitchell. Are there any other David Mitchell enthusiasts among you? He is my favourite discovery of the last year or so.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 633 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Even so, I'd rather a bookshelf full of self-help than self-satisfaction.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2552 posts Report Reply

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