Sunday, April 17, 2005

Da book thingy

Joe Hendren passed me this...

1) You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 (explanation; plot) which book do you want to be?
We had it as a set book in English lit - which I came pretty close to failing. I'd recommend "The Fall of Berlin" by Anthony Beevor as a very readable description of what happened to a people who thought extreme nationalism was the answer to their problems.

2) Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Hayley from (UK radio soap) "the Archers" of course.. If we are talking about written fiction, then no-one springs to mind - there are quite a lot of characters that I identify with as a role model, notably Cameron Colley in Iain Banks "Complicity".

3) The last book you bought is:
John Keegan - "Intelligence in War" - I suspect that this is more an account of various military campaigns that Keegan is interested in, sexed up by the link to 21st Century intelligence failings. Not a bad read though - and quite strong on the effect of improved communication techniques on naval warfare (the effect of the telegraph and later electronic communication techniques on world history being something I take an interest in).

4) The last book you finished is?
Vikram Seth - "From Heaven Lake". An interesting account of an Indian student's journey across China and occupied Tibet.

5) What are you currently reading?
Jonathan Raban - "Hunting Mister Heartbreak". One of a series of books exploring the history and literature of US settlement in the form of a modern travellers journal.

6) Five Books you would take to a deserted island:
Donna Tartt - "My Secret History" - brilliant narrative and characterisation - a pity she has only produced one book of this calibre.
Iain Banks - "Espedair Street" - excellent and (in the end) cheering fiction, rooted, like all Banks' better novels, in the West of Scotland.
Richard Rhodes - "The Making Of The Atomic Bomb" - sets a standard in scientific history, as well as being a brilliant, detailed account of the most important Kiwi invention of the last 100 years.
Brian Thacker - "Rule No 5 (No Sex on the Bus)" - brilliantly funny account of what happens on the big OE. (all his other books are poo by comparison, BTW)
Lonely Planet - "Deserted Pacific Islands on a Shoestring" - an indispensable and occasionally accurate guide to where to find beer/chicks/airline offices - ideal for when I've read the print off the other four..

I would pass this on, but it would take soooo much research to find out which bloggers haven't done it or been sent it yet. If anyone wants to pick up and post some answers, feel free to comment..


Joe Hendren said...

Thanks. The book on Berlin looks interesting. It doesn't surprise me the citizens of Berlin were not that enthusiatic about the nazi's in the final years of the war - I understand support of the nazis was always lower in the city of Berlin than in other parts of Germany.

If you ever get to Germany I would highly recommend the history walking tours in Berlin and Munich - they are absoultely ace :)

span said...

ye gads i read your answer to 2 all wrong and thought you meant Hayley from Coro St for an honesty ghastly moment!

definitely hear yah on the Donna Tartt and the Iain Banks :-)