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Outou ([personal profile] outou) wrote on May 3rd, 2010 at 07:22 pm
Personal Entry No. 53 ("The Last Hurrah")
That is, the Last Mass Posting of Memes for this school semester.

The sudden heat wave following the brief flurry of snow last week has damaged my efforts to get my papers written. It's a sign of weakness, but I have too much difficulty focusing when the temperature is over 70°--and it's become much hotter inside my room than outside, since this residence hall is a masterpiece of lazy design.

Let's see if I can at least finish my annotated bibliography before tomorrow!



First, here's a book meme from [livejournal.com profile] pink_for_flower!

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

I have no idea, but it's most likely one of the paperback Dickens books. (I can tell you that the first book I can remember reading was "Pat the Bunny," but that is completely irrelevant to this question.)

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you'll read next?

Technically, I'm currently reading Natsume Sōseki's Inside My Glass Doors and Charles Dickens' Sketches by Boz. (It would be more honest to say that they're gathering dust while I flip through things like The Unquiet Ghost, Theory and History of Folklore, and An Anthology of Russian Folk Epics. This paper will never end.) The last book I read for my own enjoyment was Sorekara, also by Sōseki, but I can't for the life of me remember if I finished it or left it behind. University is eating away at my memory, I swear. (ETA: I just remembered that the last book I finished was The Ladies of Grace Adieu! Considering how much I enjoyed it, and that it's sitting less than two feet away from me, I have no idea how I forgot it.)

I'm hoping to finish those two up soon and get started on Outlaws of the Water Margin and Bulgakov's Master and Margarita for the summer.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?

Anything by Jane Austen.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

The section of Michael G. LaFosse's Advanced Origami: An Artist's Guide to Performances in Paper that details how to make your own paper. -д-

More seriously, though, Tolstoy's War and Peace. I need to get a better translation than the one I have before starting it again.

5. Which book are you saving for "retirement?"

Most economists say that my generation won't be able to retire.

...I'm sorry to say that you all are in my generation, so please know that I would work an extra job if it allowed at least one of you the chance to retire at 75.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

Like many people, I read the last page when I've reached the last page. When reading through long stretches of Dickens or Thomas Hardy, though, I sometimes flipped through the last chapters and regretted it. (I almost always look at all of Phiz's illustrations for Dickens' stories first, though. I'm a sucker for etchings.)

7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

I don't always read them, but they're no more a waste of ink and paper than the publishing information.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Cosette from Les Misérables. I admire Eponine and Valjean much more, but Cosette--at least, after Valjean rescues her--manages to live a very happy, sheltered, and well-nourished life. (She's supposed to be well-learned, as well, but I wish she demonstrated that more in the novel. Even Victor Hugo's brain melted somewhat during her scenes.)

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

Even though I can't reconcile myself with the series anymore, every one of the Harry Potter books is connected with something in my life. An aunt of mine, whom I hadn't seen--and who I still haven't seen--since she moved to North Carolina, gave me the first book when I was nine years old, before the series was well-known at all. I was very hesitant about reading it at first, but I loved it once I finished it; after that, my parents went through the trouble of preordering all of the books and (usually) dumping them on my bed the morning of release, up to when I was seventeen and the last book was published. I always made a point of reading the books in a single day, save for the last one--I just didn't enjoy the characters or J.K. Rowling's writing anymore.

The Goblet of Fire in particular was strange, since my parents, my grandmother, and one of my best friends all offered to get it for me. :`D I still think of it in connection to "marine camp" at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension in town, since I read through it during my lunches. (I also still miss eating salami sandwiches on kaiser rolls after kayaking or walking in the marshes.)

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

I got a set of Russian grammar books from a man who ran the local European food store--he was so kind! There's also that one copy of Madeleine L'Engle's The Wind in the Door which I took out from the library nearly ten years ago...

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

Yes, but this is too personal a subject for me to talk about.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, which is a good source of strength when I need it.

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Well, I think I would appreciate Lorraine Hansberry's Raisin in the Sun more know that I understand the source material better. Other than that, our high school readings were either enjoyable or so mind-numbingly boring that no one--no one--would want to read them again. I had more problems with required readings in middle and elementary school, though, since they were so often below my own level: I'd finish them too quickly, and would often be out of place for the class readings. Fourth grade was the worst, since we had a soulless automaton for a teacher. (He despised children! What made it worse was that he was still a young man, so we instinctively trusted him at first.)

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

I still can't get used to the bizarre tags the college bookstore puts in its textbooks!

15. Used or brand new?

It doesn't matter, but I do love the bindings and illustrations one can find in older books (as well as the notes left by previous owners). Bookbinding really is an art form that's being lost.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Frankly, I've never had the desire to read his books, so I'll pass on this one.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

This will be outraging to true Tolkien fans, but I had a better time watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy than reading it. I've always preferred his short stories to his novels, to be honest.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

Just about every other one I've heard about--except for Coraline, which was supposedly a very well done adaptation.

19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Journey to the West, of all things. The many descriptions of the vegetarian feasts Xuanzang and his disciples were treated to were one thing, but for some reason I always closed the book with a strong desire for hot rice. Maybe it's because someone is sent out to beg for rice nearly every other chapter.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

My father. I would say my older brother, as well, but I don't act on his book advice as often (he's been wanting me to read Dune and Terry Pratchett's books for a while now). My sister is right out, even if I respect her opinion, since she wasted money on the Twilight series. Sure, she claims she wanted to make fun of them. I know the truth.





Can you tell me why I still like Pokémon? Because they sure haven't released that life-sized Venusaur doll yet.

a) Your top five favourite Pokémon of all time:



1. Venusaur
2. Masquerain
3. Froslass
4. Honchkrow
5. Pichu

b) Your top five legendaries:




1. Mew
2. Uxie
3. Lugia
4. Celebi
5. Rayquaza

c) The top five Pokémon you think are ugly:



1. Hippowdon
2. Garchomp
3. Shaymin
4. Roserade
5. Luvdisc


d) The top five Pokémon you forget are Pokémon know are completely useless:



1. Umbreon
2. Sunkern
3. Luvdisc
4. Spinda
5. Electivire


e) Out of your favorite type, your top five favorites:



1. Venusaur
2. Breloom
3. Jumpluff
4. Toterra
5. Cradily
 
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