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A Friday Contest

Books by Getty

 

I read a stupid amount of books. Not only am I never found without one, but I’ve been known to read while eating, while working, instead of studying, before bed, during commutes to work… you name it. Just what is a stupid amount of books? About three or four a week, depending on book thickness and my busyness. I CAN read more, but then J, my cats and my garden might get testy. I’ve read at this rate for years, in one of my few displays of intellectual precociousness I learned to read at the age of three or so, and have had my nose buried in a book ever since.

 

To indulge this voracious appetite, one can’t be too discriminating, or you’d quickly run out of fodder. If I so much as tried to specialize in a genre I’d rip through the best of the best in no time, and who wants to read crappy books? So I read it all – fiction, non-fiction, history, popular science, sci-fi, horror, chick-lit you name it. I used to disdain sci-fi and fantasy, but recent years have converted me. I think the genres that I leave unexplored the most are romance novels and heavy historical tomes that detail old battles and such. Otherwise anything goes. In desperate times I’ve read cereal boxes, and mayo labels. Yes, I need help.

 

In my quest to find the next book to read, I turn to various sources – Goodreads reviews, Amazon (whom I single handedly keep in business, I swear), blogs and friends, family and co-workers. No one is spared. Occasionally this turns up surprises – reading a great new book is like making a new friend, for life no less, and the surprises run both ways. Sometimes a fluff book that stirred female hearts is actually enjoyable to my own surprise, and other times a critically acclaimed prize winning novel leaves me bored or untouched. I don’t know how many ‘classics’ I’ve picked up only to go ‘heh?’ ‘is this what everyone’s going on about?’…  shake head.

 

I also have an annoying habit of finishing books. Even if they’re crap, I feel compelled to finish reading them to find out how it ends. There are very few I’ve set aside permanently, and I’m sure they should have a ‘wall of shame’ spot on a bookcase somewhere. Speaking of bookcases, I need to buy more since I’m running out of room again.

 

So, since you’ve READ this far, and I need more book ideas, here’s a small giveaway for inspiration and because it’s Friday – what three books would you take on a desert island? (Feel free to mention more if you’re in need of intervention like me) J One entry per person please, contest closes Sunday at midnight, and winner gets a $50.00 gift card from Amazon to spend as they see fit, on books or (heresy) otherwise.

Photo by Getty from the guardian.co.uk

11 comments to A Friday Contest

  • Count of Monte Cristo – Alexadr Dumas
    Stones From the River – Ursla Hegi
    Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

    I’m sure you’ve read them, but they are the only 3 books that I could read repeatedly. In fact, I’ve read Stone From the River twice.

  • The Lord of the Rings — J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Stand — Stephen King
    Akira — Katsuhiro Otomo
    Watchmen — Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

    If I was really going to a desert island I’d probably take “Surviving on a Desert Island for Dummies” or something along those lines…

    My choices might be a bit unusual, but each is in the list for a reason and they are stories I personally go back to again and again. The Lord of the Rings is arguably responsible for an entire genre of fiction/videogames/movies. It takes place in such a rich and comlicated setting it almost seems real.

    The Stand is good on many levels. It is a great post-apocalyptic story on the surface, and underneath you have the classic battle of Good vs. Evil. I had to read it a couple times to fully appreciate it.

    Akira is a graphic novel and is basically responsible for introducing and popularizing manga and anime to the western world. It is a very long and complex story. Manga isn’t for everyone, but when you read Akira you can’t help but to respect it as an art form.

    Watchmen is the graphic novel that first proved that comics can be literature in my opinion. It reads like a novel, but the graphic element is used in such a way that it adds incredible dimension to the story. Great story too — starts out with a bang and is engrossing to the very end.

  • Oh my goodness, I may as well have written this post! I’m also a HUGE reader. I don’t just read books, I sometimes feel like I inhale them. And like you, I always (sometimes painfully) finish every book I start. And some of those books are torture to finish. I have 5 mega-sized bookcases at home, and they’re all full! I actually created an excel sheet to keep track of my books, what I’ve read, what I have, etc. And after doing so, I discovered that I have 1,000 books in my possession. Talk about being a book addict. And you think it’s enough. Noooo… I’m always adding more. One can never have enough books to read. Even if one is sure to die before getting a chance to finish all of them…LOL…

    Anyhow, if I’m going to be stuck on a desert Island, the three books I’d want with me would have to be entertaining or exciting or mysterious but not sad like ‘Love Story’ since I’d probably be depressed and need something to cheer me up, so:

    Definitely one of the books from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Pick one, whichever one; they’re all great. Mmmm…how about the first one: “One For The Money”, which introduces all the interesting characters.

    I’m also a fan of John Grisham and his fast-paced, easy to read books. I’ve read all of them and like most of them, so it’s hard to select only one. But now that you’re twisting my arm, I’ll choose: “The Runaway Jury”

    And finally, I’ll add something from Sidney Sheldon. How about “Rage Of Angels”, which is another fast-paced, fun, easy to read book?

    So here are the choices:

    ‘One For The Money’ by Janet Evanovich
    ‘The Runaway Jury’ by John Grisham
    ‘Rage Of Angles’ by Sidney Sheldon

    You realize, of course, that this was a very difficult decision. Only three books? That’s madness! I think you need at least 500 books (or more) for a deserted Island to keep you ‘book satisfied’. Don’t you agree?

  • I love to read too! I’m never without a book. You might want to check out the Canadian Book Challenge here:

    http://bookmineset.blogspot.com/2009/07/canadian-book-challenge-3-on-your-marks.html

    This is the third year I’ve participated.

    If a book is crap, I won’t waste any more time on it. Next!

    BTW, I’m here via Canada Blog Friends.

  • admin

    @ elle – I have been reading and rereading the Count of Monte Cristo since I was a kid, and my understanding of the novel changes greatly with age. That’s the hall mark of a great book, imho. I have also read and greatly appreciated Brave New World, although it’s been a while since we visited. I have never read Stones from The River though, so that’s definitely going on the wishlist. Thanks!

    @ MG – I agree the size and complexity of The Lord of The Rings makes it a great candidate. Until last week I was the only person in Calgary who hasn’t read The Stand yet, so it’s quite interesting to see it on here now. I love apocalyptic fiction and that was a great book for the reasons you mentioned, right up with Lucifer’s Hammer. I have not yet been exposed to the joys of the graphic novel, so it sounds like Watchmen is the place to start for me. 🙂 Thanks.

    @ WR – Tell me about it – 500 books would be a decent start. I’d likely be fantasizing about 10,000 though – just for variety 🙂 I really enjoyed the first few books by JE, by am finding that the later books are becoming more farcical as the series goes on, and the characters are becoming more flat. The first book though was indeed a fun read – good call. I must be the only person in Calgary who hasn’t read The Runaway Jury, so that’s going on the list for sure. Thanks!

    @ Teena in TO – welcome! And thanks for the link. I’ll definitely be checking out the Canadian Book Challenge – it looks awesome, and right up my alley. Thanks for stopping by.

  • My counter showed a link from this blog. Thanks Teena!

    Seeing as I’m here, I’ll throw in my desert island books– though subject to change, and though the contest is over:
    1. Blindness by Jose Saramago
    2. Colony of Unrequited Dreams- Wayne Johnston
    3. barney’s Version- Mordecai Richler

  • admin

    @ John – thanks for coming by! I loved blindness too, but have NOT read your other two picks, so I’ll definitely be throwing those on the ole ‘wishlist’. I am stoked that I’ve got so many good treats to look forward to. (For the record I throw books onto my wishlist, and buy 4-8 every two weeks or so.)

  • Jean

    Waaah! I missed the contest. But I will return with my list of three …

  • admin

    Thanks Jean! Your great taste always adds to the collection.

  • So who won??

    Darned that I was away so long, but such a pleasure to come and catch up. YOU are an inspiration…so first

    WOW what great shots you are getting lately. I absolutely LOVE this one, and a few of your dinner review are just awesome. More making me hate the issues with *my* blog, I’m going to move…

    RE THIS post: I’ve always wished I could read as fast as you! I’ve only gone the other way, slowing with age, and having less time = far less books read than in my younger years = very difficult to get to all the wonderful ones that await me when I *am* home, never mind a long list of hope-to-reads.

    With that… I’m throwing in my few cents.

    I’d bring a practical book on survival. How do I make stuff grow, get their seeds, make shelter, fix stuff including broken bones, how to make stuff – like using plant strands for clothes, baskets, toilet paper! grin
    😉

    Lord of the Rings too, probably…. long enough, great enough….

    I dare think Hitchhiker’s guide, but then… a voluminous big-as-i-can-get-it book of empty pages to delicately and carefully write on?…. you said we could say more… Oh, hmmm… something deliciously funny… maybe a cooking on campfires type book? How to make an oven out of clay? I don’t think I’d last without cookies!
    ;P

  • admin

    Thanks so much, Ali. Yep, highly recommend hosting your own domain. Blogger is very prevalent these days, and frankly I don’t see why. Their comment field kinda suck, their formats are very generic, etc. etc. I recommend blue host for your platform, heck, I’ll buy your first year if you’d like to move, and a good wordpress platform. They make life easy.

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