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Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Book Meme

I had no idea what a meme was. So, I looked it up. Hedwig_the_owl passed the book meme to me, and now I will complete it and pass it on to some other bloggers. So here we go.

The Number Of Books I Own
This is a tricky question, because my parents are book fiends, and we have a moderately sized room dedicated to books. I've never until a few years ago really needed to buy any books. But after I started discovering my own literary interests, I built up my own collection. I would guess that I'm up to about 200.

I own a lot of satirical books. George Carlin, Al Franken, David Sedaris. I also own a lot of Science Fiction, but specifically SF written by Philip K. Dick. I own all his short stories and a bunch of his novels. He is terrific. Besides that, I of course own the Lord Of The Rings books, with the Hobbit and the Silmarillion. I love books about language usage and books where old British men lecture on the audacity of younger generations' blatant disregard of "proper" usage rules. There's quite a bit of other stuff too, but I don't want to bore.

The Last Books I Bought

The last books I bought were Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell.

Last Book I Read
The last book I read was The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, the second book the Chronicles Of Narnia. I'm reading them through before the film comes out. It looks incredible.

Five Books That Mean A Lot
Hmm, this is a difficult list to create. But there are a few books which have completely changed me as a reader and a writer, and so those I guess will suffice.

The Elements Of Style
by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

This is the single greatest book on writing that has ever been written. Period. Everyone should own this book, regardless of whether or not you're a writer. It's short. It's sweet. No exuses.

Story by Robert McKee
This book is the greatest book I have ever read regarding storytelling. This book focuses mainly on screenplays (authored by a screenplay writer), but for anyone who wants to learn how to tell a great story, no matter the medium, this is the book to read.

America: The Book by The Daily Show writers
It's difficult to be funny, and it's even more difficult to write funny. But this book is so jam-packed with hilarity that by the end you're laughing because you can't believe you're still laughing. That's how great this book is. When I did the intern blog, and people knew I interned at Comedy Central, they would say things like, "You're funnier than the Daily Show writers." This is absolutely absurd. I wish I were a tenth as funny as these writers. With practice and time, maybe someday, but for now, I only bow to them. Funniest book ever written.

Rush Limbaugh Is A Big, Fat Idiot by Al Franken
Al Franken is one of my main influences when it comes to satirical writing. His style takes deadpan delivery to another level. He also helped me understand just what you could do to tell jokes via writing. The asterisks that inundated my intern blog were an homage to Franken's brilliant use of footnotes. If you read any one of his books, read this one first. It may be his best, but it was also written before everyone with half a brain started writing political books. His books will still always be better. And the reason is because he is funny. And the others rarely are.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
When I first heard about Harry Potter, I thought, "Great, kids are reading, but no thanks, I'm an adult. I only read grown-up books." My sister generally introduced me to the books. I always made fun of her for reading them. Then one day, after watching one of the films, I decided to give one a try. Well, needless to say, I was hooked instantly. I read the first book in one day, at just under 8 hours. I read all of my sister's copies, then shortly thereafter, I went out and purchased the first five books in a boxed set for myself. J.K. Rowling deserves to be as rich as she is. She's written an amazing story, and she's gotten children interested in reading during the process.

Now, for some other bloggers. Obviously, there's no obligation, and I'm not sure who's done one already, but we'll see what happens. In no particular order, how about...

Jasmine of Jazz... In Strange Places
Ginnderella of Raridayrar
Omar of Omar's Blog
Steph of The Last Ditch
One Glorious Conundrum of Obsession With Self Awareness
Mimi of Mimi in New York

Basically, do what I did, then pass it on. I guess.


At 10:25 PM, Blogger Gloria Glo said...

Oh, no! Please hear the whine across all of BlogLand! I have tirelessly picketed the 100 List (outside my apartment - let me tell you, no one here will ever engage in such a debacle again), now I feel honor-bound by a challenge from Andy! How could he abuse my love in such a way??

JK. As always, I accept a challenge. I just adore books. I got happy just reading about your thoughts on books.

But while I'm commenting, thanks for the detailed instructions. They were almost as good as the 3-page booklet on how to mark circles during the SAT.

At 11:26 PM, Blogger Krize said...


At 7:52 AM, Blogger Chronic_Roll said...

One thing I never understood about Franken or any other pundit is they truly believe that politics will never not be corrupt. I feel that Franken would have stopped picking sides by now.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger jinius said...

you might also like Lapsing Into a Comma by Bill Walsh, a copy chief for the Washington Post and a grammar curmudgeon

At 1:13 PM, Blogger D-Train said...

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. Best book on grammar written, and believe it or not, pretty darn funny. Just thought I'd add that.

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

I have that one (by Lynne Truss). It is funny, but I don't think it's borad sweeping enough to be the best on grammar. It's good and def worth reading, but for me it's not the best.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger shake said...

I love your list (and your superior blogging capabilities). The best part of America the Book is the fact that it is identical to the American history textbooks from 8th grade. SO great. Oh and respect for Harry Potter! You are the best.

At 4:31 PM, Blogger 52X Max said...

I love the way that chain mail has evolved his way into blogs, cause this "memes" or "batons" or "whatever you may call them" are much smarter than their predecessors with all that "if you really love your friends, pass it on to every person you know and your 3 wishes shall be granted". I wonder who was the one who granted those wishes, the internet go?, bill gates? the wizard of oz?
And about your book meme, I'm also a big fan of Franken and I found this great resource in using asterisks, and also brackets and semicolons and so on. You can check it out at my own blog, it's on spanish though.

...just take a look at it so you know what I mean, don't try to understand it, even if you speak spanish, is very personal.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Syar said...

i love harry potter and i love chronicles of narnia. i'm planning to do the same thing before december when the movie comes out. but i'm a speed reader, so gotta read it as close to the release as possible. like your list. am exhausted from my 100 things list, but might give this "book meme" a try. :)

At 9:54 PM, Blogger jazz said...

oh, darling! you lost your meme virginity! i recently lost mine as well.

i'll do your meme but its going to be boring because it's gonna look almost just like yours...which, i think, is why we are so drawn to each other. you know what they say about great minds...

they secretly want to marry jon stewart but settle for each other...;)

At 11:02 PM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

OH, NO. I've been tagged.

Flattered, really. I'll give it due thought.

What, with being unemployed now, maybe I can answer. Heh.

Rise up and stab them with your plastic forks!

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Blind Rat said...

This post gave me an idea for what to get my politics/daily show addict boyfriend for an anniversary present - thanks! Just hoping he hasn't actually read the book yet (the Daily Show book you mention)...

At 2:30 PM, Blogger cadiz12 said...

Sedaris as Crumpet the Macy's elf still had me laughing months after i finished the story. and the rooster. you can't f with the rooster.

At 5:12 PM, Anonymous Big Bro said...

People are always weirded out that we have a library in our house. They either give me an incredulous stare or respond in a reverential tone like I'm the lord of the manor. Obviously, I don't mind. ;) My only question for them would be, "where the hell do you keep all of your books?" Then I realize they are part of the great unwashed, funtionally-illiterate masses that crowd our uncivil civilization. And I weep.

I can only imagine what they'd be like if they saw Mom & Dad's books or DVD/VHSs. Yikes!

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Big Bro said...

Shit. "Then the Elitist Older Brother noted his incorrect spelling of 'functionally-illiterate.' And He wept."

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Former Intern Andy said...

Haha. Oh, silly big bro. :)

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Nadia said...

In their whole lives, my parents have read a combined total of ten books. My sister and I have, in the past six months, read a combined total of 30 books. I don't understand any of this.

At 12:57 AM, Blogger scribe called steff said...

I have aquiesced. It is posted. :)

Steff's book meme.

It was fun... but I should've gone to bed an hour-plus ago. Now I think I'll have a bowl of cereal...

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Lia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Lia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Lia said...

It's not fair. I go away for a month, and when I come back, you can STILL make me laugh at work, with my boss watching. How am I going to keep my job?

I like your book collection - I've read a number of them, but it seems I've missed some good ones. Now I have a summer reading list, enough to last at least two days.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Lia said...

Sorry about the deletes. I hate when people do that!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger tabitha jane said...

i too am super excited for the narnia series to be coming out on film!

At 10:37 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

We have the same book shelf.


At 11:37 AM, Blogger narniafan123 said...

Just found some interesting stuff on the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film. Narnia Resourcesand the wardrobe"


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