OK, that was just too fun to say. Christianne tagged me to post a couple of literary memes. I'm not sure what that is, but I'll just follow her lead and hope for the best. :)
The first one has the following rules:
Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2) Open the book to page 123.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the next three sentences.
5) Tag five people.
This was not as easy as it sounds. The book closest to me was The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris, but page 123 is the end of a chapter and does not have five sentences let alone three after it. So the next closest book was Practicing His Presence by Brother Lawrence & Frank Laubach. Dang...only 110 pages. By now I'm getting irritated. But I scored pay dirt on the next book: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She's talking about the jealousy that sets in when you are an aspiring writer and another writer that you know of is published. Here are the three sentences:
"You are going to have a number of days in a row where you hate everyone and don't believe in anything. If you do know the author whose turn it is, he or she will inevitably say that it will be your turn next, which is what the bride always says to you at each successive wedding, while you grow older and more decayed. It can wreak just the tiniest bit of havoc with your self-esteem to find that you are hoping for small bad things to happen to this friend--for, say, her head to blow up."
I love Anne Lamott.
The next meme (how do you pronounce that word anyway?) requires you to answer several booky questions. This will take a little more thought on my part.
1) One book that changed your life:
Eva Luna by Isabelle Allende. It might seem like an odd choice for those of you who have read the book, but I read this back in college and it was part of what inspired me to write and woke me up to the art and power of story-telling. The genre is magical realism and it's a story set in Chile, which is where the author is from. (She's actually the cousin of Salvador Allende who was president of Chile from 1970-1973 and was overthrown by the notorious Augusto Pinochet...her father was one of the country's "disappeared".) I won't say anymore about it except to say I love this woman's writing.
2) One book that you have read more than once:
Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren F. Winner. Lauren Winner is a Jewish woman who converted to Christianity. She wrote this book as she reflected on what she felt the Jewish faith had to teach Christians. Really lovely writing and wise reflections.
3) One book you would want on a desert island:
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster. This was definitely up for consideration for the book that changed my life. Foster outlines twelve spiritual disciplines (such as prayer, fasting, meditation, simplicity, etc.) in a way that just invites you to dive in. Honestly, the first time I picked up this book and looked at the chapters my first thought was, "ewww." He manages to take all those aversive expectations and just completely disarm them. This book is one that I will keep going back to again and again.
4) Two books that made you laugh:
Anything by Anne Lamott and anything by Donald Miller. Did I mention that I love Anne Lamott? I love Donald too. I love that they are irreverent and funny and thought-provoking and challenging and just plain human. They are both really lovely story-tellers.
5) One book that made you cry:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. This book was written by a man who suffered a stroke which resulted in "locked-in syndrome" meaning he was completely intact cognitively but totally paralyzed apart from one eyelid. He wrote the book with the help of a scribe who would go through letters of the alphabet until he blinked his eye. The book was written one letter at a time in this way. It is a haunting account of his nightmarish condition, but also an incredibly hopeful glimpse into imagination and the beauty of the human spirit. Unbelievable and utterly breathtaking.
6) One book you wish you'd written:
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I wish I had written this mostly because of what it would imply about my life...that I had written enough to warrant writing a book about writing. Truth be told, I wish I was Anne Lamott, minus the history of addiction. Then again, I don't think there would have been an Anne Lamott without that part of her history. Hmmm. Maybe I'd better throw back a few. JUST KIDDING!
7) One book you wish had never been written:
The New World Order by Pat Robertson. This is the handbook for Christian paranoia. Icky. I actually never read it, but just knowing it exists gives me the heeby jeebies.
8) Two books you are currently reading:
Philosophy in the Flesh by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson and The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris. Philosophy in the Flesh is an attempt to use the findings of the cognitive sciences to rework our philosophical assumptions. I'm working through this v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I really wouldn't recommend it unless you're a psychology or philosophy nerd like myself. However, if you are such a nerd, I really am liking it so far. The Cloister Walk is a beautifully written reflection of Norris's experience of her foray into monasticism and the role of the poet. She's extraordinary. If I can't be Anne Lamott, I think I have a pretty good stab at being Kathleen Norris. In fact, I think I AM Kathleen Norris. (Where do I pick up my royalty checks?)
9) One book you've been meaning to read:
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I've been hearing about this book for a long time and have only heard that it is extraordinary. The sad reality is that I have a million books I'd like to read, but most of my actual reading time is spent on stuff that is functional (therapy manuals) rather than fun. *sigh*
Now, since we all know that I love breaking rules, I'm not going to officially tag anyone. If this seemed interesting to you and you think you'd like to have a go at it, consider yourself tagged. Peace.