Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Thanks For the Memes

Recently I have been seeing some silly questionaires at various Christian blogs, and I thought I'd join in, despite the fact that nobody knows who I am or reads my blog. I have seen two different versions of the questionaire, so I am combining them into one.

I have decided to impose some rules on myself, just for the fun of it. For one thing, I am not going to use the Bible as any of my answers, because that is cheating. Most of the questions could be answered with "the Bible." I am not relagating the Bible to less importance--I am merely going to assume that my readers (if there be any) themselves will assume that I would answer "the Bible" for most of the questions.

Another rule is that I am not going to name the same book twice, though in many cases I very well could. Sort of like the Bible rule.

Also, I will add that in many cases there are lots of books that I could name, and so the answers I come up with may not be my favorites. For one thing, if I did that, I would be violating my first and second rules. For another thing, I simply may not be able to decide or remember what would be my favorite book for a particular question, so I'm just sort of going with what first comes to mind.

And finally, as some other bloggers have disclaimed, my answers do not necessarily indicate an endorsement for the idealogies of the books and/or authors.

Okay, let's begin.

1. One book that has changed my life: The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
2. One book I have read more than once: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. One book I would want with me on a deserted island: This is tough without violating my self-imposed rules. Let me say, one book besides the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
4. One book that has made me laugh: Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan
5. One book that has made me cry: I don't know if that has ever happened, but the closest that I can think of in recent memory would be Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
6. One book I wish had been written: A chronicle of all my dad's childhood stories.
7. One book I wish had never been written: Holy Blood, Holy Grail
8. One book I am currently reading: The Roots of Endurance by John Piper
9. One book I have been meaning to read: Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
10. One book that has scared me: I don't know that a book has ever scared me, but I have been given a creepy feeling after reading various stories in Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood by...uh...Algernon Blackwood.
11. One book that has disgusted me: Well, not to jump on any bandwagons, but Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk.
12. One book that I loved in elementary school: Anything by Lloyd Alexander, particularly the Prydain chronicles.
13. One book that I loved in middle school: Despite my having been very critical of this book in the comments of another blog, at the time I loved The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. In middle school, yes. I somehow was able to read much larger books in much shorter time back then than I can now.
14. One book that I loved in high school: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I never made a rule against using the same author twice.
15. One book that I loved in college: Well, I guess that would still be right now by Vladimir Nabakov.
16. One book that challenged my identity or my faith: I hate to copy off of Charles Sebold at Talking Out of Turn, but really he read my mind. The Potter's Freedom by James White. Sproul got the ball rolling, but this book is the one that really made me uncomfortable. Thank God for uncomfortable books.
17. A series that you love: Okay, I am going to have to sort of break my own rule (sort of) by saying the Hitchhiker's series by Douglas Adams. As much as Adams and I were diametrically opposed in our personal beliefs, as much as it breaks my heart to be convinced that (unless God stepped in at the last moment) Douglas Adams is now writhing in the hottest part of hell, I am a giant fan of his books. No, that is an understatement. I can recite long portions of the series from memory (mostly thanks to the radio show). And now that I'm being so open about all of this, I will go ahead and say that I could have used any one of his books to answer questions 1, 3, 4, 13, 14, 15. Also, the book that was posthumously released, A Salmon of Doubt, could be an answer for 9 because I have never read the whole thing, mostly because it depresses me because of the parts that I have read (concerning his hyper-atheism), so therefore I could also use that book to answer numbers 7 and 11. And finally, I could answer number 6 with something along the lines of How God Saved Even a Militant Atheist as I Was by Douglas Adams. Oh, how my heart hurts me to type that as a book I wish had been written instead it being a book that had been written. When I learned that he died 5 years ago, it hurt me hard. Not only for the selfish reason that I would never have any great new Douglas Adams books to read, not only because the way I learned was a very bad way to learn that one of your favorite persons has died (it was a question and answer on a radio game show--"What famous author of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy died this week at the age of 50?"--That was a harsh way to learn)--not only those reasons, but because last I knew he was a fierce God-hater, and was now dead with no further opportunity for salvation. Let this be a lesson for us to witness like the dickens, for though we may not be able to communicate with our favorite celebrities, everybody around us is just as precious and in need of salvation, and who knows, they may become the next big thing and then be out of the reach our our witness. Anyway, back to the questions.
18. My favorite horror book: Well, I don't think of him as a horror writer, but the horror section is where his books are found, so anything by H.P. Lovecraft, particularly The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward.
19. My favorite science fiction book: *cough* See number 17....But besides that, I would probably have to say....Actually, I don't think I can say definately. But one that really comes to mind right now is Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick. Or anything by PKD, actually.
20. My favorite fantasy book: Another hard one. I might have to break my rule again and say Lord of the Rings. I used to read a lot of fantasy until I read Tolkien, and then I realized that everybody since him just copies him. I will give mention to David Eddings--I read some of his books many years ago, and I remember enjoying them and thinking that the characters were pretty original in the sense that they were so...I don't know...goofy. Not like dorky, but they just weren't your normal serious fantasy characters, but nor were they the type you find in a the sort of books that are intentionally humor-fantasy. Also, I love everything that I have read by Lord Dunsany. I guess that is considered fantasy.
21. My favorite mystery book: I have never read a mystery book. So I guess I would just say the ratiocination stories by Edgar Allen Poe.
22. My favorite biography: Lovecraft by L. Sprague de Camp. That was almost more interesting the Lovecraft's actual writings.
23. My favorite coming of age book: I don't know if anybody else would consider this a coming of age book, but I would have to say All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Here you see people coming of age in a whole new world.
24. My favorite book not on this list: The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide. I have already worn out one copy and am on work wearing out the second.