The last part of the book meme is here!
Full list of questions here!
Questions 11-20 here.
Questions 1-10 here.
21. First novel you remember reading
Funny enough, the first novel I remember reading is Lem’s The Cyberiad, somewhere in my primary school years, I believe.
I have no idea why I read it. Maybe my parents suggested this? I don’t think I understood anything beside the plot, but I remember finding it incredibly funny. I guess it must have been nice to read it, since all I was reading then were some YA novels. You know, when I think of it now, it was way more enjoyable to read sci-fi when I was 10 or less. Every weird name or thing I just accepted as it was, now I am more like “if he is called this and that does that mean he has certain role or features of character” and other complicating over analyzing.
22. A book that makes you cry
I remember that in my teenage years I read a lot of YA and I read this whole series called The Sisterhood Of Travelling Pants. I believe my mom was buying me those, because she also liked reading this, hahah. Anyway, I really do not remember in which part does the sad turn happen, maybe even in the very first one, but [SPOILER] I remember the filmmaker girl had a friend who is terminally ill, and this kiddo dies and it is sad as fuck. The girl is getting drunk, vomiting with all the colors of the rainbow (aka beer & gumdrops cocktail), then makes a movie about this dead friend. So first I cried because her friend died, and then I cried because the movie she dedicated to this late kid. [/SPOILER]
I must have been hella emotional when I was a teen. How did anybody not kill me then?
23. A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Paradise Lost. Actually, I promised reading it to one of my British literature teacher during the exam on British lit after he asked me about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I guess the monster was reading this book? So I was like, “Yea, I know he read this, but I haven’t yet, BUT I WILL.” And I got B. So here I am, after three or more years I still haven’t read it.
Well, a promise not executed [yet] is not a broken one, isn’t it?
24. A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Hemingway’s Moveable Feast. First of all, it’s not the most known of Hemingway’s books, and all we read at schools is Old Man And The Sea and sometimes (!) Sun Also Rises, when all we need to get better understanding of the age and other modernist writers is reading Moveable Feast! I mean, of course, you can just take a shortcut, watch Midnight In Paris and maybe get a similar experience, but it’s not the same, at all! This book is just so full of little surprise gifts, like the bromance of Hemingway and Ezra Pound, the smell of Paris’ streets in rainy Spring, all the corridors of writers, literary critiques and all kinds of other creators. It’s beautiful and nostalgic, while still being very informative. That’s why more people should read it, to get the glimpse at the actual life of American modernists and understand their writing better (or maybe from a totally new point? Who knows? There are many surprises there as I told you).
25. A character who you can relate to the most
You know, I don’t think I have one. I gave this question a lot of thoughts since I began this meme and I seriously cannot find one. Well, maybe my readers may help me and tell me, which chara do I remind them the most? I honestly do not know.*
Maybe it’s good that way, you know? Sometimes I feel sympathetic to certain characters because of similar experiences, ideas or age but I cannot relate to them at all. Even if I understand their actions clearly, it’s still quite hard to actually relate to any on a very deep level.
26. A book that changed your opinion about something
I read The Beginning Of Everything with a thought that the time came to see what is contemporary YA about. It turned out I had a really low impression on the genre before reading. I think it’s a cool novel. It shows that you can take the motives you already know from other genres and use them in some creative way and still tell a story for teenagers. But not only. It turns out that with authors such as Schneider or Green YA is now opening also for slightly older readers (ask my mom). So yes, indeed, TBOE did change my opinion on YA, while still being a story full of proms, high school friendships and teenage struggle. Interesting, isn’t it?
27. The most surprising plot twist or ending
If by surprising one means ‘completely mindfucked’, I guess the most surprising one was a novel that was a one big plot twist itself, that is The Trial by Kafka. I read this one still in high school, because we head a fragment during literature classes. I was all like “wth, what is going on, for God’s sake, who are those people?” – turns out that Kafka wrote not only a great twisted vision of bureaucracy, but quite of the adulthood itself. I DON’T SAY ADULTHOOD IS LIKE A TOTALITARIAN SYSTEM. I just say it’s twisted and full of unexpected turns. Basically, the plot of this book is really mad and the ending leaves you with an uncountable number of questions about reality, morality and whatsoever. I don’t want to spoil it to you, but I can promise you will be totally surprised, to say at least, if not shocked, lost and miserable.
28. Favorite title of a book
Heat Wave. I mean, I know I may seem a little biased over this series, but, just for the sake of an experiment, try to read this title aloud. It’s a freaking Heat Wave. It’s hot, dynamic, hints the main character’s personality (and the main character itself), gives you a kiss of what you can get by reading the book and what is the spark included in the plot, that is a hot, steamy NY Summer. Heat Wave. And you can reuse the idea, look at the Frozen Heat or Naked Heat. It’s fucking ridiculous as well, but what an inspiration!
*coughs*I am gonna embrace it while writing my own crime series*coughs*
29. A book everyone hated but you liked
I liked Eat, Pray, Love. I really did. I read it twice, both English and Polish version. I recommended it to my mom and we both liked the movie, mostly because Julia Roberts, but still, we did. It’s time to admit it.
What is more, I like this book even after I got kindly blessed by my friends and literary critiques why it is not at all that fabulous. Trust me, I understand all the points and I still like it. Also, I dream of my own great travels for finding out who I am myself. I don’t mind if it could be done Gilbert’s over positive and life-is-not-quite-like-that way, full of misinterpretations and over use of some really lame plot devices.
This book made me more open to meditations too, and I believe that as an adventurous woman that I am, I would take them in consideration anyway, but sitting in main heroine’s head while she meditate made me really eager to try the thing out. It turned out it’s pretty fun and maybe the book did not taught me a thing about it, but it made me actually do this. That’s something!
So, yeah, I liked this stupid story and I am not even sorry.
30. Your favorite book of all time
Of Mice And Men. I know it’s more a novella than a novel, but still a book. (beware of spoilers below)
What I love about this one is countless. I could write and write so I would try to keep it simple and my ovaries in place. First of all, the characters, are so clear and lovable, and you want to hug each and every one of them (ok, maybe beside the farm’s owner, but even with him at least I know I would love to stick a pole down his throat *no yaoi. I think he had enough of this. Oops.*). Both their characters are great for such a short story, and their goals and motivations too. Also, the way their features drive them is incredibly dynamic and I still cannot believe so much action is put in such a short form.
One more thing about the characters that I love are the parallels between their features and the features of animals. Every action is actually mirrored somewhere by the appropriate action involving animals. Also we see the animals withing the characters, it’s so magical! It’s not only the reader that see them as puppies or the beasts, but you can feel that the characters also perceive themselves in those categories. Impressive one, Mr. Steinbeck!
Even if you look at the only active woman in this man-concerned life at the farm, it’s not that easy to tell if she is a good or bad character. On one hand she is annoying and stubborn and causes a lot of bad things, but on the other, when you realize all of this, you kind of start to like her, not to mention to cheer on her. We know that she is a bit naive, but on the other hand, at least she is some kind of a free colorful bird (or almost free, but that depends on your point of view, I guess).
And the last thing I love the most is the exploration of the idea of friendship. I mean, how deep must it be that you would better kill your own friend than let anyone else do this? How can you be capable of taking up such an action? When I finished reading and realized this I was like, all mad and sad and incredibly happy and all the colors of the rainbow, srsly. I just… GAH I love this one so much.
Remember, whenever in trouble, read Steinbeck. It rly works.
*OK, I know, this famous test of personality I took and it told me I am pretty much the same personality type that Silence Of Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter.