Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The books of my life

Thanks to Lurker, here's a meme about books of my life.

1. The book that changed my life

I believe it was Ross Macdonald's The Drowning Pool (which was translated as Nukkuva kaunotar, if I remember correctly; too lazy to check now). I'd been reading some Christie and other stuff of her ilk, but then, maybe due to my father's suggestion, I read this while I was 13 or so and was blown away: how can you write about people this real? how can a crime novel be this haunting and true? how can the things in the book stay with you so hard? I'm still a devoted reader of Macdonald, even though I haven't had a chance to reread him as much as I'd like to. My favourite Macdonald, though, has been The Zebra-Striped Hearse (Harriet on iso tyttö).

2. A book that I've read more than once.

There are so many. There's one book that I could read over and over again without being bored: Oliver Bleeck's AKA Ross Thomas's The Brass Go-Between/31 kiloa pronssia. Must be one of the most entertaining books ever written. It may not even be the best crime novel there is, let alone the best novel, but you just can't put it down once you've started. There's also a book that I reread immediately after having read it: the first one of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea series.

3. A book I'd like to take with me to a deserted island.

Allen Hubin's crime fiction bibliography, possibly with additions on CD and the web.

4. A book that made me a tramp ("hupakko"; I can't think of a better word here).

There's no such thing. Or if there is, it's probably A Man With a Maid by anonymous. (Herra Jackin ihmeellinen huone in Finnish.)

5. A book that made me burst into tears.

I was pretty down after reading Lord of the Rings for the sixth or seventh time five or six years back. The ending is very sad, but the atmosphere in the scenes that take place in Mordor is so grim that it stuck with me for at least a week. Maybe not tears. I cry at movies - Dumbo, for example, is a real tear-jerker for me.

6. A book that I'd wish was written

Pulpografia Fennica. But I'd wish it was written or at least edited by me.

7. A book that I'd wish was never written

The Bible?

8. The book that I'm reading now

Stephen Frances's This Woman Is Death (1965; Mieluummin kuolla in Finnish). A spy thriller by the creator of Hank Janson. Weird, sad atmosphere and quite a controversial hero - a pacifist who's recruited into the world of spies strictly out of boredom. I liked Frances's The Sad and Tender Flesh (1966) very much and recommend this also.

9. A book that I've been meaning to read

Something by Emanuel Swedenborg

10. Challenge five other bloggers

Can't think of any, unless Vesa Sisättö wants to tackle this. Or Jukkahoo. It seems that I have no friends here, doesn't it. Grim story of my life.


jukkahoo said...

Just as I was prepared to add: "Krhm...?", you somehow read my mind and make my day. Thanks, I'll try to answer this tomorrow.

Erm, where's the word verification? Ah, here it is:

rjkysqap. The golf-tournament where Earthlings meet the krqqwtcxchc't. Sad.

Anonymous said...

How about a book that made you laugh? That was on the version I saw.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed your post. I recall the reading the Zebra-Striped Hearse. It seemed like a wild car to drive. RM is a first-rate, writer.

Juri said...

Sorry, I seem to have forgotten the book that made me laugh. Umm, well, there are so many, from Flann O'Brien's THE THIRD POLICEMAN to Daniil Harms and Richard S. Prather's STRIP FOR MURDER (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1955). There's a scene in which the PI hero Shell Scott flees naked from the nudist camp with a balloon and lands on the city house...

Juri said...

Umm.. sorry, looking at my earlier comment's comment it may seem to someone that Daniil Harms wrote STRIP FOR MURDER with Richard Prather. Well, that ain't the case.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this meme earlier in blogs in English and question 4 asked for "a book that made you giddy". I don't think hupakko is the best possible translation for that but don't know what would be either. Funny to see it translated back to English though ;-) Just like the rumour game in my childhood, sitting in a circle, whispering the rumour and then finding out how it changes.

Juri said...

"Giddy", says my Longman, is something causing dizziness. Light-hearted? I'm light-hearted by nature, don't need no books for that, no sirree.