Thursday, August 12, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side......

Hello me!! (because I will probably be the only one reading this thing in the future)...

     I've been meaning to start blogging for an eternity but could never find a reasonable excuse for myself. Facebook lets me share pictures and stories with people, Ravelry takes care of my need to share knitting accomplishments and even Good Reads is there to post book reviews. Not to mention the term blogging is a bit icky. But damn it! I miss my trite little online journal that I kept during my freshman year of college.
      I am lucky enough to be traveling through China, Tibet, and Cambodia in a couple of months, so a blog I must have (though, that being said, I will inevitably be unable to access the internet while there). I thank my esteemed colleague Ms. Pearl Rogi for naming this worthy publication. She and many many others know my distaste for the widespread misuse for the word 'literally' so here's to irony!!! (another word grossly misused, by the way)
     One of the reasons I have waited so long to start one of these things is that I have never been able to think of anything to write about in a "first post". "Hi I'm so and so and I like doing so and so" just isn't appealing. So I have dug out a nice little literary survey and updated it a bit. Everything anyone would need to know about me is probably contained within.
 I mean..... it is 2003 and this is myspace, right?

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Either Dostoevsky or Tolstoy (numerous translations of multiple volumes) or Dickens. Probably Dickens...he wrote about a million novels and I seem to buy duplicates every time I go to Half Price.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
3 Translations each of: War & Peace, Brothers Karamazov, and Anna Karenina.

3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
What are you accusing me of? Ooooops.

4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Alex D'Uberville, totally... who doesn't love a Victorian date rapist?

5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?
Either Great Expectations or the Lord of the Rings Trilogy

6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Uhhh either The Hot Zone or Watership Down. I was a strange child.

7. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Twilight. I won't even italicize it. I succumbed to the hype and now I wish I hadn't wasted the 3 or 4 hours it took me to get through what I think might have been 500 pages of an 8 year old's book report about "vampires" and "abstinence".

8.What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Finally got around to Bleak House. That was amazing. So was Cryptonomicon. Oh, and I reread Animal Farm but that doesn't count....

9.If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?
Brothers Karamazov. I have bought it for several people's birthdays. Especially the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation.

10. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Harry Potter 7.

11.What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

12. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
I don't know.. I definitely have the strangest dreams while reading non-fiction oddly enough. One that comes to mind is a book about the 1860 murder of a child in England....creepy. 

13.What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
I just read the entire Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris that the series True Blood is based off. Pretty cheesy and semi-pornographic (the show is actually way better) but still loads better than "sparkly" vampires. And I've read two of the Outlander series now. God, I'm ashamed.

14.What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Paradise Lost. NEVER AGAIN. I hope it stays lost.

15. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you've seen?
In London I saw the Royal Shakespeare Company do "The Merry Wives of Windsor" least I think that's what that was... still haven't read that one.

16. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
DUH. My Tolko Russki bookshelf speaks for itself. I DID read my first Balzac novel last year though. BALZAC, I said it.

17. Roth or Updike?

18.David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
I adore David Sedaris. I have yet to read that book that I suspect is a heartbreaking piece of staggering crap.

19. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Gotta go with Mr. S.......though I'll take Chaucer in a pinch. Milton, not so much.

20. Austen or Eliot?
Oooooooh. Sorry, ladies... I have to go with Eliot. I assume they mean George/Maryann not T.S. I'm a realist, what can I say.

21.What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
The Bible. I have to look up biblical references which is quite hindering considering the books I love. You're still not going to get me to read it though.

22.What is your favorite novel?
Uggggggh. I can't choose. I've been in a Jude the Obscure mood for the last few years. That scene! Oh, that one scene!

23. Play?
"The Cherry Orchard"

24. Poem?
John Donne. Go and catch a falling star... get with child a mandrake root...tell me where all past years are or who cleft the devil's foot.....
He was saucy.

A Modest Proposal

26.Work of nonfiction?
Anything by Simon Schama or Richard Dawkins.

27.Who is your favorite writer?
Always comes down to some serious Dickens.

28.Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I have to pick one? Well, David Foster Wallace just barely misses the cut....sooo...I don't know? Do people still actually think Stephen King is awesome? And nobody actually thinks that Twilight lady is talented, do they? So many questions.....

29.What is your desert island book?
War and Peace. It has everything you need to know.

30.And... what are you reading right now?
I have been reading a lot of books lately relating to the places I will be traveling. I hate not having a solid cultural and historical background when I'm somewhere new. It makes it much harder to explore. Currently I'm reading Peter Hessler's Oracle Bones which is wonderful so far. Also Sky Train about Tibetan Women. Next on the agenda will probably be Gary Shteyngart's new novel and I'd love to conquer Chang and Halliday's massive and well-reputed Mao: The Unknown Story.

   So there's that. And for good measure: a picture of my favourite coffee cup that makes me insanely happy. I'm going to go drink some tea now.

Love, Vyle


  1. I'm a sucker for Q & A. In re: #14: Have you ever had a go at "Gravity's Rainbow"? Oh dear god. And I love "The Crying of Lot 49".

  2. We seriously (literally?) have like the most opposite literary tastes, and I'm kind of floored by that. Eliot v. Austen? There we're on the same page. But other than that....whoa.

  3. Amy-- Are you trying to say that you are a massive Twilight fan?
    I'm sure our tastes are more alike than appears. I basically just ranted for 45 minutes about loving 19th century Russian and English realism. Recommend a book to me and we'll see!

  4. Delicate my ass, Vyle. I like to read too, but yeah, all that 19th century Russian stuff isn't for me. I'm more a Christopher Moore gal myself. Although I do love "A Modest Proposal" and Shakespear. And Poe. I loves me some Poe.

  5. I'm pretty sure Hot Zone came out in 94 or 95, just how young are you?! hehe, I'm currently reading The Demon in the Freezer, have you read it? --Beth

  6. Oh dear. Not Twilight fan. But I can think of worse things. For instance, Bleak House. I still have nightmares about that, thought I did get to explain spontaneous combustion as a plot device here at work recently.

    (Wait....was that Bleak House or Daniel Deronda?) <---nerd.

  7. @ Beth --So I guess I read that when I was 12.... It's hard to remember back that far...and maybe I'm thinking of The Andromeda Strain?
    Haven't read Demon in the Freezer-- I think I'd be far too freaked out to read books like that nowadays.
    @ Seoul- GOOSE POOP! Oooh you have one of these fancy blog things.... Poe is kinda my favourite too

    @Amy- You're right....It was Bleak House's Mr. Krook. :)

  8. Oh! Missed the call for recommendations. Hmmm....

    Right now I'm re-reading Oryx and Crake. Gotta love Margaret Atwood.

    Also, I LOVE Edith Wharton enough that I'm visiting her house on vacation next week.(<---again, nerd.)

    Also, I think Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides is one of the best books ever written -- that's the standard recommendation I usually trot out.

  9. Middlesex and several Atwood novels have been on my 'to-read' list for a while notw...and I'm a Wharton fan too...I LOVE The Age of Innocence especially! Enjoy her house! I think the coolest house I've been to was Darwin's Country Estate. Have fun on vacation and keep H out of the goose poop!


Be Nice. I'm a delicate flower.