NOW I know why I took so long to do the book meme. Writing about what I feel strongly about can get me oddly emotional. Also, I procrastinate like tomorrow's procrastinating on its arrival. *laughter*
Total number of books in your house
*laughter* Do I include my law books? For books that I bought because I actually wanted to read them, we're thinking 40 - 50, and that's because I'm in London. *grin* My usual book stash is back home. Then we're thinking of multiplying that figure about five times. lacewood, I was startled when you said you had 250 books at home, and then I realise I have as many. *amusement*
The last books I bought
The Constantine novelisation (by an individual known as John Shirley, no less), Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, Ian McEwan's Enduring Love.
What was the last book you read before reading this message?
It is unlikely to come as any surprise that it was the Constantine novelisation.
Write down 5 books you often read or that mean a lot to you
1. Carol Berg, Transformation
Anyone who reads this book will be able to identify the source of most of my writing and quite a few of my ideas. *laughter* I picked it up in London in 2001, long before I knew I was going to be living there. Just saying this makes me remember the bookstore I bought it from, and I can even rememeber the way it looked on the stack of books and my decision to choose it. I read it on the plane home, the first of many flights I would make alone, and this book, more than any other book, always makes me remember that when I open a book and fall into a story I love, the world goes away, even if only for a little while. I forget where I am, I forget all my fears and all my troubles, and I lose myself in the story. I read this book in a plane and forgot my cramped surroundings, forgot all else but the world unfolding in my hands. And always, now, whenever I'm afraid of something I can't fight or something I'm afraid to face, I go to this book and I read it, because it gives me a certain kind of strength. Because while I'm reading it, everything is all right again, if only for a little while, and when I close the book, a ghost of that happiness stays with me, and I know that I can face down everything I'm afraid of.
*laughter* Maybe that went a little too deep, and it's odd to feel that much for a book, but I feel it for this one.
Also, it's about demons. About discovering the light in your worst enemy. About the human soul and demonic possession and magic and everything that can't be taken away from you. And I really like Aleksandr.
And yes, I liked this book before Constantine.
2. David Gemmell, Dark Moon
Although Legend was the book that converted me to fantasy, this book will always be my favourite book by him. I've always seen it as a story that tells of how we create demons to face our own demons. And Dace is one of my favourite characters, with his razor-edged smile, his often-denied ability to care, and the way he makes me laugh.
Dace, "He lied to me. Said I was handsome. I am a demon, Chio. I saw it in his eyes." [An approximation, because I don't have the book with me] Tarantio is a swordsman whose appropriately angsty past forced his creation of his other self - Dace, a fighter of unparalleled skill and who is also a complete psychotic. I adore him.
There is a beautiful passage in the book about what it means to be a hero. Gemmell says, "A hero is simply a person who conquers his fears. A child afraid of the dark who one day blows out a candle, a woman terrified of the pain of childbirth who says, it is time to become a mother." Heroes are not always a man with a sword - they are within all of us.
3. Robin Hobb, Fool's Errand
It isn't in this book, but in one of her stories, Robin Hobb says, "Art is the way in which we explain ourselves to ourselves." And I really liked that. Fool's Errand fills me with joy because it continues the story she began with the Farseer Trilogy. I'd never thought I'd see it again, and then this book comes out and I'm so glad I get to see everyone I love again. *grin* Although I still have absolutely no guts to read Fool's Fate in just one sitting, because simply reading the [WOW, SPOILER]scene on its own makes me want to cry. I realise it's an inherent paradox when books that make me so happy make me so very sad, but it's the kind of sadness I call book-induced angsty-sad - because I feel so much for Fitz, when I read what happens to him, it's like it happens to me (books that are written in first-person can get you that way, and until Robin Hobb, I'd hated first-person books with a deep and abiding passion that I ordinarily reserve for my fandoms. *grin*), and I get angry about what happens to him. *laughter* It's the way I used to occasionally yell at the screen when watching television programmes and my father would chide me for becoming so emotional about television. [Hey, what would he call football fans! Yes, yes, football's real, fantasy books aren't - but the emotions they make me feel are real. Oh God, I sound like such an emotional book-induced basket-case. *laughter* ]
4. Terry Goodkind, Wizard's First Rule
Wizard's first rule is: People are stupid. Always a good lesson to learn. Although Faith of the Fallen will always own some part of my heart. I dislike 80% of the book, but one page of that book is the closest that any book has ever brought me to tears, and I don't mean the angsty sort of sad which I get whenever I think about Robin Hobb and Fitz/Fool, but the kind of tears that come to you when you read something and, for you, it is beautiful and true and everything you've ever secretly believed in written down in words but never dared share with anyone. I can't believe I'm getting all emotional just writing this down. I guess it's just a book and a passage that's meant a lot to me, and for that I love it. I think all the books I love a great deal are those that have the power to move me deeply because they're so close to what I'd like to believe about the world and the way things are.
5. Neil Gaiman, A Game of You
I know this is a graphic novel, but this one means a lot to me, besides the fact that it's the Gaiman book with the Spider-man reference. There's this lovely line in it that says, "Everybody has a secret world inside them. No matter how dull and boring they are on the inside."
6. Patricia McKillip, Shadow of Ombria.
The sheer lyrical beauty of this book always takes my breath away. When I first read this book, I was - "This is like descriptive writing with a plot!" Shadow of Ombria is the book whose plot is the most easily followed out of all the McKillip books I've read so far, although The Forests of Serre has some heartbreakingly beautiful lines, and because any writer who knows "the wordless, wild language of the heart" will always have a place in mine.
As long as I'm on the subject of memes, I saw the icon one go round ranchelle and la_muerta, and decided I wanted to fill my own icons in and create new categories,
londonmark has an utterly fascinating site in which he discusses smoking in a manner which makes me laugh hysterically, writes Spider-man 2 parodies and pretty interesting stories. He did a lovely Matrix parody:
Hey, at least you got into the Lord of the Rings Franchise as well!
And Persephone's all, If I don't get to kiss Keanu, then the whole film ends right here, right now.
Also, this reminded me of nescienx and aingeal_isilme:
The Oracle: So you've come back, Neo.
Neo: You knew I would.
The Oracle: Yes, I did. Cookie?</center>
But the deleted scene (the links are on the right hand bar of his site, although he doesn't link every parody he does, like the Spider-man 2 one) that cracked me up the most was this one. The one where Harry Osborn goes,
Deleted Scene 4
Dr Octopus: Your dad died around the same time that no-one saw the Green Goblin any more?
Dr Octopus: You never see Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the same room at the same time?
Dr Octopus: Spider-Man is incredibly interested in Mary Jane Watson, whom the Green Goblin captures and whom Peter loves?
Harry: Check on all three there.
Dr Octopus: Do the math, bonehead.
Harry: You mean… it can't be… my father was Spider-Man?
Dr Octopus: Try again.
Harry: Peter was the Green Goblin?
Dr Octopus: Third time's the charm.
Harry: My dad was the Green Goblin?"
And for insane reasons I loved it when Harry was acting like a lawyer. *smirks*
And because I spend too much time paying attention to smokers for nefarious purposes nowadays, here's what he said about smoking. I especially liked it when he said
londonmark: "What the hell is all this rubbish about the fact that you can't smoke in a bloody pub in the States? I mean, what? What? You're joking, right? No, come on, really. Really? For fu… … okay, okay, I'll just pop outside with my beer and have a quick fag. No, that's what we call them in the UK, Mr Comedian. I'm sorry, could you repeat that? I can't drink on the street? So I can't smoke inside or drink outside? Are you trying to kill me?
There is often a common bond between smokers, other than lung cancer. Most of us are the most shameless moochers the world has ever seen. "Can I borrow a cigarette?" is rapidly becoming the nation's most-uttered phrase, other than "Oh my God, you're married", "It's not you, it's me", "I'm sure it happens to a lot of men" or "There were delays on the Northern line".
Even more annoying that being asked if they can "borrow" a cigarette is when people, invariably beggars, ask if they can "buy" a cigarette. Let's do some elementary maths: a pack of twenty Marlboro Mediums costs about £4.60 from Sainsbury's. Therefore each cigarette costs precisely 23p. That doesn't sound too unreasonable. Except that they don't bloody well sell them individually, do they? You can't go up to the counter and ask for 14 cigarettes. You buy them in packs of ten, packs of twenty or not at all. Now sod off.
There is absolutely no fear induced in any English pub that the bar staff will steal the ashtray from you. In most places, it's easier to sell your soul to Satan than it is to get them to clear out the ashtray." It's especially useful if anyone's writing comicverse! John Constantine, although at the moment I am clearly doing no such thing myself.
He also has a lovely piece on song lyrics and why we use them to say the words we can't. He has a lovely :
"Quoting someone else's thoughts and words makes it easier to express ourselves coherently, but also allows a certain remove from what we're saying. Maybe that's why more people make compilation CDs for the object of their affections than write original poetry for them: it's less exposing to use the art of others to convey our message than to bare our own hearts."
Because arrch, moonythestrals and kannazuki indulge me hopelessly,
kannazuki indulges me. Lots.
All canon Hellblazer fans, do not click this link. Do not. In fact, everyone else who likes Hellblazer or Constantine should not click this link either.
Chris: *writes fic that makes John and Chas have half-angel kitten babies*
Sena: what, everytime they have sex, the devil creates one of those..angel cats?
Chris: kinda like the reverse of, "every time you write a bad fic, God kills a kitten. Please think of the kittens."
Sena: hence the devil's creating some gross thing. To. Yanno. Counteract.
Chris: omg I was thinking of WORSE. "Chas?" "Shut the fuck up, John." "Suit yourself." "We're going to have /kittens/, John." "/We/."
Sena: either that..or..angels hiccup up kittens or something.
Kitten: ...Pops to life. O_O
Chris: DID ANYONE TELL YOU YOU ARE PERFECT?
Sena: John: Sitting in a pile of kittens--no wait, IS a pile of kittens. >\ "DRINK SOME WATER OR DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT HICCUPING!"
Chas: ..X_X I'm trying--Hiccups *mew* Dies.
Chas: Is leaving a trail of dazed kittens as he staggers to the bathroom.
John: Resigned to using a broom to sweep the squirming fur balls aside. gently.
Chris: this is Satan's punishment for running off with a cabdriver angel, John. Fathering endless balls of cute.
Sena: Chas: Hiccups. Gulps at water. A wet kitten stares up at him. Oxo
Chris: *sudden image of John DRYING the kitten because it won't stop mewing* *LOOKING VERY ANNOYED*
Sena: John: tries counting the squirming balls--notes that HE SHOULD've never had sex with an angel alskdjls stupid hormones, bloody libido.
Chris: Also he knows he'd do it all over again if given the chance - maybe. XD
OMG I CAN SEE THEM ARGUING ABOUT HOW TO NAME THE KIDS
John wants to name them demonic names to piss off all the demons
Chas wants to name them after angels for the same reason
problem solved by them having enough kittens to do both
I will post serious fic to make up for this lapse in sanity. Wait, what sanity...