From Constance, at Ruminations:
One book you’re currently reading: The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (and a nice change it is, too!)
One book that changed your life: Anne Kotzmann's Listen to Me, Listen to You
One book you’d want on a desert island: Dictionary of Literary Biography, although it would be a bit of a fucking tease after a while as none of the source materials would be available, would they?
One book you’ve read more than once: Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
One book you’ve never been able to finish: Never say never...
One book that made you laugh: The Buddha of Suburbia, Hanif Kureishi
One book that made you cry: Little House on Rocky Ridge, a biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, for children, by Roger Lea MacBride. Something sick and twisted inside me admires those frontier landgrabbers, Charles and Mary Ingalls. Because they were cheerful - grand daughter Rose speaks here of spending time with Grandma and Aunt Mary in their later life and their indefatigable ability to stay positive - 'doesn't the rain sound good on that nice warm roof over our heads'. That Pollyanna thing, only tougher, more Fordian around the edges.
Somewhere in that book a family friend or relative recounts that the older Ingalls were never really the same after Mary was disabled. They had counted on her to be the 'clever' girl, the schoolteacher, and their self-esteem, that insouciant restlessness that Laura celebrates in every book where her father features, apparently took quite a beating. It is quite hard to reread the books in that context, especially The Long Winter. She was a flinty chronicler, that one.
One book you keep rereading: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Blue Flower, by Penelope Fitzgerald
One book you believe everyone should read: not known to me. I was given a hard time for failing to embrace other people's recommendations when I was young, and I'm still in recovery.