In the meantime, Vee has reminded me why there are so many Neal Stephenson books lying around my house - they need to be read and savoured and used to remind me how little I know, the latter in the most gratifying way possible.
Your name: Vee Blackbourn
What are you reading now? Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
Where are you reading it? Mostly on my couch, but this past weekend's reading venues also included my Mum's living room and a Subway sandwich restaurant in
How did you discover this book? I've been on a Neal Stephenson jag since reading Zodiac and then Snow Crash this summer. I was worried that I would be all Stephensoned-out by the time I got to this one, but I'm still going strong.
What do you think of it so far?
What would your ideal desert island book be? The complete Oxford English Dictionary in two volumes. Not only would it take a long time to run out of reading material, but I would have a fantastic vocabulary by the time I was rescued. Also, I could use the tiny little magnifying glass that comes with it to start fires for warmth, cooking, keeping savage beasts at bay, and signaling ships and planes. Besides, etymology is really interesting.
What about a dessert book, a book you could read and then eat? I suppose any book liberally interleaved with honey and nuts could make a passable baklava, kind of like those war-time "apple pies" made out of crackers and old bicycle parts.
What writer do you think should be zapped out of history/existence and their works therefore never written? Sophocles! God, I hate that guy.
Favourite childhood book? Das kleine Ich-bin-ich, an illustrated book about an indeterminate animal which, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to bond with horses, hippos, birds, etc. comes to accept its indeterminate self-hood by gazing at its own reflection in a bubble (a Lacanian moment). "Now I know who I am," it cries in its moment of discovery, "I am myself!" And whoever does not know this, the book concludes, "is dumb". German children's books do not mince words.
Has a book ever made you physically ill? If yes, which book was it and why did it affect you this way? Triomf, by Marlene van Niekerk, makes me physically ill every time I read it. It's claustrophobic and full of casual violence, but van Niekerk also writes with wicked black humour, so that I laugh out loud even as my stomach lurches. It's a brilliant book.I'm always looking for Reading Lamp subjects so drop me a line at colleen at bookphilia dot com if you're interested!