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Tagged by another Book meme « MikeFitz with overflow bit set…

Tagged by another Book meme

Tue 29 Aug 2006

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MadameBoffin tagged me with another book meme. No, not that book meme. Another one.

First, answer these 10 book-related questions.

  1. One book I’ve read more than once:
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I devoured everything I could find by Isaac Asimov when I was a youngster. I was prompted to read it again when the Will Smith movie hit the screens in 2004.

  2. One book I would want on a desert island:
    Anything I haven’t read before.  Lots to choose from there.

  3. One book that made me laugh:
    Absurdistan by Eric Campbell.  This book made me watch Foreign Correspondent in a completely new light.  How those reporters get into those places and get those stories is amazing enough.  How they do it on an ABC budget is truly outstanding.

    I also enjoyed Bill Bryson’s travelogues (Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country, Down Under, etc)  And then there’s Hugh Lunn’s series, especially Working for Rupert which was laugh-out-loud funny.

  4. One book that made me cry:
    August 1914 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
    I read this while working in Weipa for a year in the early 70’s.  After struggling through this epic as far as about page 846, the damn thing stopped in mid-sentence.  “What the…? This cannot be right.”  And then I realised what had happened. Have you noticed how paperbacks are bound in chunks of about 32 pages?  There had been a binding error and I was missing the final 32 pages.  Of nearly 900!

    That’s when I cried the first time.

    So here I was stuck in Weipa.  The nearest bookshop was in Cairns, about 800km away.  In those days, even Saturday’s Courier-Mail arrived on Tuesday afternoon.  I just had to suffer.

    Years later, I came across an intact copy of August 1914 and realised what a loss those 32 pages had been.  They contained an index of hundreds of (generally really long Russian) names.  Without this index, I had struggled to remember who was who.  These pages also contained several maps showing the terrain that was fought over, the location of the strategic railway lines and junctions which were so important to the movement of troops.  These maps would have made reading the book so much easier.

    That’s when I cried the second time.

    The faulty book had been given to me as I left Brisbane to go to Weipa by a good mate from Uni of Qld days, John Stirk, “friend of the workers” and now a partner in prominent Alice Springs law firm Povey Stirk.  Yeah, I’m not afraid to name names.

    I have often wondered whether John, ever the practical joker, tore out those 32 pages deliberately.  John, we haven’t spoken for 30 years but, if you are reading this, call me. I might be able to fix your crappy web site.

  5. One book I wish I’d written:
    The Constitution of Australia : States’ Rights
    This page intentionally left blank. © 1901, MikeFitz.

    Yep, I reckon it’s about time we started dismantling State governments, these vestiges of our colonial past.  All the important things they look after (health, education, transport, police, etc) should be the same for all Australians.  Health is in a shambles because of attempted cost-shifting between State and Commonwealth governments …  Don’t get me started.

  6. One book I wish had never been written:
    Eucalyptus by Murray Bail.  Shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year 1998; Winner of the Miles Franklin Award, 1999; Nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, 2000.

    You may recall Nicole Kidman came back to Australia to appear in a film version of Eucalyptus with Russell Crowe.  After many delays, the film was abandoned because of “Plot issues”.  I for one was not at all surprised.  This book has no motherf@*’n plot whatsoever.  Screenwriter after screenwriter must have recognised this poison chalice and run screaming into the night.  Some of them are probably still running.  It is a book for literary wankers and has unfortunately made me regard other award-winning books with suspicion.  I want a refund of the hours I wasted on it.

  7. One book I’m currently reading:
    MSDN2 Library. What do you expect from a geek?

  8. One book that I’ve been meaning to read:
    The Koran, followed by The Satanic Verses; gotta have balance.

    Also, I nearly got to read Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein.  My barracks room-mate in Mount Isa was reading it and had promised to lend it to me when he finished with it.  Unfortunately, he was badly injured in a Friday night pub brawl and was flown home unexpectedly.  I remember packing the book with his things.

  9. One book that changed my life:
    I’ve still got the same life I started with.  It ain’t broke.  No books needed to fix it.

  10. One book that made me think:
    Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Gamma, Helm, Johnson and Vlissides.  You first read it and think “WTF?” and then after a while you have one of those “Aha!” moments.

Then tag 5 people to do the same.
I don’t usually inflict this sort of thing on my mates.  So I’ll just say, “If you have read this far, consider yourself tagged.  You know who you are.”

9 Responses to “Tagged by another Book meme”

  1. MadameBoffin Says:

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    You should make the effort of reading Stranger in a Strange Land - it’s absolutely worth the read. I think you’ll love it.

    hahaha re Eucalyptus. I tend to find almost any modern book not produced for the mass-market tends to fit into this namby-pamby, wanky critical literary mumbo-jumbo. It’s tedious to say the least :P

  2. MikeFitz Says:

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    Thanks,Boff. Yeah, I think I grok Heinlein already. Next time I’m walking past Dymocks…

  3. bonnieconquest Says:

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    Change don’t mean fix.

  4. sherd Says:

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    Likewise, pleased to make your acquaintance, sir.

    I have meme answer envy to add to my comment envy.

    [Edit: Sherdie is responding to my comment on her book meme post. Her comments there were the inspiration for my next post on Simple HTML for Formatting Blogger Comments. — Mike]

  5. MikeFitz Says:

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    Thanks, Bonnie. Yep, I do see the difference. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m sometimes given to colloquialisms, as in If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!.

  6. lb Says:

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    i am a fellow brisbaner and i have a copy of stranger in a strange land. it’s yours if you still want it! drop me an email and we’ll arrange the drop off!

  7. MikeFitz Says:

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    Thanks for your kind offer, Leon. Perhaps at the next QMSDNUG meeting? Email following.

  8. Russell Allen Says:

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    Several books mentioned here are on my hot list. Notes From A Big Country is the best travel Bryson by a long way but his more recent ‘Short History of Almost Everything’ trumps it. Excellent.

    Satanic Verses is one of those books that inspires me each time I read it. In fact all of Rushdie’s work is truly brilliant.

    Cancer Ward is the Solzhenitzyn work that makes me teary. It’s a major triumph over adversity story.

  9. MikeFitz Says:

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    Thanks Russ. As I said elsewhere, I was knocked out by your response to that other book meme.

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