Saturday, 15 November 2008

You've been memed

Yep, I've been got, by none other than Mr. Colgan, in the following terms:

Sod Richard and Judy. Sod Oprah. What would you advise people to read? Name your favourite:

(a) Fiction book
(b) Autobiography
(c) Non-fiction book
(d) A fourth book of your choice from any genre.

Explain why the books are essential reads in no more than 30 words per book.

Hmm...not the easiest thing in the world to choose your favourite books. I always have several on the go at any one time and tend to dip in and out of them as an ephemeral mayfly dances across the shining waters of the stream, just before it is gobbled up by the trout. Word limits are easier, of course. Hell, as an Open University student for umpteen years, I think word counting is now part of my DNA! Any, here goes:

Fiction: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. Tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooge is converted from miserly old devil to beneficent, merry old gent in one night by three spirits. The inimitable Boz at his best, and required Christmas reading.

Autobiography: Brief Lives, by John Aubrey. Seventeenth century raconteur and “maggotie headed” antiquarian Aubrey wrote a series of lively pen portraits of his contemporaries. Truthful, scurrilous and occasionally downright crude, he brings historical figures to life. (Yes, I know it's not strictly an autobiography, but I'm sure you'll let me off!)

Non-Fiction: The English Way of Death, by Julian Litten. Fascinating history of the common funeral from the middle ages to the present day. Litten visits burial vaults, funeral parlours and coffin makers in this chilling reminder of our mortality.

And any other book: Trains and Buttered Toast. A Betjeman anthology, but not a poetic one; rather, a selection of his radio broadcasts on all things English. You can almost hear Sir John’s measured tones as you read.

So there you have it. Ask me tomorrow and you might get The Pickwick Papers, Angry White Pyjamas, One thousand notable thinges of sundrie sortes and Bert Fegg's Nasty Book. But please don't ask me tomorrow.

I'd like to meme those who have been kind enough to drop in on this late developer (in blog terms) over the last few months: Rob, Janet, Punk in Writing and Mr. Soanes. I look forward to your input.


Stevyn Colgan said...

Great choices. I love Brief Lives and, you may recall, it was you who introduced me to the staggeringly good stage show version performed by the great Roy Dotrice (I have it on MP3on my i-pod now!)

I've been boiling my buttocks to cure my sciatica ever since.

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Right you are, I'll be off to one of them shop wot sell books to ask a kind lady how I'm to fake this one.

chris hale said...

Stevyn - Thank you. Roy Dotrice revived Brief Lives earlier this year in Brighton and rumour has it that the show is to come to London eventually. I do hope so. Keep that water boiling!

Rob - Thanks, old chap! There's no harm in faking anything, provided it's done with apparent sincerity!

Diane said...

Oh, I beg to differ with you about faking some things ;)

chris hale said...

Tee hee!

punk in writing said...

I have done as you asked and posted my own list. :)

Janet said...

I don't mind being tagged at all...but can I get back to you?

chris hale said...

Punk in Writing - Thanks, I've already taken a peek at them.

Janet - But of course you can get back to me!

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

There, I did it and it was good.
Thanks for the tag and for your comments on my book choices. It was a fun and thoughtful meme which I've now duly sent on it's way.35.
(Now if only I could stop counting words!)