1. One book that changed your life: This one's a total cliche, so let me paint a picture for you. The time: Fall of 1998. The place: A soulless 1950's apartment complex-turned-dorm in Davis, California. An 18-year-old kid with acne, man-boobs, and no friends sits alone in his room while his suitemates get high without him in the room next door. He picks up a battered old copy of The Monkey Wrench Gang that had been sitting on a bookshelf at home for as long as he could remember. He had packed it in a box to bring to college with him, having been recommended the book by a crazy old hippie at his job the previous summer. A year later the boy finds himself at a strange little environmental college on an island off the coast of Maine, swimming naked in the ocean between classes and regularly engaging in very serious debates about the respective ecological footprints of tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
2. One book that you've read more than once: I generally try not to read books more than once because there are so many out there I haven't gotten to yet, but I must admit that several times I have had to bend my rule for Lord of the Rings. I am such a nerd. But how cool is a novel with appendices? Pretty damn sweet, my friend. Pretty damn sweet.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: This one is hard. For me it comes down to three possibilities: A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (because I've never read it and probably won't get around to it unless marooned), The Elements of Style (to make sure my final thoughts are scratched into the sand while dangling no participles), or The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (so at least I could have some old friends along with me). I would definitely take Historical Statistics of the United States if I were allowed a laptop, a power source, and some statistical software. That would keep me occupied for ages. Or at least until I need tech support.
4. One book that made you laugh: Bill Bryson's I'm a Stranger Here Myself left me gasping for breath from beginning to end. I even
stole pirated acquired the audio version so I can keep it on my iPod. The concept of a former expatriate writing columns about small town American life for a British newspaper is absolutely brilliant.
5. One book that made you cry: Me man. Me no cry. Except for when Piggy died. *sniff*
6. One book that you wish had been written: Anything about an introverted fat kid with no friends that ends in neither death nor unrealistic personal transformation. Preferably written by David Sedaris or Milan Kundera. But I imagine that might be a hard sell.
7. One book that you wish had never been written: Can't do it. Freedom of expression is a lot more important that what I may think about a particular work. OK, OK, I'll stop with the self righteous bullshit now. Sorry.
8. The book that you are currently reading: Hmm. I've been reading nothing but scientific journals for months now, but the most recent book I read for fun was No God But God. Great discussion of the development and historical context of Islam. And Reza Aslan goes on the Daily Show from time to time, so I'm automatically predisposed to like him.
9. One book that you've been meaning to read: Can I count the Torah, New Testement, and Koran as one book? We are all the children of Abraham, after all.
10. Five people to tag: OK, I am going to support what I've recently noticed to be growing anti-tagging sentiment, doing my part in differentiating the blogosphere from a middle school playground. I'd love to see what others come up with, but I'm not singling anyone out. Vive la revolucion!