Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

(Almost) Overdue Book Meme

"And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what we've lost."
- Simon and Garfunkel, "The Dangling Conversation"

I was tagged by Lady Light with the "Book Meme", and since it's been exactly two weeks since the tag, I figure I'd better get it out today before the dreaded library police come after me. With yeshiva tuition what it is today, I can't afford the fines!

1. Name one book that changed your life: Would the Torah be too obvious? I don't know that I'd credit any humanly-authored books with really changing how I live my life, though a few have provided me with tremendous joy and insight, most especially Lord of the Rings.

2. One book you've read more than once: There are three multi-book series that I've read many times:
  • Lord of the Rings: over a dozen times
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: probably almost as many times; I'd say at least ten
  • The (original) Foundation Trilogy: four or five times
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Besides a siddur and a chumash, I'd say the complete works of Mark Twain. It's long enough to keep me busy there for a while, and something I've always wanted to read but never had the time.

4. One book that made you laugh: Any of the glossy paperbacks by Dave Barry, but if I had to pick one favorite, it would be "Claw Your Way to the Top: How to Become the Head of a Major Corporation in Roughly a Week".

5. One book that made you cry: Not quite a full book, but a (longish) short story that makes me cry every time I read it: "The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Asimov.

6. One book you wish you'd written: The Harry Potter series. I'd love to go from (almost) pauper to billionaire by writing delightful children's books!

7. One book you wish had never been written: Besides the obvious anti-Semitic propaganda that others have already listed, I'll pick "Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels" by Julius Wellhausen, in which he published his infamous Documentary Hypothesis.

8. One book you're currently reading: I'm reading several at once, as usual, but the main one this week is "Off The Derech".

10. Tag 5 people: Do I know five other bloggers who would be interested - or at least won't throw bricks in retaliation for the tag? Maybe not, but I'll try tagging Pearl, Jack, Soccer Dad, Shira, and Shifra - and then duck just in case!


At 9/13/06, 12:44 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

How embarrassing. I don't read books. much.

I like the S & G quote though.

At 9/14/06, 10:55 AM, Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Nice book meme.

At 9/14/06, 11:26 AM, Blogger SS said...

Elie, I'm also reading Off the Derech at the moment. I just forgot because I started it so long ago... Good, though slightly predictable, answers!

At 9/14/06, 8:41 PM, Blogger Lady-Light said...

Library Police, hahah, that's a good one. I could have been a candidate for the Library Police any number of times. I'm a firm believer in public libraries, but I know from personal experience that I always end up with overdue books. So in the long run, for me it's better to buy than borrow! Thanks for an interesting book meme (darn, why didn't I think of The Torah as the book which changed my life?!)

At 9/15/06, 8:02 AM, Blogger benning said...

Interesting answers! Now, a question form a blogging gentile, if you don't mind.

When you say "Torah", are you referring to the entire 'Old' Testament? Or are you only speaking of the first five books? I'm under the impression that the "Torah" consists, specifically, of the books of Moses. But I have heard people use the word as a substitution for the Old Testament as a whole.

I'm with Lady-Light: I buy and buy until I have no danged room! Books, books everywhere!

At 9/15/06, 9:24 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Benning, welcome to the blog! I admit to being inconsistent in translating Hebrew and "yinglish" (Yiddishy-English) terms here. In addition, as you point out, the word "Torah" has many connotations depending on the context, from just the Pentateuch, to the entire Old Testament, to even including the oral law as codified in the Talmud. In this case I had the first of those definitions in mind.

At 9/15/06, 8:41 PM, Blogger benning said...

Thanks! That's what I thought. Inconsistency seems to be my own hallmark! ;)

At 9/19/06, 10:00 PM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

FWIW, I did do this. Don't know if you saw it.

At 9/19/06, 10:29 PM, Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Eek! I just spotted this one today (Sept. 19)! Let me think about this and get back to you *after* Rosh Hashanah!


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