Pearsall's Books

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Chain Gang

Robert has passed on the chain/baton/whatever to me, so here we go. Having read some of the other selections I feel hopelessly badly read (at least in fiction terms).

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451; which book do you want to be?

If you are living in a totalitarian state, quite clearly you need to know how to 'ave it. So, Simon Reynolds Generation Ecstasy.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Not a crush as such, but Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich's series of novels would be cool to have a drink with. A big-haired, big-butted Jersey girl? Yeah, man.

What? Not an intellectual enough choice? Well, I don't really read much fiction, in fact crime novels are the only type of fiction I've read since leaving school. Not one for serious literature, really.

What are you currently reading?

Hugh Roberts The Battlefield: Algeria 1988-2002, Studies in a Broken Polity - An in-depth look into the disintegration of Algeria.

Peter Balakian The Burning Tigris : The Armenian Genocide and America's Response - I've been periodically reading this since Thanksgiving. I can only read little bits of it, as I tend to get wildly depressed and end up pacing around the kitchen.

Robert Strayer Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?: Understanding Historical Change - The title is pretty self-explanatory.

The last book you bought is:

I got a $50 Amazon gift certificate from my aunt and uncle for Christmas, so with that I got the Roberts book on Algeria, Sue Fischkopf The Rebbe's Army: Inside the World of Chabad-Lubavitch, Paul Berman Terror and Liberalism, Michela Wrong In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo (which reminds me that I really need to finish that book review), and Life at the Bottom: The Worldview that Makes the Underclass by Theodore Dalrymple. Not bought anything since, as I've got such a backlog of books to read.

The last book you read is:

Tom Bissell Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia - I really enjoyed this. Fantastically well written, laugh out loud funny at times, and with a wealth of detail about the people and life of Uzbekistan. Check out the hilarious feuding on the comments at Amazon (clearly Bissell seriously rattled someone's chain).

Five books you would take to a desert island:

Quite clearly for life on a desert island you need at least one survivalist tract by an unsmiling (and hopefully moustachioed) bunker-living white dude. Then, you need a bit of variation. Then, well, hrm. *Wanders over to book shelf to ponder* You need stuff that is both fun and something you'd be willing to read over and over again. A lot of 'worthy' stuff would just be horrendously depressing after a while. On sports, I'd bring Alex Bellos Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life, which is absolutely fantastic and something that I've already read four times (check my review here). On music, quite clearly it would have to be The Dirt by Motley Crue, which is hilarious, eye-popping, tragic, and many, many, many other things all at once. The Hitch's Love, Poverty, and War, which has an enormous amount of stuff to dip into. Then, finally, the King James Bible.

Who are you going to pass this stick to, and why?

Randy McDonald, Abiola Lapite, Razib Khan, and the mysterious Praktike. Why? Well, I think that they are all excellent bloggers whose diverse interests should make for some pretty interesting answers.

|| RPH || 1:15 AM || |