This is a book meme that is making the rounds on the blogosphere. I got it from The Hermitage (formerly known as The Cloister/dunefan/PenguinBoy). I am buried on work but I simply couldn’t resist this one.
- A book that made you cry: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. I have to confess it: I cannot help but cry not only in the last moments of the book, but also when I read about the Rohirrim riding to their certain death at the battle in the outskirts of Minas Tirith.
- A book that scared you: C. Everett Koop and Francis Schaeffer, Whatever Happened To The Human Race? That did the job. It scared me witless like no spooky story could. The human heart is capable to reach such unfathomable depths of evil that raises my hair.
- A book that made you laugh: Donald R. Morris, Warm Bodies. I got it in the form of the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, vol. 4 1957. According to the only review on Amazon:
This warm-hearted comic novel about a Lieutenant (junior grade) in the peacetime US Navy of the 1950s should be back in print, it is a minor classic of its time and place. [… T]he book has a wonderful charm and it’s filled with rueful stories about the Navy that will ring true with anyone who’s ever been in the service–or been in love, because it is a pretty good love story too.
- A book that disgusted you: Most novels by the Paraguayan writer Gabriel Casaccia. He had a strong erotic fixation on older women, and his books were required reading in high school. I remember one where a 65 year-old woman plotted to involve herself in an affair with a teenager. Being myself a teenager at that particular time, I found that disgusting and revulsive.
- A book you loved in elementary school: Edmondo de Amicis, Cuore. This was the first book I ever owned. It was a very special present for my 8th birthday from my beloved Aunt Virginia. It was a huge hardcover edition, and my aunt wrote a beautiful dedication in her delicate handwriting. I still have the book with me and I regard it as one of my special treasures. On the other hand, I also loved some encyclopedias, like this one.
- A book you loved in middle school: There were several, but one of the ones I remember fondly was the book by German ethologist Vitus B. Dröscher, Sobrevivir: La gran lección del Reino Animal (Survival : The Great Lesson of the Animal Kingdom). Another great book was a gem by another German ethologist, Herbert Wendt, El descubrimiento de los animales : de la leyenda del unicornio hasta la etología (The Discovery of Animals: From the Legend of the Unicorn to Ethology)
- A book you loved in high school: Garrett Hardin, Biology: Its Principles and Implications. I know very well what Garrett Hardin stands for, and I thoroughly disagree with his convictions. However, the late Hardin wrote what only could be regarded as a superb textbook, filled with insight, reflection, and excellent prose that stood even its Spanish translation. I loved it; and I read it for leisure!
- A book you loved in college: Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising. This is just too well known :).
- A book that challenged your identity or your faith: That would be the book byu Joseph Zacchello, Secrets of Romanism. This is the book that convinced me to leave the Roman Catholic Church and join the Reformation. Today this book is continuously lambasted in Roman Catholic apologetic circles, but what it said was thoroughly true of the Roman Catholic Church at the time of its writing, and I didn’t see too much of a change for the positive at the time of my leaving.
- A series that you love: I usually don’t read serial books, but if you can count it as a series, I really dig the “Jack Ryan” saga from Tom Clancy.
- Your favorite horror book: I don’t read horror books; but I liked the short story There Are More Things (English version) by Jorge Luis Borges.
- Your favorite science-fiction book: Dune by Frank Herbert.
- Your favorite mystery book: I don’t have any (yet…)
- Your favorite biography: St. Augustine, The Confessions.
- Your favorite coming-of-age book: It’s difficult to single out one. I remember reading Summer of ’42, but I didn’t like it much.
- Your favorite book not on this list: Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life 1500 to the Present. This is a superb book! The writing is one of a kind, and the clarity of exposition and insights of Professor Barzun are just amazing.
As you have seen, I didn’t have much to say on some categories, because my readings tend to go more to the essay/argumentative side rather than the narrative. But all in all this is a great meme, and thus I would like to gently tug some great friends of mine into doing this meme. Of course, anyone could feel free to participate. Enjoy!