Another Book Meme

The Curt Jester: Another book meme

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton. I tried it once and it gave me a headache, and now I can’t get motivated to get back to it.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I don’t read much fiction, so this is tough:

  • Frodo from Lord of the Rings – You gotta love a guy who thinks Second Breakfast is a no-brainer
  • Dumbledore from the Harry Potter Series – It’s handy having a guy who’s always right around, (Well, always right except for his brief flirtation with racism and his flirtation with other men. Spoiler, highlight text to read.)
  • Roy Hobbs from The Natural – That would be a great hitter to hang around with

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Moby Dick. I understand it’s one of the most boring books and many people only pretend to have read it.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
I can’t claim never to have done this, but I can’t remember doing it.

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).
Roots of American Order by Russell Kirk. It will help anyone understand the importance of conservatism.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
Ancient Greek – it would be nice to be able to read the Bible and the early Christians in the Greek

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
I’m thinking The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, an enjoyable read and spiritually enlightening

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
I’ve learned the value of writing me own reviews of books. It helps me sum up what I read and makes it stick in my mind better.,

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
It would all be hardback, the books are sturdier that way. It would be an actual library, multiple stories tall, spiral staircase. It would contain all the great classic works of Greek philosophy, early Christian and Jewish writing. Lots of astronomy and cosmology books as well.

Quote-a-palooza

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.” – George Washington

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

“Because [John] McCain is a ‘maverick’ – the media encomium reserved for Republicans who reject important Republican principles- he would be a conciliatory president. He has indeed worked with Ted Kennedy on immigration reform, with Russ Feingold on restricting political speech (McCain-Feingold) and with Kennedy and John Edwards- a trial lawyer drawn to an enlargement of opportunities for litigation- on the ‘patients’ bill of rights.’ McCain is, however, an unlikely conciliator because he is quick to denigrate the motives, and hence the characters, of those who oppose him. He promiscuously accuses others of ‘corruption,’ the ubiquity of which he says justifies McCain-Feingold’s expansive government regulation of the quantity, timing and content of campaign speech. McCain says he would nominate Supreme Court justices similar to Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito. But how likely is he to nominate jurists who resemble those four: They consider his signature achievement constitutionally dubious.” – George Will

“The conservative movement constitutes an alliance of those who accept unchangeable facts rather than trying to wish fantasy into reality, remake human nature, or avoid economic tradeoffs. Traditionalists embrace timeless morals, even when they deny one immediate gratification. Libertarians embrace the sovereignty of consumer demand and the sometimes-disorienting effects of technological change, even when the result isn’t to one’s personal liking. And hawks embrace the reality that America lives in a dangerous neighborhood, one full of bullies, pirates, and fanatics who respond to gestures of good will with contempt, larceny, and brutality.” – John Hood

“Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats. The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over a Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end, it all comes down to leadership. That is what this country is looking for now. It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile because they might just wind up lowering our flag.” – Ronald Reagan

“Christian conservative views and small government views logically go together. The key is realizing that growth in governmental ‘human services’ has come in part through the recognition of real problems. When a guy and a gal shack up, it’s not purely a personal matter. That’s because one result, a certain percentage of the time, is likely to be a child with a single mom, and that child at some point is likely to receive governmental support. Or look at divorce: When children are involved, a judge’s custody decision determines where they should live, where they should go to school, and sometimes what language they should speak. The kids are at physical risk: the growth of governmental child protection agencies parallels the surge in broken families… Overall, family non-formation or malformation leaves kids more likely to mess up in school or drop out. Teens with an absent parent are more likely to commit crimes or get pregnant. They are more likely to have mental and sometimes physical health problems. All of this leads to bigger government… Social conservatism makes possible fiscal conservatism.” – Marvin Olasky

“Once the government gains control over energy decisions, do we really think they will relinquish it after manmade global warming is realized to be a false alarm? It has been said that whoever controls energy, controls life. Right now, the free market (which means you) controls those decisions. Do we need to remind ourselves how well things went in the former Soviet Union when the bureaucrats made the economic decisions, rather than letting the collective will of the people, expressed though a free market, govern the economy?… What will people do when they realize that going along with the 56-percent scientific majority has resulted in them giving up much of their personal freedom in the process? I wouldn’t trade that freedom for any presidential candidate.” – climatologist Roy Spencer

“On Tuesday, millions of Florida voters will head for the polls. Being Floridians, many of them will become confused and drive into buildings, canals, cemeteries, other Floridians, etc. But some will actually make it to the polls, where they will cast ballots that will play a crucial role in the presidential election. Or, in the case of Democrats, not. It turns out that the 2008 Florida Democratic primary doesn’t count. Florida will be sending the same number of delegates to the 2008 Democratic convention as Uzbekistan. This may seem unfair, but there’s a simple, logical explanation: The whole primary system is insane. Consider the process so far: First, Iowa held ‘caucuses,’ in which Iowans gathered in small groups at night and engaged in some mysterious Iowan ritual that for all we know involves having intimate relations with corn. Right after that, Wyoming had a primary, but it was only for Republicans, because Wyoming Democrats (apparently, there are at least two) will hold their primary on March 8. Most of the candidates ignored Wyoming and focused on the New Hampshire primary, except Rudy Giuliani, who’s following a shrewd strategy, originally developed by the Miami Dolphins, of not entering the race until he has been mathematically eliminated. After New Hampshire came Michigan, where the ballot listed all the Republicans, but only certain Democrats- including Chris Dodd, who had already dropped out of the race- but not including Barack Obama or John Edwards. After Michigan came the Nevada caucuses, in which Hillary Clinton got more votes but Barack Obama got more delegates. (If you don’t understand how that could happen, then you have never been to a casino.) Then came the South Carolina Republican primary, which of course was not held on the same day as the South Carolina Democratic primary, which was Saturday. Then comes Florida, in which Republican voters will elect some delegates, although the total will only be half the number Florida was originally supposed to get. Meanwhile, Florida Democrats, as I mentioned, will have the same impact on their party’s nomination as if they fed their ballots to ducks. I am not making any of this up: This is our actual primary system, except (I hope) the part about the corn. We’re selecting candidates for the most important job in the world via a process that’s less rational than the one used to choose Miss Kumquat of Pasco County.” – Dave Barry