Friday, June 15, 2007


Sally has made me jealous by reporting her trip to the Cambridge (England) book shops. As a result of her trip (well, she was really there for a conference), she offered the following Friday Five.

1. 1. Fiction what kind, detective novels, historical stuff, thrillers, romance????

Mostly literary—historical or modern-type literary. Some science fiction and fantasy, but I have gotten extremely picky about that over the years. I have a few favourite SF/fantasy authors who I pretty much stick to (Guy Gavriel Kay, Joan Vinge, Dan Simmons, to name a few), unless someone whose taste I trust recommends another one.

2. When you get a really good book do you read it all in one chunk or savour it slowly?

Oh, savour. I rarely have time to read a whole book at once anyway—or even quickly.

3. Is there a book you keep returning to and why?

King Hereafter, by Dorothy Dunnett. Her contention is that MacBeth (yes, of Shakespeare fame) and Thorfinn were the same person—it’s an obscure bit of Scottish history, but she does magic with it. KH is multilayered, historically accurate, and heartbreaking. DD creates the most amazing characters—they’re not cardboard, not puppets. At the same time, she makes you (the reader) work a bit—she rarely has the characters explain anything outright, so you have to pay attention to implications and hidden meanings and remember what was said about the topic before… Yes, there are mental gymnastics involved. But her Thorfinn is one of the most amazing literary characters of all time. I read it slowly, then when I finish, let it sit a week or two so I can recover—then start it again.

4. Apart from the Bible which non-fiction book has influenced you the most?

Coming Out Spiritually, by Christian de la Huerta. I’ve mentioned this amazing book before here. Christian makes the point that to come out as a gay man, lesbian, bisexual person or transgender person is not enough—we must also “come out” in a spiritual sense. We must claim our spiritual identity as well as our sexual/gender identity. I read it at least once a year. If Christian offers a workshop at a conference or meeting you are attending, I highly recommend it. He will expand your mind in ways you didn’t think it could go, trust me.

5. Describe a perfect place to read. ( could be anywhere!!!)

My favourite is on a porch, in rocking chair, with a glass of lemonade or iced tea at hand, my feet up, and some good music floating out from the open window. Paradise. It doesn’t matter where that porch/deck is, either—ocean beach, lake, mountains, back yard…any or all are good!

(please note: I have tried several times to correct the formatting, but Blogger isn't playing nice today)


Anonymous said...

Now I ahve a few more SF authors to check out--I've never read any of those.

Ruby said...

My partner is a huge SF/fantasy fan. I'll have to pass your list on to her. I'll have a look at Coming Out Spiritually. Thanks.

Sally said...

More books to check out- Coming out spiritually sounds really worth reading.
Thanks for this play!

Clarence Darrow--Beyond Scopes and Leopold & Loeb

Personalities fascinate me--people do. One way I try to understand history and places is through people--which is why I love good histor...