The Lady With Excellent Etiquette

I’d like to begin by saying that nobody — ever — in the history of the entire world — has referred to me as The Lady With Excellent Etiquette. So, when Ella, at Box of Books, wrote a thing about “Cozy Reading” and called out a number of people to do the same, only not using their real names when she did so, I definitely clicked on the link to the L.W.E.E. to find out who THAT was (or lwee, as we like to squeal around here when somebody gets a good tile when they’re playing Bananagrams, a game I will write about pretty soon, or next year, as things go around here.) Imagine my surprise. It was me. Anyway, I believe it is good manners to respond when you’re asked to respond (and I apologize to those bloggers — who know who they are — who’ve asked me to respond to memes in the past year, and although I have a list of them, I haven’t done it because, honestly, the best I can do is write about my work’s milk frother, but I PROMISE, I will do it… Soon.)

Okay. So, here’s the meme, and here are my answers.

What kind of a book are you most comfortable reading?

Well, if a book did something like open up and hand me a cold drink and some potato chips, I’d be very comfortable reading it, no matter what it was about. Otherwise, the books I am most comfortable reading are books I’ve read and loved before. You can’t really go wrong there, can you?

What kind of a book do you love to hate?

I sometimes say mean things about contemporary fiction — The Secret Life of Bees kind of thing. But, honestly, I’m pretty sure that’s because I’m jealous and not because I really hate books like that.

What was the last book you surprised yourself by liking?

Hmm. If I think I’m not going to like a book, I usually don’t read it, which is too bad, because then I don’t get surprised. I guess it would have to be Moby Dick, back in graduate school. I had a lot of time to read it, and I was amazed that it was so rich, and weird and vigorous. Oh, I also liked that Jose Saramango book about when the whole world goes blind, even though it had a lot of excrement in it, and honestly, I didn’t think that would work for me. But it did.

What was the last book you surprised yourself by disliking?

The Secret Life of Bees. No, just kidding. I can’t think of one.

What would be the worst book to be marooned on a desert island with?

None. I mean, if you’re marooned on a desert island with, say, The Secret Life of Bees (just for an example), it would be way better than no book at all. You could even, the way Ralph Feinnes did in The English Patient (a book I read and surprised myself by disliking, come to think of it), annotate the heck out of it and make your own wonderful book that you could read to yourself at night while you’re roasting coconuts.

What book would you take with you if you suspected you might be marooned in the near future?

Collected Shakespeare. Whole worlds in there.

What forces you to read outside your comfort zone?

My job. Man, you would not believe the stuff I read at work. I read a lot of transcripts from trials and the things people do, –stupid, avaricious, mean, and just plain boring — really boggles the mind.

I believe the memetiquette is to tag other people to answer these really interesting questions, so I am tagging anyone who’s not on my blogroll, but would like to be, and that way I will know to PUT you on my blogroll, so I can do a little housekeeping with your help and also find out what sort of cozy reading you do.

Oh, and also? I tag everyone ON my blogroll. So, basically, if you’ve read this post YOU should give this a try. Please. Thank you.


12 thoughts on “The Lady With Excellent Etiquette

  1. Hilarious as ever, BL! I really think I must go read The Secret Life of Bees now, and see if I surprise myself more by liking or disliking it… And if you find the book that provides instant drinks and snacks, do let me know as I’d really love one of those.

  2. Pingback: A book meme! « My Pearwood Luggage

  3. I was going to write something about Moby Dick but decided I should do it on my blog when I do this meme. It is one of my favorite books.

  4. Hey Cam, Oh, I’m so glad to hear that. And I’m glad you’ll do this meme. I’m still thinking over the question of what photograph I can put up and what story I have to tell about it, as you suggested a while ago when you tagged me on your blog.

    Marta — Ms. Pearwood Luggage — how nice to see you posting about books. xo

    Litlove, Honestly, the Secret Life of Bees and the Bee Season have sort of mushed into one soggy book for me. The first, I’m pretty sure was a very nice book about women in the south, and the second a very interesting book about obsession.

    Yogamum, That was my experience too. And I was very glad to have had it with MD. As for Blindness, that was a book group pick, which is why I read it, and I’m glad I did.

  5. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only person who continues to confuse the Bee Books in her mind. I was thinking my perpetual fear all things bee-releated led to my inability to keep them straight in my mind.

    Your very witty answers made this meme quite fun to read!

  6. I think “soggy” is the perfect adjective for Secret Life, but Bee Season was wonderful. And I adored The English Patient — I’ll read anything by Ondaatje.

    I refuse to believe that you have a jealous bone in your body — “mean” is not mean if it’s true. 😉

  7. I’m jealous more to my core than in my bones, Marie. No, not really. I don’t have the energy to summon up too much of that jealous feeling about other writers. I have a good sense of myself as being me, and not something or someone else, so envy doesn’t really work. But I do get worked up over my friends’ nice kitchens. I can’t help it.

    Hi Becca, Yes, for the longest time, I couldn’t keep them straight, but then I read them both and that problem solved itself. I’d also like to tell you that I have been very much enjoying your wednesday writing series, and I am sorry I haven’t been able to participate. But I like reading what other people have said, and find it very inspiring.

  8. You know, I really didn’t like The Secret Life of Bees, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t like it either, although it IS a little too easy to dismiss books like it without thinking about it too much. They are too easy targets. But still …

  9. The Excellent Etiquette is apropos. I remember when I first started my old blog a yea ago, “The Individual Voice” you wrote me the nicest long email about how you were in a cafe and how much you loved my blog. I was a new blogger and no one had ever done that and I was stunned and pleased. It was so…civilized. I hadn’t known yet that there were real people out there.

  10. W, NR — I like knowing there are real people in there, in the computer I mean. When I was little, I was pretty sure the actors in the movies were just behind the velvet rope. And I’d definitely have pulled aside the curtain to find out who the wizard was. But I’m glad that in most cases the person behind the blog turns out to be pretty much the person you think they’ll be. Except with dark hair (which mine is), that is curly (which mine is) and greenish eyes (which mine are).

    Dorothy, I think that when I dismiss things, it’s usually a clue that there’s something there I should think about. I just wish I had more time to do that kind of thinking, is all!

  11. Pingback: Another Reading Meme « Smithereens

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