Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Stuff that blows my stripey socks off
Someone asked me the other day what one book blew my socks off. A fairly innocuous question and I suppose I should have had a a prepared book title, or possibly an eloquent list that stretched far into the distance.
'Can't do it' I said, looking a bit sheepish.
I suspect she thought me an idiot - a scribbler of books who couldn't pick out those she liked best.
'What about music?'
Oh dear, same thing. How could I reel off just one piece of music when my tastes change from day to day, and favourites tie in with an event, a feeling, a single moment.
Ah ha, that was it. It is the same with books. A favourite was linked to a period in my life when a particular book meant something, and strangely, music was often involved in the same process.
For example when I was growing Big Fecker, I read a book called Death's Master by Tanith Lee. It is a fantasy novel about finding yourself and the main character changes sex half way through (neat!). I remember lying on the sofa, gazing at the huge lump of stomach in front of me and trying to imagine the changes that were going to happen to me. 'Smells like teen spirit' was blasting out in rebellion to the conformity I was facing.
"I'm worse at what I do best
And for this gift I feel blessed
Our little group has always been
And always will until the end"
The book, and the music are not classics (I am crap at reading, or listening, to something because I ought to) but both still sit on my shelves along with others that have had a profound effect on me for one reason or another. Some of my so-called favourites have made subtle changes to my thinking (Emmanuel's Book), others have just made me laugh when times were dark, or corresponded with my emotional needs at the time. Weirdly, none have ever been chosen because they were well written or by someone who could be considered 'an education'.
Incidentally 'Smells like teen spirit' still seeps out from Big Fecker's room regularly and that is probably another subject to ponder upon.