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.



Pallav said...

that is a great picture! where do they sell that book??? ;)

one book that recently blew my socks off was choke by palahniuk, 1984 by orwell comes a very close will always be Marilyn Manson:)

Teen Spirit is an Anthem!!\m/


Unknown said...

I think Teen Spirit is best just pondered on!

Taffiny said...

I agree.
I am always surprised to find, that I do not know what my favorite movies, and songs are. But day to day, moment to momet, what I would say would change.
I have writers and books that I favour, but nothing springs to mind, as blew my mind.
I like your reason, that different things, call to us, at different times, moods, times of life, yada yada. I find it to be true.

Jon M said...

I can empathise with that sentiment, different books for different times. Do you go through phases of book reading too? I had a murder mystery phase a few years back or I'll get hooked into a series of books.
Music...well! The Hammer by Motorhead? I ain't nothing but a...gorehound...the Cramps...anything by the Carpenters!

Unknown said...

I don't think it's for sale NM, it could be a little lethal!

Glad I'm not the only one, Taffiny. In applying the same theory to people, I find that I like my friends for all sorts of reasons, not just one attribute.

And yes, Jon, I do go through phases but they are not necessarily a genre but something that links them all together.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Minx & Taffiny,

I agree. One of my professors asked each student for their favorite song. Couldn't be done, I said, so I'll give you my favorite this week, the one I am burning a hole through the cd listening to over and over as I am a 'repeat' offender.

And it's the same with everything... music, books, movies, food, clothes, cars, people, beliefs... everything.

It all changes so much because we change every day, diversity widens us on the inside, broadens our perspective, and as we take new steps in new directions, we find new delights that mean the world to us.

Are we fickle?
Well rounded.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Anonymous said...

Two books decidedly non-literary that live in me... "Skallagrig" By William Horwood,and "Mother London" by Michael Moorcock... yes the first is the mole man and the second played drums on Silver Machine, and wrote loads of swords and sorcery type stuff..

Unknown said...

Nope, I can never decide either. Ususally the best book I ever read is the last one, and music really depends on what I'm listening to. At the moment I really, really love Arcade Fire's album, but I also really, really like The Stranglers best of collection... I am re-reading Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes, which is weird in a lot of ways, and trying to get started on about five other books that I left in the bathroom (onl place you can read in peace these days). I don't like being asked for favourites - I could have done it when I was younger and had less experience of the world, but now...!

Taffiny said...

people leave you alone in the bathroom? They don't come barging in and talk to you? And when you protest , they don't just stand right outside the door, yammering on and on???
That is amazing!

Unknown said...

Taffiny, you have to establish bathroom protocol's early on. If I'm in the bathroom it is mine for at least two hours. Wine, sandwich and favourite book/music of the moment and no yammering!

Unknown said...

Taffiny - with six kids, we had to get a second smaller one. Best thing ever invented. They nose that when mammy's in the bathroom, DO NOT GO THERE! is written in invisible ink on the door. :)

Chris at 'Chrissie's Kitchen' said...

Minx - have you never seen Curt Cobain's 'Unplugged'? Quite mesmerising.
Lizzie x

Unknown said...

Yay, Lizzie, love their cover of 'The Man Who Sold The World'. Hairs, arms, raised.

Yodood said...

Two books I was never the same person after reading: Be Here Now and later Ishmael like they found me at just the right moment in my life and pow.