Saturday, February 09, 2008


Phlegmmy got me:
"Okay, I almost never meme, and tag folks even less frequently, but I think this is a good one, so if the following folks feel like giving it a whirl, I'd love to read their responses:
"DBA Dude
"Roberta X
"It would be very interesting to see if there's any overlap on the memes of the wonder-twins Tam & Roberta..."

Ghu'll get you for that, y'know. We're identical cousins. Who don't happen to look that much alike, really. Okay, kinda. But not.

Here goes nuthin':

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Anything by Steven King. He's mainstream, I don't read mainstream. Come to think of it, I hardly even read any horror outside the Cthulhu Mythos and the local newspaper, unless Steampunk counts.

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?
Doc Savage (fine. Snicker. But he's a big tall hunk with a brain and I wanna sit on his lap).
Friday Jones ('cos she's kewl)
Lucille Gallegeos Kropotkin ('cos she's even kewler)

An' the event would be a week-long dinner party -- drinks, dancing, movies an' plenty of nice chats. Also I'd be puttin' the moves on Doc if I could pry Friday off him. (Lucille's married to her own Bear, Ed I believe).

You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Any of the modern or "K-Mart" school of meaningful slice-of-life novelists. Gads, what bilge.

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?
Moby Dick, but in fact I've read bits of it, so what she said: "Um, most of the "must-read" list of literary classics... "

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?
Nope. I read 'em. I know if I haven't.

You've been appointed Book Advisor to a 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 of personalise the VIP.
Heinlein's Starship Troopers. It's well-written, encourages thought on a number of fundamental topics, and the movie sucked.

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?
I'm with Phlegmmy here: French. There's a lot of well-regarded work in the language and not every translation holds up. Proust, maybe; me, I wanna read Verne in his own words! Russian or Hindi second.

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?
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. 'Cos I already do.

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)?
What she says! "Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. This is some of my favorite reading of all time, and destined to be a favorite, always." Yep. Bingo.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? 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.
Three-story, at least, and at least 40' square. Balconies on each level and each level has a balcony of its own.

Skylights above, with roof garden, observatory and radio hut. Parquet floors, walls are all covered in nothing but bookshelves, with ladders on rails. The shelves form a series alcoves along each wall at every level. Fiction is sorted into categories and alphabetized. It includes everything in my present library or replacements that are in good shape, plus a whole lot more. Factual works are sorted by the Dewey Decimal System[1] and include "ringers" like Snouters[2] and Philip Jose Farmer's biographies of Tarzan and Doc Savage.

Full kitchen facilities just outside the stacks, ditto sleeping area. Fittings everywhere are all wood, brass, tapestry cloth and leather, very Victorian. A huge central desk/reading table with modern computer, coffee and tea area, etc., but done unobtrusively. I'd copy Phlegmmy's chaise lounge and add overstuffed chairs, etc. in the various alcoves.

[Edit: also necessary rooms, a pair for causual visitors with well-marked entrances, one each side of the main door, plus hidden doors to private khazis on each level, for me and my good friends. Yeah, guess I'm an elitist snob. Tough, it's my library].

There would be a few cats and a system of catladders and walks for them -- (but litterboxes would be Beyond The Stacks). There might be a fire-proof woodstove about a third of the way in, between the desk and the door, with a lounge area around it. It would be the old fancy cylindrical kind, with mica windows, standing on a section of brick or flagstone floor. Probably a nice steam elevator (which I have just realized also goes to a shooting range in the basement), exposed, centered on the wall opposite the main entrance and inboard of the balconies. Fine old-time, glass-fronted gun cabinets flank the elevator.

And a big ol' hand-painted sign above them:

Electric Bobbiland. Readers WELCOME.
Be polite or get out.

I'd live there.

(If any of my blogging readers care to give this a whirl, go for it! --Wouldn't mind a link, either. But I shan't tag anyone; you're on your own).
1. He was a commie but his filing system works and I'm used to it.

2. Also


Turk Turon said...

Oooooooo! I love you library ideas! Can I apply for a card?
May I suggest one feature: cupolas at each corner. Rounds off the corners from the inside and, from the outside, provides an excuse for four towers with conical peaks, each flying your banner.
You HAVE designed a personal banner, haven't you? And, each tower would have vertical firing ports on each floor, providing for overlapping fields of fire.

Turk Turon said...

It seems that OUTSIDE it is called a cupola, and INSIDE it is called a belvedere.
Hmmm...circular staircases would be nice...

Roberta X said...

Card? We don' need no steenkin' cards. If you can read and manage basic politeness, you're in! (Though carry-out loans are only available to special friends).

Towers, belvederes, anti-clockwise circular staircases, all good. Ummm, might do one the other direction for southpaws. Me, I'm good either way but most rifles and semi-auto sidearms aren't. An' it should have a star-shaped earth-work surrounding, normally filled with kids playin' in the well-mown grass. (Pitched battle is not the usual state of affairs even here in De Heardtland).

Personal banner? Ummm... Would'ja believe a red rose inside a gear, crossed sword and rifle below, crossed lightning bolts above an' "Tipping Ecouraged" emblazoned as the motto? --Okay, I'm kiddin' about the motto, it's really "operor non subeo auctorita."* This is actually the banner for Roseholme an' based 'pon my family's coat of arms; my present dwelling, Roseholme Cottage, was moved to its current location from the intact corner of the estate after the disasterous Dimensional Displacement Accident of '92. (I don't wanna talk about that. Besides, you people have a nearly ...adequate... dimension here, really, aside from the politics, lack of decent airships and near-total disregard for steam-power.) ;>

* "Don't let 'em boss ya around." Sometimes given as "vos es non meus procuratio."

Christina RN LMT said...

Oh my God! Your library kicks total ASS. I think I'd come to visit and never leave. As long as there's a bathroom also available...

Kevin said...

When I hit the Powerball I would like to hire you to design a similar one for me. A little more on the guns and a nice display of edged weapons would be mandatory. Instead of the wood stove, a wall would have to be dedicated to a great hearth, flanked by built in pipe cabinets and a nice humidor for the tobacco.
Overstuffed smoking chairs, each with a nice reading table and lamp would be arranged around the hearth.
The Damn Computers would be present, but well camouflaged as nice steampunk art pieces - present but unobtrusive.

One think missing, is a nice hidden door or a paneled pocket door opening to the Necessary room. With Coffee and Tea at hand, you must remember to recycle it efficiently!

Of course, you will be able to afford your library on you commission, and if you are shrewd enough, you should be able to get a good discount on the bulk purchases of the missing volumes.

phlegmfatale said...

*squeal* I LURVE the sound of your library, and I'm thrilled that WE have a little bit of overlap. Thanks for doing the meme. Now I don't feel so embarrassed about not having read the must-reads.

Alan said...

Lucy Kropotkin is teh bomb.

It sounds like we have the same library.

Tam said...

That library's gonna be tough to top... :-o

Roberta X said...

We're all pullin' for ya, Tam! ;)

breda said...

I had to read Moby Dick for an Honors class...but just the boring parts about whale biology. *yawn*

staghounds said...

"...but in fact I've read bits of it..."

So is it true that you quit and threw it across the room with the comment, "Damn, it's about a WHALE!"

Roberta X said...

It was?!?! Oh.

Anonymous said...

My dream library put into words. I would make two additions, if I may?
From "Murder in the Gun Room" by Piper, the aforesaid gun room, 2nd floor, up a circular staircase from the library. Wall to wall pistols, workbench and gun books.
And, The Map Room from Seven Oaks estate in Steve Sterlings "Conquistador"
My personal library would be on the order of Skokloster Castle in Sweden with full floors for armoury and library. It also has a lathe room. I always wanted a lathe and a milling machine, I want to build my own guns from scratch, think Colt Trooper in .62 caliber...
The Bruce

Roberta X said...

I like your ideas!

...I have my own lathe and milling machine, desktop-scale: a little Unimat. It's a delight, though I have much to learn. A bit small for long-gun work, I think.