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July 22, 2002

Spacemonk's Book Survey

Mike's been setting up surveys lately, and this one's right up my alley. Read on if you're interested in the printed word.

What book has most influenced your outlook on life? No one book in particular, but the genre of American literature.

What books are pure fun? Mrs. Pollifax mysteries, sports anthologies.

What was the hardest book to get thru? The John Adams biography by McCullough. Started as an easy read, then bogged down after about 150 pages and was horribly dull for the last two-thirds.

If you could only read one genre of books what would it be? Fiction

Most inspirational book - I try to be inspired by everything I read. Lately the poetry of Theodore Roethke has again been enthralling me with its imagery of the world both inside and outside our bodies and souls.

What book seems simple, but isn't? Huckleberry Finn

Do you carry any books with you? There's usually a book of poetry (currently "The Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke") in my messenger bag as well as the latest Sporting News Hockey Register.

Which writer's has the most fun with words? Michael Chabon (fiction), Ogden Nash (poetry). Martin Amis is also an incredible wordsmith.

What book do you like (or think you like) but shamefully have not finished? I usually finish every book I start. I've never left a good book unfinished.

What novel have you read the most times? I've read "The Adventures of Augie March" by Bellow and "The Great American Novel" by Philip Roth four or five times each.

What books do you remember from being a kid? Joe Namath's biography (I did a book report on it four years in a row), Who's Who In Baseball (famous for using ten year old photos of the ballplayers), and a photographic study of the moon (I begged my dad for it for at a bookstore thirty years ago and it's still around here somewhere).

What is the best autobiography? The Habit Of Being: The Letters of Flannery O'Connor. Learning to know this great woman through her fascinating correspondence only adds to the repect this great writer deserves.

Who is a good read although you disagree with nearly every word? Ann Coulter

Who do you mostly agree with, but still makes you cringe a bit? Martin Amis, but it's a good cringe, he points out the underside of our society.

What was the best book you've read about a subject you don't really care about? Seabiscuit: An American Legend. A remarkable horse, his owner, trainer and jockey combine their stories for an intense and bittersweet biography.

Who have you read the most books by? Saul Bellow, the living patriarch of American letters.


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