Book-Reading Meme

Nandini tagged me to participate in a meme on books. Not exactly how I’d break down my reading tastes, but I suppose I have to be a sociable blogger. So here goes, the books in my life parsed through a dizzying array of angles:

Book that changed your life: Metaphors We Live By, Lakoff and Johnson.

Book you’ve read more than once: All but the last Harry Potter, Rajaji’s version of the Mahabharata, Tintin and Asterix comics, Wodehouse, Dick Francis, Agatha Christie, The Wind in the Willows. Comfort food gets eaten repeatedly.

Book you would take to a deserted island – Some sort of survival guide? I am practical. Alright, maybe I’ll throw in The Myth of Sisyphus: And Other Essays by Camus. I am a sociable guy. I’d need help to not commit suicide on a desert island.

Book that made you laugh – If this meme allowed TV, by far the most screamingly funny thing I’ve ever encountered has been the original British version of The Office. But since I have to do a book, I’ll go with the book version of Yes Prime Minister.

Book that made you cry want to kill yourself – I don’t get this category, but I’ll interpret it as ’emotional impact+high quality’ and say ‘anything by Chekov.’

Book you wish you had written – This one’s easy. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud and A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink.

Book(s) you wish had never been written – Arundhati Roy, God of Small Things. It brought to prominence one of the most annoying people alive.

Book(s) you’re currently readingAgainst the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk

Book you’ve been meaning to readA Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. That beginning with a picture of a stapler, certainly that bit is genius. Has been recommended many times to me, but haven’t gotten around to reading it.

Book you have been meaning to finishInfinite Jest: A Novel by David Foster Wallace. Easily the most phenomenal writer I’ve ever encountered when it comes to masterful control over the English language. The kind of writing that makes me realize that there is a yawning chasm between people like me and those with an actual ear for language. Pity his plot and character architecture aren’t nearly as compelling. Still, I’ll persevere. Tough reading.

I’ll tag Navin Kabra, Ashini Desai, and let’s do a couple of celebrities and see if they participate in the memetic games of us discount store bloggers, Erik Marcus at, and Dan Pink.

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About Venkatesh Rao

Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm. Follow him on Twitter