Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tagged! aka Books, Books, Books -- Who's Got Time To Read?

Blogroll Me!

My friend Robert Avrech has very "generously" handed me the baton. I feel like some beauty queen who has just been passed the crown by the previous year's winner, but I'm of mixed feelings whether I really belong in the competition.

I've seen on other blogs that people are getting tagged for the books questions or for a list of any other generic questions; and secretly I've been hoping to be tagged by someone...anyone. So to be tagged by an award-winning screenwriter, who is also a wonderful writer of personal essays and fiction, is something of an honor.

So, here goes:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451; which book do you want to be?

I want to be a child's picture book -- a well-loved board book that is durable when it is read countless times, clutched in sticky apple-juiced fingers, toted along from room to room and passed on from child to child.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

People, I work in the world of romance. I read romance books for a living. You figure out that answer!!

The last book you bought is:

I'm guilty. I can't remember. It's been th...a...a...t...t long. But I used to always go to the remainders tables, come home with an armful, start to read, and unfortunately not always complete a book.

The last book you read:

Walking Home (MIRA BOOKS, January 2005) by Gloria Goldreich. It is the story of a young woman's search for her place in life -- finding out what is truly important to her world; learning what to give up or replace. It is about relationships between family and friends. It is about poetry and the need to express oneself. It is about memory and reality. It is about personal identity and self-declared facades. Inevitably, it is a story about taking a walk and deciding which direction you call home.

Oh ya, and just before I finished that book, I finished reading this great piece of YA historical fiction called THE HEBREW KID AND THE APACHE MAIDEN. (nudge, nudge, wink, wink!)

What are you currently reading?

I have been reading poetry by Shel Silverstein. Yes, it's children's poetry, but highly amusing and quirky, especially with the accompanying line drawings.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

A Haggadah -- I have a lovely one with Chassidic parables and explanations
The Tanach with English translation -- lots to read and analyze in there
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th edition -- why not learn a new word each day?
Night -- the Elie Wiesel book that I have studied in school, university and read countless times because it is so powerful
a blank journal-- of course, being on a deserted island would offer lots of opportunity for writing my own book!

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I now pass the baton back over to the West Coast to a group of blogging friends, aka Kerckhoff Coffeehouse. These people will probably offer us something a little more than just interesting...

I also send it out to Anna Olswanger ( Not only is she a writer but she gathers up information of newly released Jewish books and sends out a quarterly newsletter, Jewish Books and Author News, listing and detailing these books and their authors. Through Anna's fall 2004 newsletter, I learned about Robert Avrech -- writer/ friend.
I'm sure that Anna would have lots to sift through in compiling her list.

I also am sending out the call to Danny Bloom, a writer/journalist/Mr. In the Know who resides in Taiwan. His finger is on the pulse of many wordly happenings, and he, no doubt, will also offer an eclectic selection of titles.


Doctor Bean said...

Huh? What baton? You write all about "it" without saying what "it" is. Is there a serial answer-these-questions-about-books blog challenge? Is there a link to the originator of this thing? Do we just need to answer the same questions you answered?

Color me confused.

dan said...

Do i answer here, Pearl, or on my own blog? I do not have one yet.


tuesdaywishes said...

Pearl dear-

Not having time to read would be like not having time to breathe. The laundry and dishes and kids will still be there when you get out of the book, I promise. I just reread "Dawn" which is about Purim, and you've GOT to give it a chance. A really sophisticated look at a holiday that is sometimes relgated to kindergarten.

Another interesting book experience I just had was that someone on another blog mentioned "The Outside World" by Tova Mirvis. I read it two weeks ago, and was all set to denouce the book as being full of caricatures and sterotypes. Then I spent Shabbat in Brooklyn, at a nephews Bar Mitzva. I met the people in the book. They are real, totally. Scary and sad, but thoroughly true-to-life.

torontopearl said...

The truth is that it's not about a lack of time really. It's about a lack of "savlanut and cheshek" (patience and true desire). I grew up in the public library; I socialized more with books than with other kids; I lived and breathed for reading, as you've mentioned. I majored in English in university because I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but I knew I liked to read and analyze texts. I work in publishing and get to read books all day. Books are my life during daylight hours; after hours, I find it very difficult to sit and concentrate and allow myself to be captivated, perhaps because I delve so deeply in the written word during the day. I don't just read in my job, but I break down that reading word by word. Perhaps I'm just plumb tired of reading. For that reason, I generally read short bits -- personal essays, magazine articles, children's books. When in fact, I can and do read a longer book (as I did with those two that I mentioned, which were the last two I read), I'm thrilled!
For the reasons above, I really wasn't sure that I was the best candidate to receive the baton in this "chain bloggers post." But I'm still glad that I did.

tuesdaywishes said...

I guess it's like a certain chef who I once asked what he actually eats when he gets off of work. He told me "Mostly burgers, chicken, stuff I can just plop on the grill and flip onto a plate. So after reading for work, i understand not being in the mood to read for fun.