I appear to have been nominated by Phil Hunt at Cabalamat Journal to do the bloggers' book questionnaire thing that's been doing the rounds. As it doesn't look like it'll take long and I'm rather busy, here goes:
You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Due to my awful memory, I should probably go for something short. As I'd also be liable to alter things by mistake, it's probably best to go for something which has been altered a load of times already, so I'll opt for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Someone else can handle the sequels.
Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I will confess to having a bit of a thing for Jennie Lynn-Hayden, aka Jade, the daughter of the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. I think it's the green skin thing... Other than that I'll probably opt for the fairly unimaginative choice of Becky Sharp.
The last book you bought is:
Two, both second hand:
Death in Midsummer and other stories, a collection of short stories by Yukio Mishima intended to keep me in a Japanese mindset while I try to learn the language.
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco - because I haven't read it for a few years and realised I didn't have a copy. For those who haven't read it, this is probably Eco's best - basically an intelligent conspiracy thriller which that God-awful Da Vinci Code nonsense ripped off like an absolute bastard (and ripped off very, very badly to boot).
The last book you read:
Cover to cover, probably War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, as it was about time. Well worth it - now one of my favourites.
What are you currently reading?
Just finishing off Ulysses - again, because it was about time. It's not as "difficult" as I'd been led to believe, although I will confess there were chunks where I got utterly lost. Also flicking through Parliament in the 21st Century, edited by Nicholas Baldwin, which I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in British politics for its broad range of interesting essays from leading parliamentarians, academics and journalists. Thanks to the day job, I am also reading John Sudgen's Nelson: A Dream of Glory, following the naval hero's life up to 1797, and N.A.M. Rodger's superb two volume naval history of Britain - The Safeguard of the Sea, 660-1649 and The Command of the Ocean, 1649-1815.
Five books you would take to a desert island.
In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, which I am also chugging through at the moment.
The Invisibles by Grant Morrison - preferably all the collected trade paperbacks sellotaped together to make one book...
November 1916 by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (because I read August 1914 years ago, and it was brilliant, but haven't got around to this one yet.)
Life: A User's Manual by Georges Perec - because I never got around to finishing it, and I'm intrigued to see if I can work out the puzzle.
Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges. No explanation necessary.
If you can't tell, I'm assuming I'll be on the island a fair while...
Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Tim/Manic at Bloggerheads to give him a chance to plug his new book project again, and because I don't think he's done it yet.
Chicken Yoghurt, because I also don't think he's done it yet, and his rage over the current state of British politics could probably do with a break for a bit...
Guy at Non Tibi Spiro to get a multilingual perspective, and bunk it across the Channel for a while.