Stephanie Burgis
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Book Meme!
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I've been tagged by Ling for the Book Meme! So here goes:

1. One book that changed your life
Hmm. I want to say Lord of the Rings or Jane Eyre, because those were the two that were my absolute favorites during my childhood, and they certainly had an awful lot of impact on me as a writer, along with Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. But in terms of life-changing, it has to be Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, because that was the book that made me become a fantasy writer in the first place. I'd been writing Gothic romances until then (I was about 14), but WFTO blew me away and decided me on fantasy. Then, of course, I spent several years writing blatant homages/rip-offs of it, before I finally figured out that I could love it without writing like it after all...

(And a close 2nd would be Terri Windling's The Wood Wife, which convinced me to go back to writing fantasy in my early twenties, after a couple of years when I'd been intimidated into writing lit fic just to match the expectations of the crowd I hung out with at Oberlin)

2. One book you have read more than once?
If I love a book, I'm almost certain to read it dozens of times. One that I used to re-read all the time as a teenager was Virginia Euwer Wolff's The Mozart Season, a YA about a teenage violinist, because it was the first and only book I ever found that felt true to my experiences as a teenage musician.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Probably something by Jane Austen, because her novels work so well on so many different levels, and I'm always finding new pleasures in them. And...probably that book would be Pride & Prejudice.

4. One book that made you laugh?
I laughed so hard over Georgette Heyer's The Talisman Ring that I woke up my grandparents in the middle of the night when I first read it. (Afterward my grandma borrowed it from me and laughed over it too!)

5. One book that made you cry?
Emma Bull & Steven Brust's Freedom and Necessity. Gorgeous book, full of humor and wit and verve...and one of the saddest, most heart-ripping climaxes ever. I cried the first several times I read it.

6. One book you wish had been written?
Anything else by Jane Austen or Carolyn Knapp--two writers who both died way too young.

7. One book you wish had never had been written?
Mmm...can't think of anything I feel that much loathing for. I tend to give up on books if they're not working for me--I don't have any need to finish reading something if I don't like it. So most of the ones I had to finish despite hating them were for school...and actually, now that I think of it, I really do still hate the translation of The Iliad that we had to read at our high school--it was done in the 1920s and it translated the poem into then-contemporary British slang prose. "Hera, old bird," Zeus said... - and so on! It sounds kind of funny, and it might be in small doses, but when you have to slog through the whole thing it's just tooth-grindingly bad.

8. One book you are currently reading?
I just picked up The Lord of the Rings again, after watching The Return of the King last night. I don't know if I'll stick through the whole thing this time, but I like reading bits of it for comfort. I first listened to it read aloud when I was five, I re-read it pretty much once a year throughout childhood and had it read to me two more times (my dad was very patient!), so every time I read it now I get warm, peaceful feelings.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Delia Sherman's Changeling. As soon as I manage to find a copy in the UK...

10. Now tag five people.
Patrick, Ben, SarahP,, and anyone else who wants to! (Let me know by posting in the comments if you do, so I can go read yours too!) Or, if anyone doesn't have a journal and wants to play, go ahead and post replies to any/all of the questions in the comments section here. :)

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