Andrew Brown tagged me!
1. Name one book that changed your life.
The Good Soldier Švejk
This is by far the most important book of my life. It looks like harmless fun, it's instead one of the most subversive readings available. Keep away from it!
That's difficult because I read many books more than once, most of those in this list for example, but since I have to choose one I'd say the Anabasis.
Synopsis: 10,000 Greeks walk back home from Babylon going the wrong way through uncharted territories inhabited by remote tribes and are followed by an hostile army!
It's a great story and it's all true. An army loses its leader and is left to fight for its survival rather than for the ruler's ambitions and though it was written 2,400 years ago the writing style of this war diary is incredibly modern.
Love at the time of Cholera
There's enough passion in this book to keep you going for two lives.
Psmith in the City
There's some great observations of my adoptive county and countrymen. It's not Wodehouse's best but it's very fresh. The description of the rooms to let in Dulwich is priceless.
The Master and Margarita
I may have a hard heart but I don't think that I ever cried reading (unlike watching films when sometimes I have become emotional) so maybe as second best I could write of one of the narrative passages that most filled me with introspective sadness for the weakness of mankind and that is the Jerusalem setting of the Master and Margarita where Pontius Pilate, in spite of being aware of the mistake in the making, is unable to change his course of actions and sentences Yeshua to death.
I saw that once summarized on a t-shirt with the writing "I did it anyway". I feel very sympathetic with that as many times we all do.
Marathoning for mortals
It's a few years that I'd love to run a marathon but can't go through the training, I always drop out at some stage for a knee or muscular injury or because I'm too busy with life/work to keep up the daily runs. In this book there's some stories of very regular people and how they managed to do it. Who knows? My current thinking is that it may be realistic to run it before I'm 40.
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
It's a very detailed analysis of the reasons that brought Hitler to power and it makes you realize that in a similar situation the same collective mistakes are possible again, anywhere, anytime.
The Contract with God trilogy
Last week I found this Will Eisner's collection of graphic novels on hardback and I immediately bought two copies. One for me and another as a gift.
Shall I speak of the great stories or of the fantastic drawings?
I find difficult commenting on a work of art that is so great, I'm just in awe of it.
After a few years in London I feel almost ready to appreciate some Dickensian masterpieces in their original language.