Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sod Oprah! Do it yourself

Another meme I didn't mind taking part in as it gives me a chance to promote some of the good stuff. It goes like this:

Sod Richard and Judy. Sod Oprah. What would you advise people to read? Name your favourite:

(a) Fiction book
(b) Autobiography
(c) Non-fiction book
(d) A fourth book of your choice from any genre.

Explain why the books are essential reads in no more than 30 words per book.

How could I resist this? So:

(a) The Pyrates by George MacDonald Fraser. A rip-roaring pirate spoof funnier than any Johnny Depp film. Bosomy female buccaneers in Gucci boots, mad Scottish privateers, square-jawed Navy heroes. Packed with hundreds of gags. Brilliant.

(b) Seeing Things by Oliver Postgate. Not just about Bagpuss! Postgate evocatively describes life in 30s London, being a 'conchie' during WWII, his accidental slide into TV and his penchant for inventing machines for his home. Charming and thought-provoking.

(c) Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine. Adams' best book by far. His wit and ability with words is evident here as he and Mark travel the world in search of the most endangered species. Glorious. Sad.

(d) Pigsticking: A Joy for Life by William Rushton. Willie was the greatest of my personal heroes. Very funny writer, genius cartoonist, fine actor and raconteur. This is my favourite book by him and I treasure my signed copy.

There. I think that was 30 words per description. All of them fantastic books. So, time to pass it on. The rules say pass it on to four others. As I try to nominate different people each time, I'll pick Chris, Diane, Doctawho42 and Chip.

Of course, there's nothing stopping the rest of you from having a go too. People's reading lists fascinate me.


Diane said...

Ooooh... I like this one. I'll have to give it some thought, though, and will post it after my Writer's Workshop post tomorrow. Thanks!!

PS... loved Last Chance to See, by the way. Loved (still love) Douglas Adams.

Stuart Peel said...

Ever read the Flashman books ? Glorious.

Chip Smith said...

Oooh, ta - interesting one. I'll have a crack at it tomorrrow, but I'm not expecting to stick to that 30 word limit. Do you think the meme police will hunt me down?

Mama Kat said...

You have no idea what kind of can of worms you just opened by leaving me a comment on my blog.

Thank you...just for being you.

Jon M said...

Oliver Postgate: I've said it before and I'll say it again...Pogles Wood...genius!

chris hale said...

Thank'ee, Stevyn. I shall give the matter my earnest attention.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Diane - Stephen Fry (of whom we discussed in the last post)is in Madagascar at this very moment revisiting the book 25 years on. He and Mark are looking for the same endangered species that Douglas described to see whether things have got better or worse for them. Fingers crossed, eh? Should be an interesting sequel.

Stu - Oh Hell yes! Fantastic!

Chip - 30 words was really, really hard. If you love something you've just gotta tell the world! I'm sure you'll get away with 'Mitigating circumstances' or 'Clinical bibliophilia' or something.

Mama Kat - I do hope so. I love the way they wriggle on the toast.

Jon - Just 'cos I gave some newbies the meme doesn't mean you can't have a go. Anyone who loves the Pogles must have an interesting bookshelf or two (Postgate's book is absolutely superb - I highly recommend it).

Chris - I know you won't let me down. Just yourself, probably! Oh, and 'Confessions of a Window Cleaner is not biography.

doctawho42 said...

Ahh thank'ee muchly.
I shall do my level best to comply with your wishes of bookage-dom listing.
I've never been meme-ed before soooo...interesting!