Fifteen books in 15 minutes

July 29, 2009

I’ve been tagged by Marigold to do this one, and because I always do as I’m asked (except when I don’t)…

Fifteen books in 15 minutes

Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag friends.

  1. Changes by Neil Gaiman (from Smoke and Mirrors) – For such a short story, it made quite an impression on me. I wrote quite a long blog post about it here.
  2. Whipping Girl by Julia Serano – I don’t think I’m the only trans woman to have found this a hugely influential work, irrespective of its flaws and omissions. Ask me “What does ‘trans’ mean?” and this is the book I’ll throw at you.
  3. Invisible Lives – The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People by Viviane K. Namaste – Ohz noez! Not another book about gender theory! Yep – and I wrote a little about it here.
  4. Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism and Sexual Diversity by Surya Monro – The third book about the politics of gender identity in this list. Something of a preoccupation of mine, for some reason…
  5. Locas: The Maggie and Hopey Stories by Jaime Hernandez – Books with pictures – what’s not to love? All human life is here. Pretty much…
  6. Out Of The Tunnel by Rachel North – The London bombings of 2005 affected many people in many ways. Rachel lived through it. I’m honoured to call her a friend.
  7. Microserfs by Douglas Coupland – With the passing of time I’ve come to like Generation X better, but this was quite a comfort during the early days of my first full-time IT job when I wondered what on earth had possessed me to make a career change like that.
  8. HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide by Chuck Musciano and Bill Kennedy – I’ve been tinkering with HTML and building websites for about ten years now and the Fourth Edition of this was an essential reference.
  9. A Humument by Tom Phillips – Arguably more a work of art than ‘just a book’. Fabulous.
  10. The Belonging Kind by John Shirley and William Gibson (From Burning Chrome) – William Gibson’s books have been favourites of mine since I first read Neuromancer. Although I find his recent work (particularly Idoru, Pattern Recognition and Spook Country) more to my taste these days, The Belonging Kind is one story that really resonates with me.
  11. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Great book, no question. Even though it doesn’t have the sound effects from the original radio series.
  12. The Once And Future King by T.H. White – A very visual re-telling of the Arthurian legend; apparently quite an influence on Disney’s The Sword In The Stone.
  13. Breakfast Of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut – Another “life, the universe and everything” sort of book, simultaneously playful and serious. Top-notch illustrations…
  14. The Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake – A sprawling Gothic fantasy that I first read as a sulky teenager. True confession? I had a book-crush on Fuschia Groan for weeks
  15. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll – I’ve loved this book since I was a child. I have mixed feelings about the forthcoming film version, though.

Bonus sixteenth book:

  • Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua – I’m getting ahead of myself with this one as I’ve only just started reading it. It’s a collection of essays and poems drawing on Anzaldua’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, and an activist. It’s about borders and boundaries, how they move and change – and how they can be moved and changed. As bfp (to whom I’m grateful for recommending it) says:

    And yet–for Gloria–the solution–the strategy for change– was shifting and flexibility and undoing and weakening borders.

    The question wasn’t how can we build ourselves into a safe space–but how can we undo an unsafe space?

    How can we learn to take up more and more and more space?

And that’s about it. “Tag friends” you say? Well now, that’s tricky as I seem to be about the last person on the interwebs to do this particular meme. But if anyone does fancy having a go at it, leave a link in comments when you’re done.

4 Responses to “Fifteen books in 15 minutes”

  1. Marigold Says:

    Nice one! Always feel like I have a teeny bit more insight into a person when I read things like this. It’s like poking around in your friends’ bookshelves – something else I do a lot :)

    xx M.

  2. Helen G Says:

    I think CD/record collections can be quite revealing, too. Maybe I should start a ‘Desert Island Discs’ meme!

  3. Stephanie Says:

    An interesting collection of books. Good to see someone else who likes The Once and Future King.

    As for Desert Island Discs I did that a couple of years ago :)

  4. Weasel Says:

    I am totally behind the desert island disks meme! (well, other than the part where I have to sit down and choose … oh the pain, the pain of it all!)


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