~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2006-08-24 - 3:03 p.m.


I felt honored to be tagged by an Angry Black Bitch regarding books, books, books. I'm also a little intimidated to be in such company because, though I love books and always have, I don't feel myself to be the most avid or diligent reader. Years went by after college where it seems like I started more books than I finished; even worse, there were probably months and months where I hardly cracked a book at all. Still, I've always collected them, and I'm happy lately to be getting back in the habit of reading books on a daily basis (though poring over almost every section of a good newspaper is a bigger passion in some ways).

Anyway, on to the list...

Book that changed your life:
The Sexual Outlaw by John Rechy. I found Rechy's 1970s manifesto on radical (and often illegal) gay sex to be fairly liberating, since he made a good case for casting acts of gay sex themselves as highly revolutionary acts. It was also enraging to realize the extent society has gone to to repress these physical acts in so many denigrating ways through the years. I don't think gay sex necessarily defines the queer-rights movement (and yeah, it's technically gotten some of us into some serious trouble), but this book definitely help us see the connection between issues like promiscuity and societally-enforced sex-shame and self-loathing.

One book you have read more than once:
I'm afraid I'm not enough of a bibliophile (nor enough of a speed reader) to have given many books multiple readings, but one that comes to mind is The Great Gatsby. I still love Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age.

One book on a desert island:
Damn, just one, eh? How about any collection of poems by Hafiz of Persia? On a desert island, you need something that has held up for a millennium.

One book that made you laugh:
Jitterbug Perfume... Tom Robbins's zany humor is at its best here.

One book that made you cry:
I've gotta name two -- We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch and Maurice by E. M. Forster...

They were his last words, because Maurice had disappeared thereabouts, leaving no trace of his presence except a little pile of the petals of the evening primrose, which mourned from the ground like an expiring fire. To the end of his life Clive was not sure of the exact moment of departure, and with the approach of old age he grew uncertain whether that moment had yet occurred. The Blue Room would glimmer, ferns undulate. Out of some external Cambridge his friend began beckoning to him, clothed in the sun, and shaking out the scents and sounds of the May term.

One book you wish you had written:
Suffice to say that I'm constantly wishing that I had written any book.

One book you wish had never been written:
I'd have to agree with ABB and say that even fantasy censorship is a slippery slope...

One book you are currently reading:
On Mexican Time by Tony Cohen.

One book you have been meaning to read:
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. This is near the top of the list again since I recently finished The Hours. I did laugh, though, about the blurb on the cover of the paperback copy I just picked up, which felt the need to tout it as "The book that inspired The Hours."

Now tag five people...
1. Huntington (goes without saying -- ah, I see he's already done this)
2.-5. If there's anybody out there actually reading this blog, consider yourself tagged.

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