A book that made you cry:
Haing S. Ngor: A Cambodian Odyssey with Roger Warner. This is the true story of the man who portrayed Cambodian journalist Dith Pran in the movie The Killing Fields. His story is 100 more horrifying than what he portrayed in another man's life and true testament to man's inhumanity to man.
A book that scared you:
The Vampire comic book I read before bedtime when I was 10. I didn't sleep all night I was so scared. More recently, The Writing on the Wall by James Goodman, though I didn't feel the effects until we had a power stopping thunderstorm that night and I was sitting all alone in the dark trying to ignore my very full bladder so I didn't have to leave the cocoon of pillows on the couch. No, I am not kidding, James. This is true. Go ahead and giggle. Hehehehe.
A book that made you laugh:
A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt. I read it on the beach during my escape to the beach this summer and more than once had my father and stepmother wondering what was so funny.
A book that disgusted you:
How to Eat Fried Worms. My 4th grade teacher thought it was the height of hilarity to read it to us right before lunch and make all sorts of disgusting sound effects to go with it. He was an asshole in many ways, that is just one small example.
A book you loved in elementary school:
I can't remember just one but I devoured any biographies I could find about Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, and Martin Luther King, Jr. They were my heroes, still are.
A book you loved in middle school or junior high school:
Exodus by Leon Uris. Yes, I read this when I was 12 and I was swept away by it.
A book you loved in high school:
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
A book you hated in high school:
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. It was the ultimate in depressing books after a semester of depressing books from a teacher who thought the definition of great literature was something that induced a mass suicide during class.
A book you loved in college:
Peace Child by Don Richardson. It's about a missionary to Papua New Guinea and his thoughts about what he calls 'redemptive analogies' which are cultural parallels to the story of Christ.
A book that challenged your identity:
A Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter. It's about a frontier boy raised by Indians. It didn't necessarily challenge my identity but I remember reading it when I was 12 or 13 and feeling like maybe I wasn't crazy to have some of the questions about my own origins that I had at the time.
A series that you love:
Probably the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, which I never read until Diana was about 5 and I started reading them to her and her sister.
Your favorite horror book:
Hhhmm....I don't generally read horror so I will go with a short story instead. Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe. I have to say I like how he could creep me out without getting gory.
Your favorite science fiction book:
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Your favorite fantasy:
I don't read a lot of fantasy because I've always been a biography/memoir/nonfiction fan but I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien for the sake of Isaac and I really did enjoy it.
Your favorite mystery:
I don't read a lot of this either but my dad gave me The Bottoms by Joe Lansdale and I quite liked it.
Your favorite biography:
I don't think there is any way I could even begin to pick a favorite here, way too many that I have just loved, so I will recommend the most recent one that knocked my socks off. In the Name of Honor: a Memoir by Mukhtar Mai was completely amazing. It is about an illiterate Pakistani peasant woman who was sentenced to be gang raped for the sake of family honor after her brother was falsely accused of impropriety toward a higher caste woman. It was assumed she would commit suicide after the gang rape, instead she fought for justice all the way to Pervez Musharaf and has started a school for girls. It's a very thin volume and a quick read but eye opening and profound.
Your favorite "coming of age" book:
Well, most folks wouldn't think of it as a coming of age book, but I'll say Le Petit Prince by Antoine St. Exupery. This book could easily fit in any number of the other categories (identity challenging, fantasy, classic...) here and it is truly one of my all time favorites. Since I can't really generate another thought for this category the award goes to LPP.
Your favorite classic:
Well, how are we defining 'classic?' If it's something enduring written in the last hundred years put me down for pretty much anything by John Steinbeck. If we are talking something really old let's say Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (but in more modern English please). If we are talking downright ancient that would be the Bible.
Your favorite romance book:
Quite honestly, I'd sooner read horror than some Harlequin romance. Gag. But Thirty Days Hath April by Bill Bley, which the author doesn't call a romance (because it's erotica instead) but a 'fuck book' (I swear, it's right there in the forward) is very good, interspersed with all sorts of literary allusions, and you might actually learn a thing or two from it.
Ok, now that I've given you a list of recommendations why don't you leave some of your favorites here for me or else do this at your place.