Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Meme: Influential Books

I was tagged by Mixed Media Watch to fill out this book meme. And you know what? I'm much happier procrastinating by blogging about my favourite books than working on this presentation I have to give in four hours. I hope you guys aren't too disappointed. I don't think I've read a non-textbook in... seven years? Not surprisingly, this meme reflects that since so many of these books are children's books that I read a LONG time ago. 1. One book that changed your life Strangers from a Different Shore by Ron Takaki. Takaki inspired my interest in Asian American history and politics. Though I originally became interested in learning more about APIA activism after a bias-related incident targeting an Asian American on my campus, it wasn't until I read this book that I really started thinking about the APIA community, how we relate to the rest of America, and how powerful and ignored we have been throughout our history. Without a doubt, this book changed my life. 2. One book you have read more than once Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling. I read this book repeatedly to get my Harry Potter fix. I practically know it by heart now. 3. One book you would want on a desert island The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, because this book contains the entire series, and I haven't read them since I was nine -- and I loved them back then. Plus, if I got bored, I could rip up the pages and use them to start a signal fire. 4. One book that made you laugh The Barbarians Are Coming by David Wong Louie, which is funny and witty and touching all at the same time. It's not innately comedic, but it definitely draws you in. 5. One book that made you cry (I'm going to cheat here) Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson, a book that just had me sobbing by the end. The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang, which is an extremely difficult book to read, especially as a Chinese (American) woman. 6. One book you wish had been written (cheating again) The Little Red Book: A College Student's Guide to Asian American Student Activism by J. Fang Karate Kids: Stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans in Comic Books by J. Fang 7. One book you wish had never been written (gosh, I'm just such a rebel.) In Defense of Internment: The Case for 'Racial Profiling' in World War II and the War on Terror by Michelle Malkin. Because people actually thought she had a point. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, because it is the great-grandmother of the most horrendous genre ever. No book should generate hellspawn like this, or this, or this. 8. One book you are currently reading Yellow: Race in American Beyond Black and White by Frank Wu, despite the fact that Wu can be an insufferable prick, the topic is very interesting to me. I'm hoping he'll have some new insights to consider. 9. One book you have been meaning to read Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. Yeah, I know, I have no excuse for not having read this yet. Okay, I have one -- I skipped a month's worth of classes when this was assigned to organize AA Heritage Month that year. That's not really an excuse though... it's been three years since that time and the book is mocking me on the shelf. Impertinent book. 10. Now tag five people! electroman, will, ragnell, lee herrick, loren javier and all you regular readers who comment all the time and who don't have blogs (you can post your memes in the comments of this post).


Anonymous Loren said...

Do'h! I've been tagged. Okay...will have to think and post on my blog. I'll probably do something more whimsical in lines of the comics and all.

As for Strangers from a Different Shore by Ron Takaki, I totally agree with you. That book really made me think and made me a stronger activist. Another one for me is Asian American Dreams by Helen Zia.

Great choices of books!

8/09/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Mac said...

No graphic novels Jenn?

8/10/2006 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger lintil said...

"in defense of internment"?!?!

*jaw drops*

then again, i've heard bad things about michelle malkin.

hm... the barbarians are coming sounds interesting.

(long-time lurker, first time poster. :D )

8/10/2006 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Yea, I didn't even know "In Defense of Internment..." even existed! How could someone write something like that?! It really boggles the mind. Michelle Malkin is a plague on this earth.

8/10/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger kfluff said...

I LOVE that David Wong Louie book! It's funny in that "if I don't laugh I'll cry" way. Right on.

8/10/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous gatamala said...

Wow!! I guess we're on the same circuit. This will be my 3rd meme post:

Lifechanging (not in the way you think ;)
1)The Bible by many, many people

More than once
2)TAofMalcolm X; Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll (I want a leatherbound Alice)

Desert Isle
3)Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand - long and engaging through & through

4)Persepolis Marjane Satrapi - Cartoons that show how retarded the Iranian Islamic Revolution was/is

5)Persepolis; The Rape of Nanking

Wish had been written
6)What I Really Meant When I Said,'God' Thomas Jefferson, Geo Wash, et al
AND What I Really Meant to Say is: The Gospel According to Me Yeshua ben Joseph

Why oh why was this written
7)The Bible - by not someone "divinely inspired"

Reading on my commute
8)Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie

Gotta get to this..even though it will probably kill me
9)America Alone, the Neocons & the Global Order Stefan Halper, Johnathan Clarke

Jenn-Bridge to Terabithia got me too!! Broke my fuckin' heart.

8/10/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous gatamala said...

@ Jenn

I clicked your links to those awful books - blecchh!!! That horrid minority-book-misrepresents-aspects-of-culture-as-entire-culture-for-white-people-packaged-in-a-corny-exotified-manner-so-that-you-know-it's-ethnic genre! Any book that has a hint of an Asian/S. Asian person in it gets signed up for the Orientalist treatment!

The book cover industry has to be a separate entity dedicated to destroying the maxim "you can't judge a book by its cover". I can't even walk by the ghetto fiction nowadays, lest someone think I'm buying that shit!

8/10/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger JJ the Inquisitive said...

(hi, longtime reader first time poster here!)

In Defense of Internment?!?!?! What? WHAT?! How the hell does that get published?! I'm also not American so I wasn't all that familiar with Michelle Malkin, but my God, she sounds odious. Off to do some research...

8/13/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Lee Herrick said...

Thanks for the tag, Jenn. I'll try to get on it in the next few days...

love your list.

8/13/2006 03:10:00 PM  
Anonymous nonwhiteperson said...

This is a hard meme because I like to read alot.

One book that changed your life. There have been too many but a few that blew me away are
Angry Women by V. Vale and Andrea Juno (interviews with performance artists, writers and activists- my favorite interviews were with bell hooks, Avital Ronnell, Wanda Coleman and Carolee Schneeman)
Woman and Nature by Susan Griffin (my introduction to eco-feminism)
Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement by Robin Morgan (hard-hitting essays and history of the Second Wave)

One book you have read more than once
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio

One book that made you laugh
F.U.B.A.R.: America’s Right-Wing Nightmare by Sean Seder and Stephen Sherrill

One book that made you cry
Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society by Inga Muscio

One book you wish had never been written
The Bible

One book you are currently reading
Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Mohanty

One book you have been meaning to read
Strangers From A Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki

8/13/2006 10:17:00 PM  
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