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Learn Hexadecimal

Fifteen minutes? All right, I can do that.

with 7 comments

Goddamn but I’ve been busy lately.

Toaster and Marbles double-tagged me for some kind of book meme. Apparently you’re supposed to list fifteen books that influenced your mind in fifteen minutes.

Oh boy.

I’m not ordering the list, so if you want to check my compliance with the rules, you’ll have to count the damn things yourself.

  • Let’s start with one I just finished reading: the Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. Technically, this is four books. I don’t give a fuck. If you want, you can just take the last one, because it got into my head the hardest: The Rise of Endymion.
  • There is no way I could ever make a list like this without talking about Robert Heinlein. Dude was fucked up, but he made a big impression on my growing hexagonal mind back when I was about ten or twelve years old. I’m thinking specifically of Red Planet
  • …and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
  • …and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. I am kind of ashamed of this one, but shit, it could’ve been worse.
  • Terry Goodkind, specifically, is how it could’ve been worse. His Sword of Truth series sunk its hooks into my brain when I was too young to understand its many, many flaws, and left me with a lasting fondness for aggressive women in leather. That probably wasn’t something you needed to know. Wizard’s First Rule is the first book in the series and the one I will most readily admit to having enjoyed.
  • What else, what else, what the fuck else? It’s been about five minutes, by the way. I’m going to turn around and look at my bookshelf and see what strikes my eye. Oh, hey, Steven Brust! The Book of Jhereg is another one that got under my skin in the best way possible. It is actually three books, but they’re bound in a single volume, so fuck it.
  • I’ve gotten rid of about 98% of my Mercedes Lackey books, but I used to read them voraciously when I was about thirteen. I was a weird kid, okay? Let’s throw another trilogy on here: The Last Herald-Mage, specifically the first book, whose title I can’t recall at the moment. In the unlikely event that anyone reading this actually knows what it was about, shhhhhhh.
  • There is no way on Earth I could make a list like this and not fill about half of it with Roald Dahl. When my age was in the single digits and I was very impressed with myself for being able to read books that hardly had any pictures in them, I lived in a world of Dahl. Boy, or whatever the one about his own childhood was called, stuck with me particularly hard. There were others, though.
  • Namely, The Witches. I reread that book so many times I still remember offhand that the witches’ eyes were described as being like little flames burning at the heart of ice cubes. (If that reference ends up wrong, I’m gonna look like a dumbass, but that’s not news.)
  • The Wonderful Tale of Henry Sugar, or possibly some other adjective that is vaguely synonymous with Wonderful, also features on this list.
  • Matilda. This is the only book about which I’m willing to say that the film adaptation was easily just as good.
  • You thought I was done with Dahl, didn’t you? Think again. George’s Marvelous Medicine taught a tiny hexagon what not to do when your parents leave the house.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (wow, old Roald liked his intensifiers) was so good I’m going to track down a copy and read it again. Just because I can.
  • I’m running out of time; I think it’s closer to twenty minutes than fifteen. Obviously I have not yet learned how to shut the hell up. Let’s go even younger, to that Dr. Seuss book, I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. Did I get the title right? Whatever. It’s the gripping plotline that shines in my memory.
  • Doing a total 180 from Nice Happy Childhood Stories (or, in Dahl’s case, Nice Slightly Twisted Childhood Stories), I give you 1984 by George “did you seriously need me to tell you his fucking name? Seriously?” Orwell.

I sure as shit hope there wasn’t a rule about not blathering on. I can’t talk books without blather. It’s a law of nature, kind of like gravity.

Now all I have to figure out is how in the name of fuck I managed to write that whole damned list without featuring a single Pratchett.


Written by Learn Hexadecimal

July 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Hah!!!! I failed entirely to put in any Douglas Adams!!!! Pratchett is way to neuvo for me – I love him, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think anything I have read in the last twelve to fourteen years made my list…

    That, and I really should have included the Chronicles of Narnia…One, because they belonged on mine and two, because then there would be no lists that I don’t have books in common with…

    I have to admit I am especially pleased to see Matilda on your list. I would only have been more pleased had I found Paddington (or the book whose fucking title I still can’t remember, but would totes know if I saw it)…


    July 22, 2009 at 1:47 am

    • Books I’ve thought of or been reminded of since making the list: Narnia, the Phantom Tollbooth, Ender’s goddamn fucking forged-half-my-childhood-and-I-forgot-about-it Game…

      Re: Pratchett, I find his later works tend more and more to resonate with my brain. His Tiffany Aching series is like Matilda with broomsticks.

      If I axed the last dozen years, alas, I’d have to limit myself to books I read when I was under eight years old and my list would be even more Dahl-infested than it already is.

      Learn Hexadecimal

      July 22, 2009 at 2:18 am

  2. Yendi rocks!

    Stephanie Z

    July 22, 2009 at 3:28 am

    • Yes. Yes it does.

      Learn Hexadecimal

      July 22, 2009 at 10:18 am

  3. Thanks, thanks a lot – now I feel old again…Not that these two semesters of community college didn’t already have me there:)

    I’m beginning to suspect that I am probably the only person who just flat refused to read Card – kept trying to pick him up and every time was just unable to do it.


    July 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  4. I love how we have absolutely no books in common.


    July 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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