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Literature Quiz-List: Favorite Reading by Southern Muse

Recommended Classic Literature (Brief Summary of Books, Poems & Short Stories)

This quiz came around on Facebook. Since the Muse is a literary geek, this was my favorite of all the quizzes that came around.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Mark Twain or William Faulkner.
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
Probably "Huckleberry Finn" or "Tom Sawyer."
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Yeah, what's up?
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Cyrano de Bergerac.
5) What book have you read the most times in your life?
"Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain; though "Sleeping Murder" by Agatha Christie would have to be a toss-up.
6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
"The Boxcar Children" by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Or anything from "The Happy Hollisters" series. I liked "Brains Benton" books, too.
7) What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
Some pathetic new mystery novel, probably ~ if I even made it all the way through; I keep thinking I'll find another Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers, but I keep being disappointed. And seems as if I did read something that made me think, "Whew, glad I don't have to read THAT again." But I've already forgotten the title.
7) What is the best book you've read in the past year?
"All Over but the Shoutin'" by Rick Bragg. Hmmmmm, was that this year?
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
"Harold and the Purple Crayon"? "Huckleberry Finn," maybe. No, how about "Cheaper by the Dozen" or "The Dog Who Wouldn't Be," if it would get people reading. To that end, let's try "Rhubarb" and "Son of Rhubarb." But I was thirteen when I read those; please forgive me... ;-)
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I'm sure there is one, but I'd have to think on it. And I wouldn't pick one anyhow, if I couldn't choose the producer, director, screenwriters, and maybe even the actors. But some favorites that already exist? "The Dollmaker" by Harriette Arnow. "Coal Miner's Daughter," by Loretta Lynn. "Pride and Prejudice" (the A&E version). "To Have and Have Not" (Hemingway ~ his stuff is good on film, though he's not a favorite writer of mine).
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
By Hollywood? Or A&E? Or some British company? And by what director? Because it matters. Hollywood usually slaughters the classics. There should be a law against letting people who take American Idol seriously try to tackle "The Brothers Karamazov." I don't want to see another "Tom and Huck." I can tolerate their version of "Pride and Prejudice" ~ just. I don't want to see another Hollywood attempt to reinterpret classic literature for modern audiences. (Did they really have to have Mr. Collins make a little slip-of-the-tongue on the word "intercourse" to provoke a snicker from modern audiences? Do they worry that Americans might fall asleep during the premiere if they don't put in some little bit of bathroom humor? Maybe a glossary at the beginning of the movie, to hint that "intercourse" is not necessarily sexual, would help modern audiencess get into that early 19th century mode...
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Can't think of one. But I did once have a dream about Ronald and Nancy Reagan and nuclear holocaust, that played pretty much like a scene in a 1930s-1940s film...
14) What is the most lowbrow book you've read as an adult?
"Beyond Uhura: Star Trek and Other Memories" by Nichelle Nichols; unless you count "The Cat in the Hat," by Dr. Seuss. And I love "Sleeping Murder," by Agatha Christie.
15) What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
"The Portrait of a Lady" by Henry James, but I think I had psyched myself out because of an upcoming test by the dreaded Dr. Williams. She wasn't so bad, really... teeth much smaller than what her former students had told me. Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" threw me for many years, but then I grew up. Also, I'm having vague flashbacks to Voltaire's "Candide" and something by Dryden...
16) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I prefer Russian literature, but I love the elegance of the French language.
18) Roth or Updike?
Never read Roth. I did enjoy Updike.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
Haven't been there, haven't done that.
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Shakespeare. But let me ride along with Chaucer for a few miles.
21) Austen or Eliot?
George, or T.S.? Just kidding, they'd have to be referring to George Eliot in this context; so, I'd have to say Jane Austen, a personal favorite of mine.
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
War and Peace. Ulysses. I've missed some giants of the 20th-century variety.
23) What is your favorite novel?
Not easy to say. Different ones at different times. Faulkner's "Light in August," some time ago... "Anna Karenina," at one time... "Pride and Prejudice" or "Great Expectations" at another. "Far from the Madding Crowd," years ago. "Song of Solomon" by Toni Morrison at the time I was reading it. But I do keep going back to "Huckleberry Finn."
24) Play?
Ooooooh, dat's hard. I like to watch them, not read them. But "Cyrano de Bergerac" by Edmond Rostand (translated from the French) is my favorite. I do like "Death of a Salesman" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." I just don't read plays very often.
25) Essay?
"A Modest Proposal" (Swift) would have to be my favorite; but I really don't keep up with essays. I don't have a stock of titles from which to choose. (Did you appreciate that grammar?) I used to love 18th century prose... things like "The Spectator" and "The Tatler."
26) Short story?
"Greenleaf" by Flannery O'Connor. "Strong Horse Tea" by Alice Walker. "Flowering Judas" by Katherine Anne Porter. Or, if you want to go lowbrow, "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs; or maybe "The Wonderful Day." "The Rose Crystal Bell" by Robert Arthur... No! "Where Angels Fear" by Manly Wade Wellman. But if I choose those, I have to leave out "A Rose for Emily" by Faulkner; "Thus I Refute Beelzy" by John Collier; "In the Vault" by H.P. Lovecraft; "Sredni Vashtar" by Saki; and "The Big Wave" by Pearl Buck. I mean, you're talking to a woman who collects books of short stories! It's just too dang hard to choose...
27) Work of non-fiction?
"I Am Not Spock" by Leonard Nimoy. I'm sure there are others...
28) Why no poetry? Ianís asked about Poetry! So: Poem:
Let me make that "poems," plural: "Tam O'Shanter," by Robert Burns. "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "A Cooking Egg," and "La figlia che piange," by T.S. Eliot. Robert Frost's "The Black Cottage" or "Blueberries." Thomas Hardy's "The Ruined Maid." "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson. "The World is Too Much With Us Late and Soon" by Wordsworth. And various ones by E.E. Cumming.
29) Who is your favorite writer?
Mark Twain, maybe. For casual reading, I like Agatha Christie.
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I couldn't possibly judge.
31) What is your desert island book?
"The Holy Bible" (King James version; but couldn't I slip in a copy of "Huckleberry Finn," too?)
32) And ... what are you reading right now?
Southern Muse... Oh, you didn't mean literally?