Book Challenge: Recitation, Frightenings, Nausea

What's On the Bookshelf?

Day Three of the Book Challenge. You sick of this yet? I’m not. But I think I will be, quite soon.

Seven: Book You Can Quote/Recite

Recitation. Quotation. I actually have great difficulty remembering exact words if they aren’t sung, so rarely do I quote books perfectly. There’s usually some mess ups here and there.

I’m most proud of the fact that I can quote part of Inferno (in Italian) and I know what it means. Continuing on the Dante kick, I would love to be able to quote one of the poems out of La Vita Nuova.

Tanto gentile e tanto onesta pare

la donna mia, quand’ella altrui saluta,

ch’ogne lingua deven tremando muta,

e li occhi no l’ardiscon di guardare.

Ella si va, sentendosi laudare,

benignamente d’umiltà vestuta;

e par che sia una cosa venuta

da cielo in terra a miracol mostrare.

Mostrasi sì piacente a chi la mira,

che dà per li occhi una dolcezza al core,

che ‘ntender no la può chi non la prova:

e par che de la sua labbia si mova

un spirito soave pien d’amore,

che va dicendo a l’anima: ‘Sospira!’

I love that poem. I really, truly do.

Eight: Book that Scares You

By and large, I don’t read books that are scary. I’m more likely to watch scary movies than read horror books.

But you know what does scare me? Diseases. Real world stuff. So, book that scared me? My textbook for my Emerging Infectious Diseases class.

My friends and I would read the book, and end up diagnosing ourselves. Never wise. Also, in Boston you are highly unlikely to get any of the exotic diseases found in Africa.

Nine: Book that Makes You Sick

No book has made me physically ill, I’m proud to say. But there are some where the descriptions have moved me to grimace (I’d love to watch my face as I read. I’ve noticed that I make some really funny feeling expressions if I get really into a book).

Sick with dread, perhaps.

I recently finished Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence. I read it following a biography on the man, which made following it easier. But there was also a sense of dread. I knew about some of the more terrible instances in the book because the bio addressed them, in some cases I had even read these sections, as Korda felt Lawrence’s words were better than his for certain situations, particularly Lawrence’s abuse at the hands of the Turks in Deraa.

Reading the Deraa section, indeed, knowing it was coming, put my stomach in knots. It didn’t make things any better when I got to that part.

On a more humorous note, reading about sheep-pyramid feasts didn’t help the hunger level. Ugh…

5 thoughts on “Book Challenge: Recitation, Frightenings, Nausea

  1. Okay – you need to read Dahl’s “The Swan” and we should discuss. Somehow he manages to get some of the most deeply-felt reactions out of me and when i read the prompt for “sick” this was the first story that jumped into my head (probably because I read it the most recently). Disgust. At humanity – or its absence. That being said, I think i could answer most (not all) of these questions with stories from Dahl.


    1. That makes complete sense, MutantSupermodel.
      With films, what scares me most is characters who are just…off. People whose thoughts are just completely harmful to others.


  2. I think I may be with MutantSupermodel in the scary books department.

    I’d seen a reference once to a notion that when we read medical textbooks, we’re certain we have every disease but that when we read psychological textbooks, we’re certain that all of our friends have ever disease.

    One book that made me “sick” was Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. Yes, it was about conceptions of beauty and family bonds, but some of it was truly disturbing.


    1. Hence why I neither became a doctor nor a psychologist. Studying English–I could try to deconstruct myself, but that would just get confusing.

      Some of my friends read Geek Love for a course on monsters and madness last fall. It sounded like a disturbing book, from what they said about it.


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