Sunday 1 May 2016

Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge II

Shouldn't we all be doing
something else right now?
(First seen here)
 This second edition of Not The Infomaniac 2016 Book Challenge brings not a selection of books from over the Cusp-
 Because we were banned from the Cusp library!
For an incident involving a 4H pencil, a small frog, and a gesture that could be classed as obscene in certain cultures!
That gesture was taken wildly out of context!
 Yes, but you meant it though, didn't you!
Only a little bit...
 Anyway. Enough of that. As I was saying, there are no books from over the Cusp this time. Instead, may we present a book meme that first graced our hallowed blog nearly ten years ago.
 We've updated the answers (all from The Host), but you can see the original here, if you're curious.
 Right. On with the show:


1. One book you have read more than once: Get Off the Unicorn, by Anne McCaffrey. I last read this anthology back in October 2014, and was going to give it another flick through (probably only my favourite stories, though), until another oft read book caught my eye on the shelf next to me: The Ship Who Sang (also by Anne McCaffrey).
 In fact, all the books in this post that I've actually read (with the exception of the one that I wish hadn't been written), I've read more than once! 

2. One book you would want on a desert island: Oh, gods. I really don't know? Something amusing, I think. Maybe one of Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes collections, or Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett?

3. One book that made you laugh: Not the Royal Wedding, edited by Sean Hardie and John Lloyd. I last read this book just over a year ago and, as always, it had me shaking with laughter.
 It also provided inspiration for various blog posts, not least those regarding Dame Barbara Cartland's many hats (and a wedding hat of my own), and the titles of many others beginning with "Not..."

 • Not the Hats of Barbara Cartland II
 • Not the Emperor's New Clothes
 • Of not-Concorde, The Core, and Contractors

4. One book that made you cry: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet, by Becky Chambers. Specifically, the bit near the end in which - 


- Lovey, the ship's A.I., is severely injured and, as a last resort to save her, the tech engineer Jenks, who loves her, resets her (basically, switches her off and on again) but only her original factory-settings program, Lovelace, is restored. Devastated, Jenks breaks down and flees the ship.

5. One book you wish you had written: Aside from The Time Traveller's Wife (see the original meme), and The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet (here and here), I wish I'd written one of the many books floating about in my head. I've got a couple of potential Star Trek novels knocking around up there, plus an original sci-fi novel in the vein of TLWTASAP, and a semi-autobiographical historical fantasy.

6. One book you wish had never been written: I'm not going to mention the book or the name of the author because they don't deserve the publicity, in my opinion. But, to give you a clue, the book's title describes a number of monochromatic tones, and the subject matter revolves around the author some vacant strumpet lusting over a character almost played by Charlie Hunnam in the film adaptation (poor Jamie Dornan, though). If it wasn't for this book, the world wouldn't have been subjected to the horrible sequels and that dreadful film.
 Full disclosure: I haven't read the whole book, but I've read enough of Inexcuseable's copy to recognise the appalling writing which ruins the lurid sex fantasies. Pah! 

7. One book you are currently reading: As part of my Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "relaunch" re-read, I'm reading Fearful Symmetry, by Olivia Woods.
 Actually, I've just finished it and I'm about to start Dayton Ward's Elusive Salvation which arrived on my Kindle on Tuesday. In fact, by the time this is posted, I may have already started it. 

8. One book you have been meaning to read: The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe, by Romain Puertolas. As recommended by The Very Mistress MJ herself!

9. One Book That Changed Your Life: So many books have made an impact, whether large or small, on my life, but I'm going to go with There Must Be Fifty Ways To Tell Your Mother, by Lynn Sutcliffe, as I reread it recently. This book of Coming Out stories (that first featured here) helped me deal with how friends and family dealt with my Coming Out twenty-odd years ago.

10. Now Tag 5 bloggers: Ooh! Who to choose? I'd like you all to have a go at this meme, but I'd particularly like to see the following five bloggers do this:

 • The Very Mistress MJ (because she started it!)
 • Ms Scarlet (to give her something else to do)
 • Tim (if he can find the time)
 • Norma (because that SPRING! photo has simply got to go from my sidebar), and
 • Mistress Maddie (as an act of reciprocation)

 Now, have at it!


  1. I mentioned a couple of recent reads over at my place the other day.If I can find enough head space I might have a crack at this.
    Just so that you (or any others!) don't ask, I've managed to avoid the one that sounds like a breakdown at the Pantone factory.

    1. I hope you can find a nook or cranny in your head to have a go at this. I'd love to see your answers.
      And thank gods you weren't taken in by that colourless farce!

  2. Booked — This is the first thing that jumped off the screen at me. I was greatly relieved to discover that a visit to the police station was not involved!

  3. I enjoyed this, Mr. DeVice, and may take you up on the challenge later on. Don't hold your breath for anytime soon but I'm making note of it.

  4. Replies
    1. I would say "sorry to disappoint you", but I think you would be disappointed if I had read the likes of her.

  5. What a fantastic (& some familiar from previous sharing) reading list! I have MJ's pick on a list of books to read. I, too, have been rereading some old faves.

    Let me just admit here that going over some old Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders stuff, I'm taken aback by some of the material that I didn't understand nor grasped when I first read her books as a preteen. I didn't realize there was so much dubious consent & backwards, awful views on women & nonhetero characters, & the terrible treatment of slaves & the disdain for life. I didn't understand these themes when I was younger; I was just interested in the dragons, & I couldn't understand the mating flights & dragon hunts. If I didn't get it, I just powered thru & kept reading.

    Though I did enjoy these stories as a youngster, as an adult, I'm forced to see the themes & disturbing violence & awful human maltreatment so prevalent in her books. It makes rereading them a whole new, & at times disturbing, experience. Rereading Anne Rice gave me the same feeling of WTF? & how the hell did I miss that the first time around?

    1. Like you, I also read Ms McCaffrey's books when I was very much younger and didn't "get" anything much other than the dragons, psionic abilities, living spaceships etc.
      Recent rereads always uncovered more of the social and political themes of the times when the books were written. And not very progressive or pleasant themes, at that. However, despite the current scathing reviews on (and other sites), I think we have to acknowledge that these books (and others) were written 40-50 years ago, and we can learn a lot from them, not least how not to be.

  6. Yay!!! I've been tagged!!!
    I will do that then. I will do that right now, in a minute.

    1. ... 57... 58... 59... 60!

      ::looks around to no avail::

  7. May the 4th be with you!

    1. Thank you, LẌ. It was, but now its the Revenge of the Fifth!


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