Sunday whimsy – my name in books

It’s a year later but this seems a like good day to revive the old blog and update the list.

I have shamelessly nicked this from Linda Huber (who apparently nicked it herself from book blogger Cleo Bannister) because it looked like a bit of fun for a whimsical Sunday blog. Feel free to nick it from me, if you wish. No tagging required 🙂

So, the objective here is to write your name and add ‘loves books’. Then you roam your book shelves (and Kindle/Nook/Kobo/Other reading library) to find titles that match each of the letters. So, here goes, my name in books:

Jennifer Morgue: Laundry Files #3 – Charles Stross (Sci-Fi/Horror comedy)
Othello – William Shakespeare (Lit)
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams (Absurd Fantasy)
Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palauhniuk (Transgressive Fiction)
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Saffran Foer (Lit)

Mountains of Madness – H.P. Lovecraft (Weird Fiction)
All Tomorrow’s Parties – William Gibson (Cyberpunk)
Necromancer – William Gibson (The original Cyberpunk!)
New Cthulu: The Recent Weird (Anthology of Weird Fiction)

Lullaby – Chuck Palauhniuk (Horror Satire)
On the Road –  Jack Kerouac (Beat Gen Lit)
Villete –  Charlotte Bronte (Lit)
Earthsea Quartet – Ursula LeGuin (Fantasy)
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson (Cyberpunk)

Beowulf – JRR Tolkien (Lit)
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (Lit)
Oroonoko – Aphra Behn (Lit)
King Pest – Edgar Allen Poe (Lit Horror)
Sunset park – Paul Auster (Lit)

So, what is your name in books?

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So I can survive the middle ages, but would I want to?

One of the great things about smartphones is that there is always something available online when you’ve got a few minutes to kill somewhere. My favourite time-killer activity is taking those silly quizzes on Buzzfeed, particularly the ‘Can we guess your <insert attribute here> by the kind of houseplants you have?’ kind of quizzes. According to my lack of houseplants, I am 23 with killer abs…

Recently, I took a quiz to decide whether or not I would survive the middle ages. The questions were actually not bad and ranged from ‘would you be able to be subservient to your lord?’ to ‘can you bake your own bread over a fire?’. As it turns out, Buzzfeed thinks I’d be rather good at living in the middle ages… but I don’t really believe them.

Yes, I know how to build outdoor shelters and I know how to ride horses and cook over campfires and all that malarkey. I grew up in South Africa where that kind of stuff is taught in primary school (seriously, they send you off into the wilderness for a week to learn this stuff). But I feel the makers of this quiz are overlooking one rather glaring fault in their system. As a woman a) I wouldn’t be able to go to school to learn to read and write, and b) I’d have to be a dutiful and obedient wife, and I’d probably be dead by now (either from disease or giving birth to one of the 11 children dear husband would demand I bear him).

Setting the latter aside for now, it is the former that really sticks in my craw. As an educated woman of the 21st century, I enjoy being able to use my noggin. I also revel in filling it with lots of lovely knowledge. In the middle ages, I would not have been able to do this unless I passed myself off as a boy or found someone to teach me in secret. Even then, I would not be able to use that knowledge publicly. I’d have to marry a man who was willing to be my cover. He’d be dumb as two posts, but through him I could let loose all the crazy and interesting thoughts I might have.

This is of course assuming I would want to travel back to the middle ages. For the longest time I entertained fantasies of living in a medieval castle… don’t we all at some point… and being the willful and stubborn daughter of a lord who read medieval books and swanned about the battlements practising swordfighting with one of the more intellectual guardsmen (I fear I may have been unduly influenced by some chick lit that snuck into my reading pile somewhere – possibly the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon). But now I am not so sure.

After a short but intense internal philosophical debate (in which my beta side beat my alpha side into submission with an old serial port keyboard), it turns out I rather like living in this current technological period. Yes, I also love going off into the natural green surroundings and living in a tent for a month, and climbing mountains in Scotland is still preferable to living the city life, but I have a sneaky feeling that nature and technology are going to find a happy medium. So I’ll stay here, thanks, where I can climb my mountain and blog about it too.