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08 December 2008 @ 03:52 am
Literature Meme  

Got this from Viola-chan! I had tons of fun doing this. It was exhausting since I have to look at my library collection. But overall, it was worth the answering! Thisn is a 50-question survey.


01. What's your name?
Harley. Harleigh (whatevs)

02. Do you read a lot?
Yes. It’s a fetish.

03. What's your favorite genre?
I enjoy morbid and comical satire. A lot. Perhaps a little too much.  It is utmost pleasurable to read about paradoxical characters and their multiple ironies. I guess because I’m also a very self-contradictory person.


04. Do you prefer fantasy or science fiction?
I think that these two are probably my least favorite genres. However, I think medical stories about ‘virus spreading and killing people’ might fall into ‘science fiction’ category. I hype over those stuff. I grew up reading the Harry Potter series so there’s the fantasy genre. I like Tolkien’s prose. But that’s about it.

05. What's your favorite fantasy book/series?
The Harry Potter series. Quite honestly, I was in 4th grade and had finished “Goblet of Fire” when the first movie came out. I only enjoyed volumes 1-4 of the series. After that, 5, 6, and 7 no longer appealed to me. On manga: definitely xxxholic.

06. Who's your favorite fantasy author?
Nobody in particular. J.K Rowling and J. R. R Tolkien, I guess.

07. What's your favorite science fiction book/series?
Zilch. I mean, I don’t really have any specific book or stories of this genre in mind.

08. Favorite sci-fi author?
I have none.


09. Which do you prefer: a puzzling mystery, or a terrifying thriller?
Both. Definitely! I enjoy detective stories and psychological thrillers to the bone, novels and short stories alike.

10. Do you have a favorite mystery novel?
Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes with 4 novels (particularly The Sign of Four) and 56 short stories (naming favorites: The Empty House, The Final Problem, Five Orange-pips, The Problem at the
Thor Bridge, The Solitary Cyclist and the Red-Headed League). I also like Sara Paretsky’s V.I Warshowski stories since she’s an impressive female sleuth. I adore Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series as well. Also his individual books not related to his series: “Tell No One,” “Just One Look” and “No Second Chance.”

11. A favorite horror novel?
Anything by Dean Koontz (specifically Odd Thomas, False Memory and By the light of the moon) and Stephen King (Carrie). I think Thomas Harris’
Hannibal, Silence of the lambs and Red Dragon are crime horror. And also Black Dahlia by James Ellroy. And this manga Presents which is only three volumes of nothing but creepy, disturbing imagery of greed and fears amplified by mystery and violence.


12. Do you read romance novels?
Shoujo manga. I love Yuu Watase and Tomoko Hayakawa. But I go for erotic romance novels when I need to take a dump on the toilet...especially when said dookie-dumping takes a long time. Some people read magazines; mine is romantic paperback.

13. How about gay romance novels?
Yes please! I tend to read non-fiction material of this genre. I have two volumes of collected essays pertaining homosexual experiences. It’s an anonymous publication. I enjoy pornographic gay/lesbian too for light reading.

14. What's your favorite?

Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Lovely Complex, Guru-guru Po-chan, Fushigi Yuugi, Zessei Warashi, Fruits Basket, Ouran Kouku Hostabu and Nodame Cantabile


15. What's your favorite children's book?
The Little Prince.
Alice in Wonderland. Through the looking-glass. Peter Pan.

16. Is it the same book that was your favorite when you were a kid?
My definite childhood favorite is The Little Red Riding Hood. There’s a moral and reality implication about the Big Bad Wolf that still continues to fascinate me.

17. What’s your favorite YA book?
Hmm...I skipped this. I only got to read HP series and then I moved to law and medical thrillers of John Grisham and Robin Cook by 6th grade.

18. Did you actually read it as a YA?
No, I actually didn’t care before.

19. In general, do you prefer children's books over grown-up books?
I like Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales. The original version of ‘Cinderella’ is fucked up genius before Disney ruined it and made it all fluffy. I like Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales as well.


20. What's your favorite classic novel?
A Clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. Carylyle’s House by Virginia Woolf. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. As you like it and Othello by Bill Shakespeare, of course. El Filibusterismo of Filipino veteran and writer Jose Rizal is timeless for me.

21. What about general fiction?
One author that makes me feel all nice is Jostein Gardner (Sophie’s World, The
Orange Girl and The Ringmaster’s daughter).


Ones that made me cry: A Curious Incident of the dog in the night time by Mark Haddon, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill, Good Benito by Alan Lightman and The Kite Runner (of course!) by Khaled Hosseini.


I think I’ll also list here my favorite political novels: John Le Carre (Little Drummer Girl, The Mission Song and The Constant Gardener). Sum of all Fears by Tom Clancy. Satire-wise: Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted, Fight Club, Choke and Survivor.

22. What classic novel do you just not get?
Jane Austen novels. I get them but...I don’t like the stories of her novels. And I also do not like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

23. Do you have a favorite play or drama?
Othello and As you like it by ol’ Bill.

24. What do you think of Shakespeare?
I find him disagreeable in Romeo and Juliet (I hate this among all his works and I say this after many comparisons...I guess it’s my least favorite) but literature’s common and enchanting figure is Shakespeare. And for good reasons!


25. Could you pick a favorite poem?

Invictus” “The Daffodils” “Midsummer.” Poetry is actually my great literary weakness. I’m picky and I choose those that really speak to me volumes.

26. What about a favorite poetry collection?

27. Who's your favorite poet?
I think I’ve read some of Hemingway’s and I’m floored by some of their distinct quality.  


28. Do you read comics or graphic novels?
Manga. DC comics as well.

29. Do you have a favorite series?
Kazuya Minekura (Saiyuki and Wild Adapter). Tsugumi Ohba’s Death Note. Fullmetal Alchemist, xxxholic, Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, Tennis Ohjisama, Kuroshitsuji and Case Closed.

30. A favorite book?
I’m a proud collector since age seven because my grandfather loves this comic book series. He passed away when I was twelve and he left me his collection.


31. Do you prefer short stories (or short novels) over full-length novels?
As long as the prose gives me catharsis and touches me in many levels.

32. What’s your favorite short story?


Two well-crafted mystery stories: “The Terrapin” by Patricia Highsmith. “The Purple Shroud” by Joyce Harrington.

33. Favorite short story collection?
Simply the Best Mysteries (1998). The
Canterbury Tales. Hans Christian Andersen’s Most Loved Fairy-Tales as well.

34. Do you have a favorite short story author?
I like Edgar Allan Poe. I mean, I don’t have favorites from his collection but the way he writes as a short-story writer is stylish and hard-boiled.


35. What kind of nonfiction do you usually read?
Anything that’s self-help in personality issues and relationships, business books about leadership and strategies (that my father keeps pushing me to read) and some variety of documentaries about Catholic religion, crime almanacs and editorials from favorite Filipino journalists.

36. Do you have a favorite nonfiction book?
Stories about Nazis and World War II do excite and trouble me.

37. Read any interesting biographies?
I read biographies of my favorite writers (and fictional characters). Does that count?

38. History books?
Serial Killers, Abominable Tyrants. I’m drawn to Greek and Roman histories...their culture, politics and most especially sexual practices. The history of the
Philippines is colorful too since we’ve been colonized by the Spaniards, Americans and the Japanese, giving our culture a very perplexing mix of Eurasian practices.

39. Politics?
Law books are fun to browse through before I sleep, like five pages every night...without really caring what the fuck it is I’m reading. Recently I’m trying to comprehend Socrates and Aristotle theories and philosophies...when I’m done I have to read Kant and Marx...Nietzsche. Just for the sake of knowledge.

40. Religious texts?
The Bible. I like Job, Solomon and The Revelations. I know it seems like I’m agnostic but I’m very spiritual (yet liberated) as a Catholic so I read controversial outtakes about Catholic faith (for example the cases about priests and pedophilia tendencies.)

41. How about books on mythology, fairy-tales, or other cultural stories?
Immensely stimulating.


42. What's the most important element of a novel? Plot? Characterization? Style? Themes? Happy ending?
Characters. I strongly believe that the most gratifying element of any story lies on the characters’ personalities, opinions and experiences. From them comes the plot. When I write a story, I don’t think of the plot itself...but the characters first, where they’ve been and where they’re going.

43. What kind of plot interests you the most?

‘Beyond human consciousness’ themes. I read Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s dreams where he narrates from Einstein’s POV as he discovers the Law of Relativity. It was...out-of-this-world poignant. But books like this rarely come. Another example is Martin Sloane about how both ‘loving someone unconditionally’ and ‘art’ can be very similar. It was moving. For now, I settle for crime mysteries since they reflect the human behavior.

44. What kind of characters usually appeal to you?
Social outcasts. Borderline fanatics. I like characters that are normal on the surface at first until they gradually turn into (or have always been) something...terrible and intriguing. Patrick Bateman from American Psycho is one example as well as Carlo Ventresca from Angels and Demons. We got Dexter Morgan from Darkly Dreaming Dexter as well. Conflicted moral characters like Bruce Wayne of Batman, Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist and Jean Valjean from Les Miserable also make my heart flutter in the vicinity of my throat, making it hard for me to swallow.

45. What is your favorite book overall?
My favorite movie of all-time (and nothing has surpassed this yet) is Edward Scissorhands since it was a recurring dream to me when I was four (and I haven’t even seen the movie yet. All I could see is a man with scissors and a girl dancing in the snow.) And I later discovered that it was the year 1990 the movie was released and my mother watched it while she was pregnant with me. It was one of those beautiful mysteries unexplained.


So my favorite book of all is By the light of the moon by Dean Koontz. It tells the story of two brothers, one is an autism savant named Shepherd. Him, together with his older brother and this woman, became science experiments and they started to posses powers that allow them to see the past by touching someone, the future disaster and Shep’s unique power of ‘folding’ where he would touch air with his fingers and like crumpling a paper, he could touch the any place and change it (for example, if he sees a wall, he just raises his fingers and pinches air and the wall suddenly shrinks. That’s how amazing it is!) Anyway, the reason why this is my favorite of all is because Shep reminds me of my brother and his relationship with his older sibling made me relate my own. While I was reading this novel, my brother is in the other room (he’s barely home) and I suddenly started crying after reading an emotional chapter and I went to his room and climbed to his bed. I slept peacefully (but my chest was aching) beside him.


Yeah, that was some dramatic shit but it’s the truth and I’m not going to deny how in that small moment, literature destroyed the final barrier between my brother and I. I finally learned to lose myself to the sweet agony of my love for Francis. Who says a single book can’t save you from slipping through the cracks? It saved me.

+++PASS IT ON+++

46. What's the last book you read?
Lambs of God by Marele Day. I mentioned this in my other journal. A story about three hermit sisters and a modern priest stumbling on them. A conflict about practicing one’s faith the old-fashioned way or not ensues. Very comical and poignant at the same time.

47. What are you reading now?
In the most conceivably aghast circumstance, I’m reading Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn and it dried me up. Completely altercated my sense of literary equilibrium and it sucked the blood from my delicate veins and made it sparkle like Meyer’s pathetic fag excuse of a vampire, Edward-fucking-Cullen. My life force weakened that I could barely write my own fanfiction stories. All I did in the course of the next five months after reading completely the cheap-ass series is watch anything that could keep my head from exploding because of Meyer’s turd. Thank god for HBO’s “Carnivale” and “

48. What are you going to read next?
I need to finish The Great Political Theories volumes 1 and 2. Hopefully I can pick up a good fiction book that didn’t rape literature as I know it.

49. Is there a book you would recommend to everyone on your friends list?
Just. Avoid. Twilight. Series. Or. Anything. Written. By. Stephenie. Meyer. And I pray to gods she won’t write anymore. She could do the whole world a favor and kill her darlings! Kill them before they grow up and come after her!

50. Tag five people to fill out this meme:
If you’re interested on filling out this meme (I assure you it’s fun) then go ahead!

Current Mood: excitedexcited
viola_canina on December 8th, 2008 10:22 am (UTC)
This is very interesting! I'll make sure to check some of your favorites out. Sadly, I don't know much about the history of Philippines, but I guess I need to read more about it, I'm sure that your culture is fascinating. Hmm, and I agree that Andersen's tales are great.
Harleigh Maureen Cooper: Can you hear the bells?harleycooper on December 8th, 2008 11:06 am (UTC)
Oh, well, my culture has been discriminated as 'tainted' since we've been colonized by the Spanish for 300 years. That's why a typical Filipino looks either like Malayan or Latin...or a mix of both. It's a complicated heritage but it's part of the irony of my individuality too. I suggest Jose Rizal's works if you can find any. His two major novels about Spanish invasion in the Philippines (Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo) have already been translated to English.

Hans Christian Andersen!! I do like reading his fairy tales everytime I get sad.
viola_canina on December 8th, 2008 12:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, okay, I'll try to find it. English books are hard to obtain here where I live, but who knows, maybe there's a Russian translation? Our culture is pretty complex as well because we were under the Tatar yoke during a certain period of our history and then there were many other events. And yes! I, too, like Andersen. Do you know his tale The Story of a Mother? It's fascinating. I also like The Garden of Paradise a lot.
Harleigh Maureen Cooper: ryuk is boredharleycooper on December 8th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
When I hear Russia, I think of communism, tAtu (the singing duo) and espionage thing because of the cold war (and too much Tom Clancy novels). Is this wrong of me? @_@

I have this big Andersen collection of fairy tales and I haven't finished reading all of them.

*checks the said book*

Here it is! The Story of a mother is in page 238. The Garden of Paradise is page 340. They must be good; I'll read them tonight. This book is so thick that I have only read at least 22 of the fairy tales. Thanks for the recommendations!
viola_canina on December 8th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC)
Haha, well, we ARE known for those things. And Communism did play a huge role in our history. I don't think that it's wrong, really. ^^ Well, we also have some pretty great literature but I'm not sure if it's easy to find in other countries.
Harleigh Maureen Cooper: frail tezukaharleycooper on December 9th, 2008 07:55 am (UTC)
Oh dear god, I believe so too!

I've only experienced English, Irish, French, German and American literature, foreign-wise. I haven't really encountered anythinh Russian yet (perhaps not to my knowledge. Are there any famous Russian books out there?)
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Harleigh Maureen Cooper: twisted lightmisaharleycooper on December 11th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
Daijoubu! I'm actually waiting for an answern for this one! Oh right, Tolstoi is Russian. I saw a copy of War and Peace. Thanks for that!

Gay/Lesbian...porn? Well *blush* Story of O is...hmmm..about S&M largely but there is a lesbian theme about it too. And er, I can recommend Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask if you want something literary. Henry James' The Turn of the screw is also one. Also Nabokov has this Pale Fire that my uncle has and I'm planning on borrowing it.

But...you want porn? *blushes* I-I don't know about that. I'm sort of...private with my collection of...that.
(Deleted comment)
Harleigh Maureen Cooper: you can never tell with kyouyaharleycooper on December 11th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
Motherf-- yeah! There is something wrong with me. It's one of my favorite classic novels and I forget where it comes from? Shit on me.