Good Reading : May 2006
MAY 2006 ı goodreading 7 me my shelf i ● What are you reading now, and why? I’m reading Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin. It’s very funny. I’m reading it because one day I decided that I am interested in manners. ● Who are your favourite authors? Douglas Adams, Oscar Wilde, Joseph Heller, Salman Rushdie, Jasper Fforde, Jostein Gaarder,Walter Moores, DBC Pierre, Roald Dahl, Ben Elton ... this list goes on and on. ● Which books have had the most influence on your lifestyle or philosophy? The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy: A trilogy in five parts. Everyone has a book that they wish they had written ... that’s how I feel about the Guide. ● Which author/s would you most like to meet? I know it’s not possible now, but it would be nice to have a long lunch with Douglas Adams, Joseph Heller and Ben Elton during which we could write a book about how life was perfect until someone came up with the idea for the Big Bang. ● Which book/s did you love best as a child? The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Danny the Champion of the World, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They are so easy to read and have just the right mixture of thrills, humour and scary bits. Dahl obviously never forgot what it’s like to be a child and dream up stories all day long. ● What is your all-time favourite book? Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. Just like life it makes no sense, but the fact that it makes no sense, makes sense ... again, this is just like life. The most important thing I have lear nt about this book is don’t recommend it to other people, because other people always find it frustrating and blame you for their frustration. So just tell them not to read the book and they’ll thank you for your help. ● Do you have a favourite fictional hero or heroine? Batman, because he has no special powers, he’s just a guy with big issues. He can’t fly, but he acts like he can. I think he’s a great example of what you can achieve if you really truly believe in yourself ... and your issues. ● Do you have a favourite film of a book? Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.The book was brilliant, but the movies had those fantastic songs ... I love movies with songs in them. ● Looking at the books on your shelves, is there any one category that dominates? There are lots of reference books, followed closely by novels with a more abstract style of plot. ● How are the books on your shelves organised? They’re not really organised in any order, but I do try to avoid placing tall books next to short ones because it can make my shelves look very messy. Thin next to fat is fine as long as they are the same height. ● Where is your favourite place to read? Wherever I know I can be comfortable for more than thirty minutes without needing to move or falling asleep. This means I frequently find myself lying on my bed with my head over the edge and the book on the floor in front of me. It works well because I have a very low bed so I’m reasonably close to my book. I can stay in this position for a long time, because it’s comfortable but not tiring. Perfect. ● Do you have a favourite bookshop? Any bookshop where I can find the book I’m looking for. I also like to order books over the internet, forget about my order, then act surprised and say ‘Oh, I wonder who sent me this’ when a gift-wrapped book ar rives on my doorstep. elliot spencer ELLIOT SPENCER, the popular presenter of RollerCoaster (‘the hippest program for kids 8 to 14’) on ABC TV, came to broadcasting after collecting and pushing trolleys in Perth shopping malls, which enabled him to listen to the radio all day. He graduated from the WA Academy of Performing Arts and became ‘Kid Eager’ on Eoin Cameron’s breakfast program on ABC Perth. He reads voraciously and his goal is to write a book that is then made into a film, a TV show and a musical — when he’s good and ready. As he says, you have to be both.