Friday, August 11, 2006


For all blogmates game enough to have done the six weirdness meme a week or so ago — and may now be having regrets for revealing their uniquely strange characteristics — I say don’t sweat it. Check out instead the following five accomplished writers and their peculiar habits*:

- Henrik Ibsen hung a picture of August Strindberg, his mortal enemy, near his writing desk.

- Friedrich von Schiller couldn’t write unless his bare feet were immersed in cold water.

- Jack Kerouac wrote only by candlelight.

- John Steinbeck suffered from the fear of putting down the first line.

- John Cheever used to put on a business suit, leave his apartment, and go to his basement where he would hang his suit on a hanger and proceed to write in his underwear.

We may laugh at them now, but guess who in the end laughed all the way to the bank?

Speaking of writers, recently, I was tagged by a newfound blogmate, Ipanema of Lands End. Her meme is all about books. This, I must admit, has got to be the toughest meme yet only because I’ve read quite a few and to choose one title as the singular response to each of the following questions is absolutely tough. There were instances where I was convinced I was done, but only to go back to make some changes. At one point, it seemed like I was going through one of those neuroses common amongst New Yorkers.

Finally, I just had to say to myself, “Stop it! No more changes. Post the damn thing!”

So here are my responses:

One book that changed your life:

The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes -- absolutely the finest book on anger management.

One book you have read more than once:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – though small and a quick read, it is truly a feel good book.

One book you would want on a desert island:

U.S. Army Survival Manual – I’ve got to eat eventually.

One book that made you laugh:

356 Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living by Benrik – a celebration of one’s innate desire to be silly and frivolous, but too ashamed to admit it.

One book that made you cry:

Sophie’s Choice by William Styron – the challenge alone of reading it from start to finish can make any grown men cry.

One book you wish had been written:

The Deliriously Blissful Life, A Manual -- to be awarded at birth right after you get slapped on the butt by a masked, white-gowned stranger.

One book you wish had never been written:

The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels – it doesn’t work mainly because it lacks an understanding of/consideration for human psyche. Not their fault – when the book was published in 1848, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) wasn't even born and Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) was still a high school student.

One book you are currently reading:

The Passover Plot by Hugh Schonfield – more appropriately, a book I’m currently trying to finish reading

One book you have been meaning to read:

Freakonomics by S. Levitt and S. Dubner – if I could only find a copy here in Manila

Now tag five people:

Since it was a newfound blogmate that tagged me, thought it’d be fitting for me to tag other newfound blogmates as well for this meme. So here you are:

Aurea — Boxing, Grad School, Life…
Bugsybee — Blogging Bugs
Houseband00 — My Life With D (The Houseband Chronicles)
Ladybug — Of Law and Badminton
Wil — Miskina Ano Na Isip

Jhay - Pinoy Explorer

You may post your response on my comment box if you do not wish to post a separate entry of it on your site. Others who may wish to join in the fun can post your responses also on my comment box.

Have fun, y'all!

*Source: Art and Soul, 156 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit by Pam Grout

Labels: , ,

posted by Señor Enrique at 9:07 PM


Blogger ipanema said...

lol Eric. It was tough for me too, having forgotten titles. I had Sophie's Choice in my mind but I couldn't remember its genre.

This book tag originally came from med bloggers, the first group I had contact with, (though I'm not a doctor) when I started blogging five months ago.

You've a great list.

August 11, 2006 10:00 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Try holocaust (for Sophie's Choice) ... hahaha. Ooops ... don't mean to laugh about that subject. Sorry.

Yes, Ipanema, this book tag was tough but fun! How long did it take me? A week almost?


Enjoy the weekend!

August 11, 2006 10:16 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

lol. Only after posting did I remember my titles.

Anyway, it was fun but I don't know if others did it actually. I don't mind for as long as I've tagged them. We don't really know how others may take it. But for fun and not take the risk of being labelled spoil-sport, type!

Have a great weekend too.

August 12, 2006 12:03 AM  

Anonymous aurea said...

Hmmmm... this one is tough. I don't read as much as I'd like to. This will take some thought to complete...

By the way, I got Zen in the Art of Archery in the mail today. Looking forward to reading it!

August 12, 2006 4:16 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, Ipanema ... after wracking my brain into remembering one title, another and then yet another title would pop up. In the end I had too many to choose from but now uncertain which one to pick ... grrrr :)

August 12, 2006 5:59 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

We're not talking recently read books, Aureau, but from the collection of books you had read in your lifetime :)

Ahhh ... so you finally got your copy, huh? Zen in the Art of Archery is the other title I read numerous times. Also, I had purchased it many times to give as presents to friends, colleagues and relatives pursuing hobbies in sports or arts.

Now I suddenly feel homesick for NYC only because I could order any book I want online and have it on my doorstep in two days -- just like you did :(

I wish we have Amazon available here in the Philippines :)

August 12, 2006 6:07 AM  

Anonymous jhay said...

Whew, it sure is one tough meme. As I was reading it I preparing answers of my own in case I got tagged again, (since you're the only one who tags me) but I found it really hard to answer the first question alone!

Right now, I am looking back and forth from my computer screen and to my bookshelf and thinking, it definitely be the toughest meme I would've ever answered.


August 12, 2006 6:59 AM  

Anonymous aurea said...

I have a bad memory - will have to remember which books I have read in my lifetime :-)

Living in NYC is nice for voracious readers. The Barnes & Nobles are open until 11pm or midnight. Also, Barnes & Noble ships FAST to New York.

I even ordered the book used, and I received it very quickly. I just picked the seller in New Jersey :-)

August 12, 2006 7:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's what Ipanema and I were laughing about, Aurea -- the fact that our memories suddenly became elusive while doing this meme -- which made it all the more fun!!!

Yes, Barnes & Noble was a big treat for me. I've used that as a personal sanctuary more so than St. Patrick's Church.

Only do this meme when you have time for it, Aurea :)


August 12, 2006 7:38 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Well, Jhay ... I tagged you just the same!

But do it only when you have free time so you'll enjoy it even more.


August 12, 2006 7:42 AM  

Blogger cathy_bythesea said...

Loved this entry! Please check out my entry today. Nkisali ako. Hope you don't mind? Thanks!

August 12, 2006 8:33 AM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Thanks for the tag, Eric. =)

I started it last night but had to save it as a draft and sleep.

Everything was much clearer when I woke up.

'Tis posted, Señor!

August 12, 2006 8:38 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Oh, thank you, Cathy for joining in! I had you in mind, but held back; afraid you might be too busy and only get burdened if I tagged you.

I will check it out now!

Again thanks much!

August 12, 2006 9:15 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you, Houseband00!

I have been admiring the style of your prose and thought I must tag you for this.

Great! I'll check it out now.

August 12, 2006 9:17 AM  

Blogger ipanema said...

You have a good group of readers here Eric, at least they respond. And they want to join, that's better. The more the merrier. Tag everyone! :)

August 12, 2006 10:04 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Correction, Ipanema: WE have a good group -- after all, you started this chain of events :)

If you have some time, check out their sites as well because they have interesting entries.

August 12, 2006 10:14 AM  

Anonymous bugsybee said...

Whoa! You have to give me a long, long time to think about this. But I will do it. I love challenges! Thanks, Eric!

August 12, 2006 1:04 PM  

Blogger ipanema said...

Oh yeah huh, I tagged I will do just that, bloghopping. Later when I'm home, still at the office.

August 12, 2006 1:26 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Bugsybee! I'm sure you'll enjoy doing this :)

August 12, 2006 7:02 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Ok, Ipanema. A very smart and interesting bunch, actually!

August 12, 2006 7:04 PM  

Anonymous noemi said...

I was tagged by Cathy and I groaned. I haven't read in ages . SO I had to think hard. Not a great list but still those are the books I've read in the past 40 plus years

August 12, 2006 7:34 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

You have two titles on your list I'd like to get. The presentation of your meme was also quite impressive -- that was a lot of work, huh? Hope you enjoyed doing it, Noemi!

August 12, 2006 7:45 PM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

I love books! But I'm more of a fiction kind of gal. I'm starting to read non-fiction now. I think I could pick from your list. I've been wanting to read The Alchemist for quite a while now. I guess I better check out the library. I've seen Sophie's Choice last year. Meryl Streep was so good. But ah, I was kind of depressed after that, thinking about which of my children I would choose were I in her shoes. It took me a while to shake if off my mind.

August 12, 2006 10:09 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The Alchemist is a wonderful book, Niceheart. It's about a boy's journey in search of his fortune. Your sons may like it, too, once they get older, but your eldest can appreciate it now. Although a fiction, it is laden with insightful words of wisdom.

I didn't bother watching the movie after having read the book, because of its depressing plot. I can imagine what it felt like for you.

August 13, 2006 2:55 AM  

Blogger Wil said...

hmmm.... a meme about books. i'll have to think about that one. ;)

August 13, 2006 10:20 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Only do it when you have time, Wil. This way you'll enjoy it more. :)

August 13, 2006 11:42 AM  

Blogger minotte's notes said...

hi senor, i was tagged by cathy and i have to get my list together. meantime, i can send you FREAKONOMICS from california if you want. it's about $24. but i can try used books first so it's cheaper?

happy reading to you! oh, what is a meme?


August 14, 2006 2:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Wow! Many thanks, Minotte! But only if not much trouble.

$24.00 is fine but how will you send it over? And how will I remit you?. Please email me for details -

BTW. Jeff Vergara (aka as jepaperts of Dubai Chronicles) designed my site and he was in Dubai at that time while I in Manila. But we had made an arrangement that worked well so, I have him as reference, as well as Tet Bautista of Penovate, another fine graphic artist.

Meme's definition according to the dictionary is a cultural or behavioral element passed on by imitation or other non-genetic means. However, it may have a completely different meaning as used in blog-tagging context, which I do not know :)

Perhaps, our other readers will enlighte us.

Again, Minotte, thank you so much!

August 14, 2006 7:26 AM  

Blogger ladybug said...

Whew! Finally, I was able to finish the meme. :-) I had to change some titles over a period of 3 days.

August 14, 2006 6:38 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Same experience I had, Ladybug!

But I had fun, though. Hope you did, too. Lemme go over and visit your site now.

August 14, 2006 8:02 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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