Tuesday, March 11, 2008

And I'm Reading...

I’m off the hook for being creative today since Pauline, who happens to be one of the best writers I know, handed me a meme a few days ago to which I have never responded:

1. Grab the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
2. Open it to page 123.
3. Find the first 5 sentences and write them down.
4. Then invite 5 friends to do the same.

From “The City of Falling Angels” by John Berendt, which I am reading in preparation for going to Venice in a few months:

“If your poison is as effective as you say it is, why are there any rats left in Venice at all?” “Very simple,” he said. “Venice doesn’t use my poison. The city council always awards contracts to the lowest bidder, so I don’t even bother submitting a bid. I’m prepared to make my contribution to humanity, but” – Donaldson winked – “humanity must be willing to make a contribution to me.”

Signor Donaldson, the rat man of Treviso, is just one of the many colorful characters the protagonist meets as he gets to know Venice in the period just after the fire that destroyed the historic Fenice opera house, where five of Verdi’s operas premiered. I’m not too much further along than page 123, so I don’t exactly know where this story is going, but so far it’s making me anxious to see firsthand this city which forever hovers between endurance and decay.

Just about everyone I know has already participated in this meme, so I will skip the fourth instruction and simply invite anyone who so desires to participate!


Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

venice - how exciting! this book sounds great, I'll have to add it to my list. if you like mysteries check out donna leon - she has a great series set it venice with one of the most appealing group of characters.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Old Lady said...

"forever hovers between endurance and decay."

Nice line!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hmmm ... a little different from the version I have seen. (1) Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages). (2) Open the book to page 123. (3) Find the fifth sentence. (4) Post the next three sentences. (5) Tag five people.

At the moment, the closest book to me is the phone book.

The second closest book (discounting the ones holding up my monitor) is "FAX: The Principles and Practice of Facsimile Communication"

Which renders unto us this gem (using my rules):

"A fundamental factor limiting the resolution capabilities of a fax system is the size of the scan spot. Of course, it is a factor only insofar as it is consistent with the scan density, or pitch (scan lines per inch), of the system. The optimum relationship - assuming, for the moment, a round spot - is a spot diameter, in inches, equal to the reciprocal of the number of lines per inch."

3:11 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

that was a great compliment - I thank you!

Does Venice have good chocolate?

8:07 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Closest book:

Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

Once the game proper starts, the first episode (sometimes early episodes) is almost always something of a training module, even though it may not be labeled explicitly as such. In this episode, things are less hectic and demanding than they will get later on. (This is not to say that things are hectic and demanding enough to provide a feel for the game world and what is to come.)

2:51 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

I've got five going
A Short History of Myth
Slow Man
Travels in the Scriptorium
Breakfast at the Victory, and
Router Magic
My next piece already has something in it connected to page 123 of one of them (now all I have to do is type it up)

12:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mouse -- My skin doctor mentioned the Donna Leon mysteries set in Venice. I'll have to check them out.

OldLady -- I had a little help on that line, I must confess.

Richard -- Leave it to you to be reading a technical book!

Pauline -- I'm sure Venice has excellent chocolate.

Kelly -- I may now have reason to read this book about video games.

Ulysses -- How in the world do you multi-task 5 books?! Send me a message when your next installment rolls off the press.

2:20 PM  

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