Saturday, 21 June 2008

Oh No I'm Not

I am told that this book sums up my very being:

You're A Prayer for Owen Meany!

by John Irving

Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest
this fact in mysterious and loud ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking
moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I took this quiz, folks -- the book quiz. And it drove me wild for many different reasons, but mainly because they make you choose between A and B. Between hot and cold, between rabbits and armadillos. And how can you do that? There may be times when I prefer rabbits; there may be times when I'd far rather have myself an armadillo (but hold the leprosy, please). In winter I'd rather be in a hot place than a cool one, and in summer I'd rather be in the refrigerator than wherever I am. But forget all that: then and there you are expected to choose, and you are only given two options! Even in life you often get more than two options!

The first question was easy: Are you long-winded? This rather impressed me; I figured the rest of the test would be a breeze. Then they asked me the hot-cold rabbit-or-armadillo questions and far too quickly, based on my reluctantly given answers, they summed up my personality in this one book. Which is probably a fantastic book, because John Irving is a great writer and Stephen King gave it a thumbs-up, but it still ain't me.

"Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings," they say. Okay, yes, that's me to a T, but I reckon they just got lucky. Next we have " inspire faith in almost everyone you know." Oh, no I don't. Even our garbage man disses me, and whenever we go anywhere, my kids say "Mom, are you sure you know the way?" and refer to previous trips and time spent asking random strangers for directions. My favorite of all, though, is "You prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled." What in blue blazes is that supposed to mean? I don't even plan for a picnic in great detail, planning for destiny fulfilled would thoroughly bamboozle me.

If you've got five minutes to kill (and you know you do if you're here, reading this), please take this quiz, then come back and tell me what book you are. How is it 'you'? How is it completely off the mark? (Yes, folks: I know that the quiz is almost deliberately bogus -- that even the simplest bozo is infinitely too complex to be fathomed by a five-minute test, and that this is really a clever way to promote books. This is tongue in cheek, okay?)

And while we are on the business of promoting books, please visit Chris Eldin's wonderful new blog, BOOK ROAST. Chris does a great job of promoting many of the excellent books written by fellow bloggers, and her site is well worth visiting. If you have a book of your own you'd like to promote, drop Chris a line. If you happen to hate books, she also has a great sense of humor, so your visit will not be wasted. If you hate books and don't appreciate a good sense of humor, go clean your room...and do you maybe need a snack?

Now I'm off to prepare in great detail for destiny fulfilled. In my compost heap.


Beck said...

I am, apparently, Watership Down. Which means that I am immature. Good for me!

Carole said...

Hmm, I am Huckleberry Finn. Which I must say I like for the most part.

"With an affinity for floating down the river, you see things in black and white. The world is strange and new to you and the more you learn about it, the less it makes sense. You probably speak with an accent and others have a hard time understanding you and an even harder time taking you seriously. Nevertheless, your adventurous spirit is admirable. You really like straw hats."

Charles Gramlich said...

I took the book quiz and apparently I'm some book I'e never heard of. I don't think this one is very accurate, I'm afraid.
Below is what I got:

You're The Giver!
by Lois Lowry
While you grew up with a sheltered childhood, you're pretty sure everyone around you is even more sheltered. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, you were tapped on the shoulder and transported to the real world. This made you horrified by your prior upbringing and now you're tormented by how to reconcile these two lives. Ultimately, the struggle comes down to that old free will issue. Choose wisely.

Kim Ayres said...

I took it, didn't like one of the selections, so plumped for one option, followed through and ended up on a book I didn't know and didn't like the sound of. So I wnet back, changed the option and got a different bunch of options I didn't likeand ended up on other books I didn't know and didn't like the sound of.

After 4 attempts I just decided the quiz stinks.

debra said...

Lolita????????? Give me a break. I agree with Kim.

Alice said...

Everyone got something different. I got: You're I, Robot!
by Isaac Asimov

While you have established a code of conduct for many generations to follow, your demeanor is rather cold and calculating. Brought up to serve humans, you have promised never to harm them, to follow orders, and to protect yourself. Living up to this code has proved challenging and sometimes even drives you mad. If you were a type of paper, you would be pulp.

Pulp? What the hell does that mean?

Robert the Skeptic said...

I have acquaintances who absolutely sop this stuff up... Like "The Secret".

The real secret is that they all use the techniques of psychics called "cold reading":

Kara and I took a cold reading class together from one of the experts in the field, Ray Hyman. We are both now certified experts. The trick is to weave a general enough statement that practically anyone can ascribe themselves to, like: "You are thoughtful and contemplative but occasionally like to act on impulse." You, and about 6.6 billion other people, can probably agree with that characterization.

Sadly, a goodly portion of that 6.6 billion happily shell out good money to hear this crap.

I am sure were the author of this book to take the quiz, their book would be "The color of money".

Mary Witzl said...

Beck -- You must have checked that box about preferring rabbits! I wish I'd gotten Watership Down. At least I've read that one.

Carole -- I am so envious. Huckleberry Finn is one of my favorite books. But where did they get that malarkey about the accents? And do you really like straw hats?

Charles -- I'm not good at remembering at names and seldom remember titles (though I can remember plots and characters' personalities very well), so I know I've read something by Lois Lowry, but for the life of me I cannot remember what. I do know that she lived in Japan for a while; maybe that is why she stuck in my memory. Though I'm not crazy about the blurb for 'The Giver it sounds like it might be pretty good.

Kim -- Now you've got me wondering what book I would have gotten if I'd picked rabbits instead of armadillos. Hmmm, maybe I'll go back and retake the test a couple of times! After all, sometimes I might just prefer rabbits.

But you're right, of course: the quiz stinks.

Debra -- I don't blame you! I am not a great fan of Nabokov myself and I'd be pissed off if I'd gotten Lolita.

Alice -- "Your demeanor is rather cold and calculating?" and "You would be pulp?" I'm betting that whoever concocted that little character assessment had just had a bad day. Maybe you gave all the answers their estranged mate might have given -- or something similar.

Robert -- Heh heh -- 'The Secret' really cracks me up -- all that hype and fuss and all those people itching to go out and blow money to find out. I wonder how many skeptical, cynical cheapskates there are just like me out there? I hope there are at least 6.6 billion of us.

A Paperback Writer said...

I've taken the book quiz before-- and thought the results were bizarre. So this time I took the country quiz!!! 3 times!
First I was the Ukraine, then I was Peru. But my favorite answer was this one:

You're Easter Island!
One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do. So, since you were so lonely, you decided to make up a bunch of friends to entertain yourself. Rather than being classic imaginary friends, they had some real strength and substance to them, and have shown themselves to stand the test of time. There has been much discussion of your name, but you generally dislike its Christian implications. You wish you didn't feel quite so chilly. But you would not feel so all alone; everybody must get stones.

Hey, I kinda like it. Imaginary friends are good. I make them up all the time. I call them "characters."

Jacqui said...

I am Les Miserables. Harumph. I must agree with Kim as well, though Charles, I am jealous because The Giver is one of my favorite books.

Now the songs from the darn musical are stuck in my head...

Catherine J Gardner said...

I'm Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - :)

Mary Witzl said...

APW -- Well I'll be darned: I didn't even SEE the country quiz! My youngest and I took it together. She is Libya (no big surprise) and I am Texas: "You aren't really much of your own person, but everyone around you wishes you'd go away, so you might as well be independent. You're sort of loud-mouthed and abrasive, but you do have a fair amount of power. You like big trucks, big cattle, and big oil rigs. And sometimes you really smell. But it's not all bad, you're big enough to have some soft spots somewhere in all that redneck madness."

Who writes these things anyway? I wish I could get a job writing those descriptions. I'd be a lot nicer. Wish I were Easter Island.

Jacqui -- Thank you for commenting on my blog!

I'm envious of YOU for getting 'Les Miserables.' At least yours is an established classic.

I like what you said on your blog about your favorite book changing from year to year. My tastes change a little too and I veer from one book to another and (sometimes) back again.

Catherine -- Thank you for commenting!

I like Alice in Wonderland. I think I'll go take the test again until I get some books I like better.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I'm the Jungle Book. Just kidding. I refuse to lend credibility to their test, particularly as I probably haven't read the book that I am.

A Paperback Writer said...

What country are you -- and you get Texas?!
Only in the dreams of the Texans! Last time I checked, Texas hadn't been its own country for over 100 years.
and your daugther got Libya..... hmm.

Oh, if you're really wondering what book I was: it was The Guns of Navarrone, which I've never read and I can't recall now why I was this one.

A Paperback Writer said...

Hey, I took the book quiz again and got a decent book this time!

You're The Hobbit!
by J.R.R. Tolkien
All you wanted was a nice cup of tea when some haggard crazy old man came into your life and told you it was time to do something with yourself. Now you're all conflicted about whether to stick with your stay-at-home lifestyle or follow this crazy person into the wild. While you're very short and a little furry, you seem to be surrounded by an even greater quantity of short folks lately. Try not to lose your ring, but keep its value in perspective!

Angela said...

I'm the Poisonwood Bible. This is what it said:

Deeply rooted in a religious background, you have since become both isolated and schizophrenic. You were naively sure that your actions would help people, but of course they were resistant to your message and ultimately disaster ensued. Since you can see so many sides of the same issue, you are both wise beyond your years and tied to worthless perspectives. If you were a type of waffle, it would be Belgian.

Why do I suddenly feel like a big loser after reading that? I spin my wheels? Is that the sum of Angela?

Unfortunately I'm not skitzo--now that would be at least interesting. Nor do I come from or am currently immersed in religion. But the Begian Waffle part--totally me. I'll take ownership of that all right.

Kappa no He said...

Brilliant! I am K. Vonnegut's _Cat's Cradle_. Would have prefered _The Sirens of Titan_, but hey.

I don't think you're anything John Irving. I'm not a big Irving fan. You're much cooler than him.

Mary Witzl said...

GB -- Somehow I couldn't see you taking the test. I'm betting that you've had a mind of your own for some time now; that you'd find it devilishly hard to choose between rabbits and armadillos.

APW -- I've seen the movie and have always felt I should have read the book. And the author of Guns of Navarone was Scottish, though I can see how you'd want to go with The Hobbit, lucky you.

I'm betting someone who didn't like Texans wrote that description, silly twits. When you lived in the U.K., did you notice how many people here really admire Texans and want to go to Texas? I am always running into Texas fans here, for some reason.

Angela -- I am a huge Barbara Kingsolver fan and have read her 'The Bean Trees' and 'Pigs in Heaven' several times each. But I cannot say that I was crazy about The Poisonwood Bible. While I admire her intent -- exposing the role of the U.S. in the Democratic Republic of Congo -- I thought that some of her historical research was a little sketchy, and the father was just a little too evil for me. Still, I'd take it over the book I got. At least I've read yours!

Kappa -- Lucky you! I'm glad you got one that good. Not for one minute do I think I'm cooler than John Irving, but I'm betting Tom Woolfe would agree with you, and he hasn't even read my manuscripts. Then again, he' d probably prefer my kids' fan fiction to John Irving's novels.

A Paperback Writer said...

I must admit, Mary, that the only Texas fans I've ever met anywhere were people from Texas. I am not exaggerating. I've never met another soul.
The closest I've experienced to what you're suggesting was that when I was in Russia, people were enthralled to find out I knew real, live cowboys and had been to rodeos. But they were more interested in Montana than Texas.
I've got nothing against Texas, but the average Utahn, when faced with the prospect of Texas, will usually just comment on the heat and humidity.
In all fairness, I've also never met anyone who thought that Oklahoma or Kansas were desireable either. Utah, for all its weirdness, is, however. We have some of the most varied and incredible scenery in the world.
I wonder where you're finding all those Texas fans. How odd that I have not encountered even one.

Carolie said...

The silly quiz must simply be to try and get people to read different books, as there are far too many books for the number of questions (though I got no rabbit question, sadly, I did get "which are you more concerned with, surviving or hiding?")

I got: "You're Invisible Man!
by Ralph Ellison

"Most of your life, people have either ignored you or told you that you were wrong. You've been duped, mistreated, misled, and neglected. Maybe it was because of your race, or some other uniqueness that people were quick to condemn, but now you just want to crawl into a hole and disappear. After all, nobody knows your name. But you just might speak for everyone."

VERY funny, especially as I've never been ignored and so very rarely been mistreated...and I'm loud and cheerful, not hiding in a hole!

Fun for a few minutes...thanks, Mary! Now to go check out Chris's new blog...

Christy said...

I didn't get a question about rabbits. I'm sorely disappointed but I found the means to carry on somehow. I'm The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe evidently. It's not what I would have picked but I can't say it's completely inaccurate.

Eryl Shields said...

I am Animal Farm, and living proof that power corrupts and therefore tragically jaded. Also, I'm happiest on all fours, which is something I've never noticed about myself.

Carolie said...

Help! Somewhere, today (I thought it might be from someone here, or from the Book Roast blog) I saw someone's blog post from several days ago with a poem in it. The poem was short, and was basically about the fact that "being beloved" was enough in life. I can't remember where I saw it! Mary, Mary's readers...any ideas?? Help!

Carolie said...

Nevermind. *sheepish grin* Sorry about that. I found the poem.

Late Fragment by Raymond Carver

Mary Witzl said...

APW -- It may just be me, but I don't think I could count the times I've had people in the U.K. wistfully ask me if I'm from Texas, or failing that, have ever been there. My husband assures me this is a load of crock, but I swear, I've experienced it. Utah is beautiful, but I actually like humidity! And Texas is so big that you get a lot of different climates, don't you? (Maybe it's affecting me, this British Texan thing...?)

How sweet that Russians like the idea of Montana. You'd think that given their own wide open spaces, they'd go for Rhode Island or Vermont instead.

Carolie -- I loved Invisible Man and am thrilled that one is on the list. Whenever I've mentioned this to other readers, the response is "What? H. G. Wells?" I read this when I was a teenager and was riveted. There is a scene where the main character is given a letter of recommendation by a professor; he trustfully passes it on to a prospective employer, not realizing that it contains damning information about him. I remember being shocked to think that could happen, out in the big world. Naive me.

Christy -- You got a great one! Do you know, just for the heck of it, I went back to do this again (my kids wanted a go, actually) and that rabbit/armadillo preference question came up three more times.

Eryl -- Ha! Tragically jaded? Doesn't that just sound so teenager angst-ridden? I'm sure not happiest on all fours; it usually means I'm cleaning the bathtub or pulling weeds. Speaking of which: want some dandelions?

Carolie -- I'm glad you cleared that up finally! I go WILD when I remember just a fragment of a poem but cannot remember the poem itself or the author. I didn't realize Raymond Carver wrote poetry, though -- live and learn!

Tabitha said...

The book quiz says I'm Anne of Green Gables. Hmm...

"Bright, chipper, vivid,"
Yeah, most of the time.

"but with the emotional fortitude of cottage cheese,"
Nope, not even close.

"you make quite an impression on everyone you meet."
Also not true. People rarely even notice when I walk in the room, and it's always been this way.

"You're impulsive, rash,"
Again, not even close. I'm an obsessive planner.

Most definitely.

"and probably don't have a great relationship with your parents."
Half true. I have a great relationship with one, but not the other.

"People hurt your feelings constantly,"
Nope. Hardly ever.

"but your brazen honestly doesn't exactly treat others with kid gloves."
This is most definitely true.

"Ultimately, though, you win the hearts and minds of everyone that matters."
Hmm, I've no idea on this one.

"You spell your name with an E and you want everyone to know about it."
No "e" in my name, and I don't really care who knows. :)

Kara said...

Love in a Time of Cholera

apparently i inspire disease at the same time as amorousness. boo.

Mary Witzl said...

Tabitha -- I love Anne of Green Gables. I'm intrigued by this description because it sounds like they really went out on a limb, but that cottage cheese comment is a little like preparing for destiny fulfilled. Say WHAT?

People often don't know I'm in a room either, despite my garrulousness. The upside of this is that we get to do a lot of eavesdropping at parties. Plus, we often get to the food first.

I wonder what writers pulled this as a freelance job? Some people get all the luck!

Kara -- I took the quiz again, answering 'hot' instead of 'cold' and I got this one too. I'd have rather had 100 Years of Solitude and no cholera, but still...

Carole said...

Yes, I love straw hats.

Carrie said...

The quiz says I'm The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. But I'm so not.

Susan Sandmore said...

I got Prufrock and then I took it again and got Ulysses. Hmm.

Mary Witzl said...

Carole -- So do I! Sadly, I got rid of a splendid collection of them...

Carrie -- Once again, I'm envious. I figure if I go back and take this again, I can be lots of cool books if I just lie.

Susan -- Prufrock as in The Love Song of J Alfred? If not, I've never even HEARD of that one! And this is supposed to be books, right? Not poetry... You got interesting books, anyway. Very deep.

greenduck said...

Thought you'd like to know that the sequel to this quiz, the Book Quiz II, was launched this week. Enjoy!