One book that changed my life
I thought about this for quite some time, and I'm not sure I have a good answer. My life has been shaped and molded in many ways over the years by thousands of books, but I've never had a conversion experience or anything like that, and I can't pick out one specific book as a defining moment. There are two broad categories of books that had a major influence on my life as I was growing up: Biographies of autistic scientists and inventors, which taught me that it was OK to be eccentric and to obsess over one's work, and stories about people who struggled against oppression, such as those who helped runaway slaves, resisted the Nazis, and so forth. Growing up in quiet suburbia, I was foolish enough to think that all the great struggles for freedom and civil rights already had been fought and won. How little I knew.
One book that you've read more than once
When I was a child, I often read books more than once. They were my good friends and my companions in adventure. I had a set of illustrated children's encyclopedias, which was always good to wander through. One of my favorite entries was about a volcano that suddenly emerged from a cornfield in Paricutin, Mexico, sending the terrified villagers fleeing. Sometimes, instead of paying attention at school, I looked longingly out the classroom window in the hope that a volcano would pop up out of the parking lot and save me from the tedium. Alas, no such luck.
One book you'd want on a desert island
I'll give this one a logical aspie answer—a book of practical survival skills.
One book that made you laugh
When I'm in a mood for a good laugh, I'll read books of comic strips, such as Calvin & Hobbes.
One book that made you cry
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. Actually, just about anything by Barbara Kingsolver. She has a wonderful ability to create believable characters and situations from the smallest details of everyday life, and she gets the emotional nuances just right.
One book you wish you had written
I've never wished to have written any particular book, although I spent a lot of time as a child wishing that I could be my favorite characters in books.
One book you wish had never been written
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, in all its various editions. 'Nuff said.
One book you're currently reading
I'm not currently reading any books. I've been spending too much time reading blogs instead. Bad me.
One book you've been meaning to read
Foucault, Madness and Civilization. It's a history of psychology as a tool of social oppression. I've read various discussions that mentioned it, but I never got around to actually reading it.
People to tag
I'll go with Joseph, Kassiane, and Mum is Thinking. (No offense intended to anyone not mentioned!)
Thanks Redaspie. :)