Monday, September 29, 2014

A-Z Bookish Questions

Like half the blogs I read have done this, including Flowers of Quiet Happiness, Lady of the Manor, and Reading in the Dark.  I finally have time!  Hooray!  I've been wanting to do this meme for like two months now!

Author you've read the most books from:  Probably Rex Stout.  I love his Nero Wolfe mysteries!  And he was a very prolific author.

Best sequel ever:  I don't know about "best ever," but Christopher Paolini's Brisingr was sooooooooooo much better than Eragon and Eldest.

Currently reading: Middlemarch by George Eliot for the first time.

Drink of choice while reading:  Hot chocolate.

E-reader or physical book:  Physical book.  I don't own an e-reader.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:  I would have loved to have gone out with Ponyboy Curtis from  The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton.

Glad you gave this book a chance:  Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange.  I wasn't sure I'd like Austen pastiches, but I discovered an author I now like so much!

Hidden gem book:  An Antic Disposition by Alan Gordon.  Brilliant retelling of Hamlet that utilizes elements from the original Scandinavian story of Amleth.

Interesting bookish question you wish this meme include:  What's a book you wish you could un-read?  For me, it's Longbourn by Jo Baker.  Awful mess.

Just finished:  Betsy-Tacy by Maude Hart Lovelace -- for the first time!

Kind of books you won't read:  Smut.

Longest book you've read:  Probably Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.  Unless you count The Lord of the Rings as one book.

Major book hangover because of:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  I was so loathe to leave the world that I promptly read it all over again.

Number of bookcases you own:  Seven full-size, six smaller.

One book you read multiple times:  ONE?  Okay.  I reread The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin every few years.  I have to let at least 4 years go by between readings so I forget some things and have some surprises while I read.

Preferred place to read:  My teal rocking chair.  It was my grandma's, and passed down to me when we got married.  It's sooooo comfy.

Quote you like from a book you read:

Princess Bride quote for Valentine's Day

Reading regret:  Not having more time to read.

Series you started and need to finish:  Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series.

Three of your all time favorite books:  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, The Black Stallion by Walter Farley -- those are my top three.

Unapologetic fangirl for:  Raymond Chandler.  Absolute favorite author!

Very excited for this release more than all the others:  Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King -- the next novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes!

Worst bookish habit:  Turning up my nose at books just because they're popular.  Sometimes they're actually good.

X marks the spot:  Is this supposed to be about bookmarks?  I love bookmarks!  I used to collect them, and I still have loads.  My favorites include a metal bookmark with a picture of Boromir on the front and a Sherlock Holmes one I made myself that bears the quotation "Education never ends, Watson.  It is a series of lessons, with the greatest for the last."

Your latest book purchase:  Just bought The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook used online this morning.

The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook

Zzzz snatcher book:  I remember lying awake thinking about Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle while I was in the middle of it.


  1. I read Eragon and Eldest years ago, before Brisingr was out. Might just have to finish up the series, especially if Brisingr is an improvement on its predecessors.

    Haven't heard of Raymond Chandler before, but he seems to have a lot of titles! Is there one you'd recommend to someone just starting to read his books?

    Blech, Longbourn sounds like a smutty disaster. Bad things happen when people think they know Austen's characters better than Austen herself. *shudder*

    1. Brisingr was better, and Inheritance was worth waiting for. IMHO. Things got much more original as they went along. Also, Roran was my favorite character, and he got lots to do :-)

      Oh man, Raymond Chandler! King of Quirky Descriptions and Snappy Dialog! I don't know what a good place to start would be -- all of his books are delicious. Maybe "The Big Sleep" just because it's the most famous? Though I think "The Long Goodbye" might be my favorite. And "Lady in the Lake" is really accessible. Probably read descriptions and see which mystery appeals to you the most?

      Longbourn wasn't exactly smutty -- no written-out love scenes or anything. But it was lascivious. Impugning the good name of so many characters, making Wickham even ickier... yeah, I think "icky" is a good description for it.

      Now, Amanda Grange's "Diary of..." Austen pastiches are adorable. A bit fluffy, but fun. Like an ice cream cone -- not nutritious, but also a nice treat.

  2. How could I forget Pony Boy? Excellent choice! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is still one of my absolute favs - I feel a re-read coming on soon :)

    1. Nowadays I kind of prefer Darry Curtis, but still, Ponyboy is awfully sweet :-)

      TGLAPPPS is just a perfect delight. I would like to re-read it soon myself!

  3. for years, i have used the lemonade recipe from the anne cookbook you just bought. check that one out!

  4. How fun that you got to do this meme as well. I don't remember the question: Interesting question you wish this meme included though, but I see I didn't have a question for the letter 'I' at all. This is a good one!

    Hope you're enjoying Middlemarch?

    1. I made up the question for "I" because none of the blogs I read had one :-)

      Definitely enjoying Middlemarch! I grabbed it off the table as we headed to the ER last week, and am so glad I did -- read the first like 11 chapters that evening, and much more over the next couple days. Nothing like a good, thick book for a hospital stay! (At least until they pumped me full of painkillers and I couldn't think very well anymore.)

    2. Aha, very good!

      I definitely think it´s good for your stress levels to have a nice book to read while in hospital. They should make it obligatory!

    3. Once I was on painkillers, I had trouble concentrating, so spent my time watching things like The Beverly Hillbillies and NCIS on my room's TV. (At least I had a private room!) But that first night and the next day until surgery, that book was such a blessing! I think hospitals should have a little lending library cart with like donated used books that they could share around all the non-contagious patients.

  5. This is great! I might have a go at this myself!

    Wow, I got confused when I read the comments that mentioned you were in ER and I've had more of a look at your blog and I see that you were in hospital. I missed the post. I really hope that you're okay now?

    I've been reluctant to read any Jane Austen pastiches because I've always felt that no writer would be able to do full justice to Austen's characters but I DO keep hearing good things about Amanda Grange's books. All of the big Persuasion fans that I know seem to adore her take on that book. So I might try that one and her Henry Tilney book. Henry is my favourite Austen hero :) BTW I've tagged you for a Jane Austen challenge. You don't have to do it if you don't want to.

    I love Jane Eyre and The Count of Monte Cristo! That final sentence in The Count of Monte Cristo is quite possibly my favourite :)

    Another book that I wish I hadn't read this year is Gone Girl. It's a really nasty, horrible, stupid book :(

    I avoid smut/erotica too but the genre that I have even stronger feelings against are those abused childhood memoir type books like 'A Child Called It'. No, no, just... no. I don't have a problem with people writing them because I can imagine that it's like therapy for them but no way would I want to read them.

    1. Isn't it fun? I'm so glad I had time to do it at last.

      And yes, I had my gallbladder removed last week. Very unexpectedly, though I knew I have a family history of problems with it and greasy food has bothered me for years. Just didn't expect to have it out Right Now -- never knew I had gallstones or anything! Thanks for the good wishes! I had a follow-up checkup today and am healing nicely. Just on an almost no-fat diet until things heal up and readjust inside, which is non-enjoyable.

      Jane Austen pastiches are hit-or-miss. I reallyreallyreally love Amanda Grange's "Diary of..." series, though. Her Henry Tilney is my favorite, followed by Captain Wentworth and then probably a tie between Mr. Darcy and Colonel Brandon. Even she couldn't make me interested in Edmund Bertram, and I haven't read the one about Mr. Knightley yet.

      I'll check out the Jane Austen challenge!

      I keep wondering if I should read Gone Girl, but it really just doesn't feel appealing, so I haven't. Thanks for the vote against! Probably won't read it. Have too many good books on my TBR list anyway.

      I also avoid abused-child memoirs.

    2. Glad that you're doing so much better now! :D And I hope that this non-fat diet thing doesn't have to last too long!

      You're starting to make me excited about these JA pastiches! The Henry Tilney diary is your favourite? Excellent!

      I would STRONGLY advise you not to read Gone Girl. There are strong sexual references and profanity in that book (the f and c words are used a lot). I think you'd hate it.

    3. I think that less fat would be a good thing in my diet -- I never quite lost all the baby weight gain from my 3rd baby, so have been trying (and failing) to lose about 10-15 lbs for a year now. Perhaps this will help! But the almost-no-fat-because-it-makes-me-sick-if-I-get-too-much is unpleasant.

      Henry Tilney's Diary is delightful. Absolutely.

      And thanks for the warning -- GG does sound gross.

  6. I don't think the "X" one was specifically about bookmarks, but we all went that way. :) The one you made sounds awesome! I also enjoyed your added question.

    I'm glad to hear the Eragon series gets better. My husband loves it, but I haven't been able to motivate myself to read the second one yet. Not that the first was bad; I just got bored, I guess. And I'm glad you said something about Longbourn! I had thought about reading it, but I think I misunderstood the description or something.

    My sister adores The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I need to read it! For years I've been meaning to read some George Eliot, too, and it's never happened. I should do that soon.

    Your ABCs were really fun to read!

    1. Well, it did seem to make the most sense to be about bookmarks. I'm trying to figure out a way to make the Holmes bookmark into a PDF file people can download for the Baskervilles read-along, cuz I really like it :-)

      The Eragon series improves drastically with each book. I thought so, at least.

      My full review of Longbourn is here if you want more details. It started out super awesome and then just devolved into blech.

      I'd read George Eliot's Silas Marner years ago, but just liked it okay. I'm reeeeeeeeeally liking Middlemarch. I watched the BBC miniseries first (Rufus Sewell! Rufus Sewell!), which I think helped my enjoyment of the book a lot.

      Glad you had fun reading this post :-)

  7. Thanks for the shout out! So glad you joined in. :)

    Ah yes. Isn't CWD so wonderful? I never get tired of reading about Frederick and Anne. *sigh*

    I like the interesting question! Great idea. :) I haven't read that book because, while I did borrow it from the library once, I never got it read. After reading your review, I decided not to. Don't you wish some books lived up to your enthusiasm?

    13 bookcases! I'm jealous. Of course, I in no way have room for that many. But I wish I had them anyway.

    Have you used that cookbook yet? Any recipes to recommend? I've never heard of it.

    1. Yeah, we have bookshelves in the living room, library, dining room, kitchen, basement, and my bedroom. And I still don't have enough. Slowly I'm picking up cheap used ones for the basement to house my middle-grade and YA books that I don't have space for upstairs.

      I haven't used the cookbook yet, just thumbed through it. It's very cute :-) I'll try to post more about it when I've used a few of them.


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