Saturday, February 14, 2015

I Don't Blog About Books Enough, Do I?

Naomi and Arwen have both posted this recently, and it looks like such fun, I decided to join in :-)  It's Valentine's Day, the day we celebrate love, and I love books, so... the world makes sense again, right?

1. Favourite childhood book?  The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss

2. What are you reading right now?  Persuasion by Jane Austen, Middlemarch by George Eliot, The Christian Imagination by Leland Ryken, and Corral Noctorne by Elizabeth Grace Foley

3. What books do you have on request at the library?  Dreaming Spies by Laurie R. King

4. Bad book habit?  Skimming descriptions.  A bit here and there is fine, but if a book goes into paragraph after paragraph of describing anything, be it person, place, or thing, I get bored and skim.  I want to know what happens, not what the drapes look like.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?  My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay and a ton of books for my kids

6. Do you have an e-reader?  I have the Kindle app on my phone, and have read a grant total of one book with it.  I'm in the middle of my second, this one:

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?  Several at once!  This is almost entirely due to owning a house, though.  I used to read one at a time, but now I have one upstairs and one on the main level, sometimes two.  And now one on my phone, usually.  

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?  Hmm.  Since starting this particular blog, I take more notice of bad language in books than I did for a while, so I can "rate" books accordingly.  My TBR list has also quadrupled....

9. Least favourite book you read this year so far?  Definitely Outlaw by Angus Donald

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?  Either Hamlet:  Poem Unlimited by Harold Bloom or A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?  Probably not often enough.  I tend to turn to books for a brief respite from daily strife, and so it's kind of important for them to be in my comfort zone right now.  

12. What is your reading comfort zone?  Books where I like the characters a lot and things end well.

13. Can you read in the car?  Absolutely.  Just finished a book in the car this afternoon.

14. Favourite place to read?  I don't think I have one?  I read wherever I may be when I have a moment to read.  Yesterday I was reading a book on my phone in the check-out line at Walmart.

15. What is your policy on book lending?  I will give you a stern warning not to break the book's spine, and write down the book's title and your name and the date on some piece of paper so I can remember who has my book.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?  Yes.  Generally the bottom corner, which is less bothersome to others, and generally just to mark where I found some very interesting passage.  I use bookmarks to mark my place.  I'm a devoted collector of bookmarks, and just got two in the mail today!

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?  Yes, if they are My Books and not someone else's, and if they are so deep I need to record my thoughts for future reference.  Some books get lots of notes in them, new ones with every re-read, like my copy of The Lord of the Rings...

18. Do you break /crack the spine of your book?  Never if it's a paperback!  In fact, I will get really upset if someone else borrows my book and cracks the spine.  A hardcover, though, sometimes does require a gentle cracking.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?  English.

20. What makes you love a book?  Characters I want to be friends with and hang out with in my imagination.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?  Finding out someone likes a similar book.

22. Favourite genre?  Mysteries.

23. Genre you rarely read but wish you did?  Westerns.  I'm reading more and more of them, though!

24. Favourite biography?  Probably The Abracadabra Kid by Sid Fleschman, which is an autobiography of one of my favorite YA authors.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?  Yes.  Not a big fan of the genre, over all.

26. Favourite cookbook?  Toughie!  Probably The Nero Wolfe Cookbook by Rex Stout because it's a lot of fun to read.  For every day cooking, though, can't go wrong with Betty Crocker's Big Red :-)

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?  F. Scott Fitzgerald On Writing edited by Larry W. Phillips

28. Favourite reading snack?  Hot chocolate!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was so blooming famous that the first time I read it, I was sorely disappointed because it wasn't Deep and Profound.  Happily, my second reading was far more positive.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?  If by critics you mean "people who are paid to review books in various publications," not often.  I don't agree with a lot of movie critics either.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?  I would rather give a positive review, and I try to make clear in my negative reviews whether I thought the book was bad, or I just disliked it for personal reasons.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?  Hmm.  Why would I want to read in a foreign language?  I guess maybe German, because I can read a little in it and wish I knew more.

35. Favourite poet?  Kenneth Koch

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?  One.  If I have more than one checked out at a time, I start to feel pressured to quick zip through them.  Reading should not be stressful!!!

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?  Rarely.  More often when I was a kid/teen, though even then it was very rare.  

38. Favourite fictional character?  Sherlock Holmes

(Either you get it or you don't.)

39. Favourite fictional villain?  Um.  Hmm.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.  See, but I tend to really dislike or hate or even loathe villains because they are making life difficult or bad or horrible for the heroes, and I want to be friends with the heroes if it's a book I love, so... does this mean like, "a bad guy you hate a little less than the others" or does it mean "a bad guy you could forgive for being bad."  Or "a bad guy you enjoy reading about."  ::Dithers::  Every time I think of one, I realize they're an antagonist, not actually a villain.  Does Severus Snape count?  He's a little bit villainous at times.

41. The longest you’ve gone without reading?  A day or two.  

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.  Recently ditched Outlaw by Angus Donald

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?  When reading fiction?  Nothing whatsoever.  My parents used to tease me that they could discuss my Christmas presents with me in the room as long as I was reading, because I would be totally oblivious. 

When reading non-fiction, then my kids and my husband stand a decent chance of distracting me.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?  Peter Jackson's Middle Earth movies.  I love them so much, right now I'm devoting 28 posts to them over on my other blog.

An excellent place for a picture of a certain grim-faced man.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?  I'm gonna go with Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) because I never really have liked the film, but when I read Truman Capote's story, I liked it a lot!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?  Over $100.  But in my defense, it was Christmas time and I was buying presents for other people.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?  Fiction?  Never.  Nonfiction?  Some.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?  Graphically described sex scenes or gratuitous bad language.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?  Very.  I have them all alphabetized by author.  Series go either in series order if there is one, or else in alphabetical order by title.  My TBR shelves are grouped by author if there's more than one book by an author.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?  I keep them if I love them and want to read them again or reference them.  Otherwise I give them away, sometimes here on my blog!  Otherwise I try to sell them on my own yard sale, and then donate the leftovers to the library for one of their fundraiser sales.


51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?  Well, of course there are books I will never read because they are disgusting.  But there are also books like War and Peace that I want to read in theory, but haven't gotten up the courage/time to start.

52. Name a book that made you angry.  Longbourne by Jo Baker tried to mess with my views of the characters in Pride and Prejudice and that was not kind.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?  Um, I tend not to read books that I don't think I will like.  I had to back in college, of course, but anymore, nope.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?  The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz

55. Favourite guilt-free pleasure reading?  Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe mysteries are always a good time!


  1. Aaah, you did it! That makes me really happy:D

    I loved reading your answers. Hmm…now I want to see your copy of "The Lord of the Rings" XD

    Hee, our answers to question 44 are the same;)

    1. The Middle Earth movies are Just That Special.

      And you can see more of my copy here, though of course that's not nearly as good as flipping through it in person, hee.

  2. I loved reading this! I thought about doing it myself, but I really need to spend more time writing about the books I've read this year. :) My poor blog is always so neglected.

    1. Yeah, long lists like this take a long time to fill out. And hey, blogs are something to do in spare time, and when you have very small children, spare time is scarce. Totally understandable.

  3. I answered the questions in my head before I read your response and most of my answers were similar to yours. I'm glad that on Valentine's day we can celebrate not only the love of people but of books.

    1. That sounds like fun! And yes, I feel like Valentine's Day shouldn't be about romance so much as love in general. So that's how I celebrate it.

  4. Harold Bloom's book (Hamlet: Poem Unlimited) is a brilliant gem of a book. It should be "required reading" for anyone who has ever or will ever read Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    1. It's so brilliant! I stumbled on it at the library, completely by chance, and I didn't even get through the first chapter before I knew I had to own a copy. Astounding book.

  5. I agree about Longbourn. I read that book because it was so highly recommended and then, once I'd read it was just mad that I'd ever picked it up. How dare she mess with Jane Austen's characters? I'm afraid I am extremely intolerant of re-writes of Austen's books.

    1. I'm intolerant of pastiches that mess up the characters in ways that I disagree with, which is a horribly subjective criterion, hee. This one, though, didn't seem to have any warmth of feeling behind it -- more like she was trying to make people dislike them.

      Have you read Amanda Grange's books? "Mr. Darcy's Diary" and so on? I quite liked those, felt like they were really true to the characters and the spirit of Austen's books.

  6. I love this! Think I'm going to join in and do a post of my own. Also! I LOVE The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins! Definitely one of my favorites as a kid. As an adult too, for that matter! ;)

    I'm envious that you can read in the car. I really wish I could, but it ends up making me too dizzy. :( One reason why I love audiobooks though!

    Also, I can't wait for the day when I can say the LOTR movies are my fave adaptations of a novel(s). Someday! :)

    1. Woo! I'll read your post on this in a minute :-)

      My husband can't read in the car either, so on long trips, he drives and I read aloud to everyone.

      Some day you can come visit me for a week, and we'll watch half a LOTR movie every night after the kids are in bed.


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