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Booking Through Thursday: A ton of questions

August 19, 2010
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Looks like Booking Through Thursday is getting into the spirit of the Gigantic Book Meme! So between that and LJ’s book comm, my life is a book meme.

30? One a day? BTT scoffs at such things. Instead— big long list of questions! Behind the cut.

1. Favorite childhood book?
2 answers- The Westing Game, since I started reading it when I was 8. Or I’m Nobody! Who Are You?: Poems of Emily Dickinson for Children which has gorgeous illustrations of Emily Dickinson poems.

2. What are you reading right now?
Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker by Camille DeAngelis. It’s not due out til October. Being a book reviewer is excellent. So is this book.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Pat Benatar’s memoir, Between a Heart and a Rock Place which needs to be picked up. Waiting for Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth and the first volume of Buffy, Season 8. Also a food writing guide.

4. Bad book habit?
Procrastinating on writing reviews.  Surfing the internet instead of reading/writing reviews.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing yet, but see #3

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, and don’t want one. Maybe someday, if cost goes down and/or a new interface comes out. Though I wish I had one every time I’m going on vacation with 3 hardcover books!

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One novel at a time, though I don’t mind having fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in progress at the same time.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I don’t really buy books anymore. Between reviewing for the Ledger, getting books from nice PR people and publishers, and the library, I have a huge and glorious pile of books to read.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Luckily, neither assigned nor chosen books this year have been truly epic stinkers! A Love Alchemist’s Notebook, by Jessica Shepherd, was definitely So-Bad-It’s-Funny.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Answered over here for the LJ meme.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
More rarely than I should. (Re: academic writing.)

12. What is your reading comfort zone? I prefer pop science and narrative nonfiction to heavily academic writing. I need at least a few characters in things I read to be likable, decent people. I want books to end on a somewhat hopeful note, in some kind of way. I don’t like- apocalypse, mysteries that give you too much of a sexual predator/killer’s POV.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Yup! And the train and the subway! Can’t read in start-stop traffic. Blergh!

14. Favorite place to read?
Almost anywhere.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I wish I could get a bulk discount on some of my favorite lending books, so I could just keep giving out copies, of Spider Robinson, the Ender Wiggin series, Bobos in Paradise and Billy Collins poetry.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Yep! Both to mark place and to mark pages I particularly like.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Sometimes. Mostly with pencil.

18.  Not even with text books?
Textbooks, I wield a highlighter as well as a pencil. Sometimes multicolored highlighters.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English, although I can read some Spanish.

20. What makes you love a book?
Getting engrossed in its world (fiction) or being mindblowingly impressed by its ideas (nonfiction)

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
See #20

22. Favorite genre?
Do I have to pick one? Foodie lit, mythic themes in a modern setting, historical mysteries.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Densely academic social science.

Favorite biography?
James Herriot’s stories of being a Yorkshire vet.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yep. They either make me laugh or make me grouchy, mostly.

26. Favorite cookbook?
Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti– Giulia Melucci. Mostly because I want to write something similar.

28. Favorite reading snack? Coffee is the most consistent. I drink and read, don’t munch and read often.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Twilight. There was hype. I read it. It was definitely bad-but-funny but I wanted those hours back. If not for the hype I would have been blissfully ignorant of how irritating Bella and Edward were.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Although I don’t read as many book reviews as I should… when the critics and I are reading the same book, we often agree.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Consciously subjective. I am careful to figure out what I don’t like about a book, whether it’s a specific element of plot or craft. Keywords: “Will appeal to readers who like…” There’s a reader out there for just about every book.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Spanish. I can sort of read in Spanish, but wish I were fluent. Also Gaelic. I know a few words, but mostly about beer and swearing, and not likely to come up in literature.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
I wish I read more intimidating books. I remember Ellison’s The Invisible Man being something I could only read in short stretches. Currently, I’m grappling with The Atoms of Language by Mark C. Baker, in a similar manner of short bursts.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Quick survey of my bookshelf says… Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Also The Three Musketeers. I blame Tim Curry for that, though.

35. Favorite Poet?
Only one? Heck with that! Billy Collins, Derek Walcott, Elaine Equi, Andrea Hollander Budy.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I try to keep it down to 3.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread? Partially read happens more often, when it comes due, or someone else has a hold. Or I tried it and didn’t like it.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Turtle Wexler and Sandy McSouthers.

39. Favorite fictional villain? Wow, this is the hardest one yet. The buggers/formics from Ender’s Game and subsequent books, because of the way they force cultural questions to the fore. While I do love the showboating and speech-making of a good, smarmy villain… it occurs to me that most of the ones I love best are movie-oriented. (Hello, Tim Curry.)

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
a mystery AND a foodie book AND a poetry anthology, to cover all my potential genre whims. This is the only moment I want an e-reader.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Barely a day, I think. Though I’ve noticed the Internet chews on my book reading time.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The Odyssey. I keep promising myself I’ll go back.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Depends on the book. If I’m not into the book: everything. If I’m engrossed: nothing.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
To Kill a Mockingbird. or The Prisoner of Azkaban.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Almost every other book turned into a movie ever. I particularly hate when they do movie poster book covers.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
The serious bank-breaking bookstore trips are with my Dad, and several of the books are books we’ll both read… so for 2 people’s worth of books we can get to over $100. (Partners & Crime our most likely target, or any bookstore in England or Scotland.)

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Often. If I’m thinking about buying or borrowing from the library, I flip through a few pages to get a sense of it. Or packing it for vacation.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Being disgusted with the characters’ meanness, or deeply annoyed with the author’s very bad writing.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
At least theoretically!

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Both. If I’m likely to reread it or pass it to friends I’m going to keep it. Otherwise, swapped or taken to the Strand.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Many! Especially classics, I’m ashamed to admit. The Odyssey, most of the Narnia books, Henry James, Charles Dickens, Three Musketeers. Possibly others.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
The Pelican Brief, by John Grisham. I got mad at the romance subplot, interfering with a perfectly interesting conspiracy suspense.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Magician’s Guild- Trudi Canavan

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters. Not sure which was a bigger liability- not having read Austen’s original, or having high expectations thanks to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
A good, snarky romance. Or overblown fantasy romance.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 12:34 pm

    What you are reading now sounds interesting indeed. Memoirs is new to me, I will have to add this to my Memoir Wishlist.

    My post if interested

    http://teawithmarce.blogspot.com/2010/08/booking-through-thursday-responses-to.html

  2. August 19, 2010 5:51 pm

    I dog ear too. I reluctanly answered the questions as well. My answers are short and to the point. I like it when we are asked on topic and we can discuss it in depth, this was nothing more than a survey. Anyhoo, Here is my Booking Through Thursday

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