- Favourite childhood book?
'Runaway Ralph' and 'The Mouse and the Motorcycle' by Beverly Cleary
- What are you reading right now?
- 'Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania' by Erik Larson
- 'Apology' by Jon Pineda
- 'Hard Eight' by Janet Evanovich
- 'The Slow Regard of Silent Things' by Patrick Rothfuss
- 'Perdido Street Station' by China Miéville
- What books do you have on request at the library?
none, which surprised me. Time to restock the requests!
- Bad book habit?
reading too fast
- What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Only 'Dead Wake'
- Do you have an e-reader?
yes, and I love it. Never thought that I would, but it has become my most constant companion--and is a lifesaver, in this land of highly questionable library services. (My former source was much more in tune with my preferences and style, which should surprise no one!)
- Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
At least two at a time. It seems to solve the "I'm getting bored with this" issue.
- Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Sort of? But not really because I've had the blog. I've been writing here since 2004, at which time I was married and working part-time. The I was full-time. Then I was separated, then divorced. Then there was a murky period no one need contemplate too closely. And then I moved, and moved, and moved, and moved again. Now I'm living with family, working full time, and occupied another zillion hours every week looking for a house. And yet, through it all, I probably read a good 25-50 books more each year than the last.
- Least favourite book you’ve read this year (so far)?
nothing really stands out. I've refined my ability to stop reading when I'm repulsed, so that helps a lot.
Maybe Joyce Maynard's 'Where Love Goes'? That was really bad.
- Favourite book you’ve read this year?
James W. Ziskin's Ellie Stone series is outstanding--the most recent entry in the series is 'Stone Cold Dead.'
- How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
pretty often. Of those listed in question #2: 'Dead Wake' is popular narrative nonfiction, which offends my inner historian (but entertains the bookworm); 'Apology' was a gift from a friend that I'm not sure that I understand or terribly like; 'Hard Eight' I've read at least twice before, but I'm going back through the whole series for continuity; 'The Slow Regard of Silent Things' is fantasy and sort of mystical realism? Combined with a heavy dose of some sort of chemical, I think. Very weird. VERY weird. Finally, 'Perdido Street Station' is like nothing else I've ever read. I'll go through a hundred pages in a day or two, unable to read fast enough, and then the action will turn slightly and I can't pick it up for a month or more. I suppose my internal rejections are based somewhat on its steampunk elements, which I don't find 'organic'.
- What is your reading comfort zone?
jeez, I don't know. Fiction? Poetry. Some mystery, some romance. History. Biography in tiny doses. Writing.
- Can you read on the bus?
no, I'm not good with reading when I'm moving.
- Favourite place to read?
I could far more easily list places I don't like to read. At the moment, curled up on the north end of the couch.
- What is your policy on book lending?
I don't, if I expect (or want) the book back.
- Do you ever dog-ear books?
- Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
sure, depending on the circumstances
- ...even with text books?
much more likely in texts than elsewhere, for sure. They're not re-read sorts of books, generally.
- What is your favourite language to read in?
that which is my native
- What makes you love a book?
feeling transported. Gorgeous language. Insight. Indelible characters.
- What will inspire you to recommend a book?
from Ranganathan's Laws--Every reader his book, and every book its reader. There's no harm in recommending anything to anyone, but the beauty is in making a perfect match. I can thrust my favorite book into your hands, but if it's not the book for you, you won't love it. I'd rather help you find your own favorite.
- Favourite genre?
[These are circuitous questions, aren't they?]
Literary fiction, I suppose, more than anything.
- Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
fantasy. The good stuff is completely mind-blowingly amazing, but I don't know well enough what I like to be able to find what to read next.
- Favourite biography?
'The Sparkling-Eyed Boy' by Amy Benson
- Have you ever read a self-help book?
yup. Just finished one: 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up' by Marie Kondo. I'm still ruminating on how best to review it. It's a hell of a book, guaranteed to bring a strong response. I think that parts of it are incredibly brilliant, while the rest of it is slightly gelatinous poopoo.
- Favourite cookbook?
I've got a LOT of cookbooks, some of which are very specific (the chicken soup cookbook, the 1-bowl cookies cookbook) and some of which are vast (Betty Crocker, James Beard, et. al). Most of them are a little bit crusty/sticky/discolored, which is to me a sign of usefulness in a cookbook. So, no favorites, except the one I'm using at the time.
- Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
'How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination' by Sally Hogshead.
- Favourite reading snack?
I don't read while eating very often. Cereal, prehaps?
- Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
the library at which I used to work does a major, huge, overwhelming push for bestsellers. Makes a big, honkin' deal about it. In the time that I was there while that happened--maybe two years?--I read at least 300 books, of which exactly one was a bestseller. I don't like them, I don't find the designation useful, and in some ways my sensibilities are offended by the idea of reading what "everybody else" is reading. Blegh. No thank you.
- How often do you agree with critics about a book?
in fiction, rarely. In poetry, more often.
- How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don't revel in it, but I'll do it where it seems merited
- If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
German would probably be the most useful for my circumstances, but maybe Gaelic for my romantic soul
- Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel García Márquez, or 'Silence in October' by Jens Christian Grøndahl. Very deep, very lovely, and terrifically personally intense.
- Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami. It's not as much about the book as the person who recommended it.
- Favourite poet?
at the moment, Sherman Alexie. I really don't like to commit to such things, though. (Sorry, Mr. Alexie!)
- How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
At least two. Sometimes as many as 20?
- How often have you returned books to the library unread?
more often lately than ever before, but not as much in paper form as from the e-reader.
- Favourite fictional character?
Alex Novalis, from Christopher Finch's series about him.
- Favourite fictional villain?
Dean Drayhart (or Sid) from Anonymous-9's 'Hard Bite' and 'Bite Harder', though they're anti-heroes. Or heroes. Or something.
- Books you’re most likely to bring on holiday?
all different sorts, and far more than I think I'll read (since I'm very prone to buying books on vacation if I pack too few!)
- The longest you’ve gone without reading?
I have no idea. Maybe when I've had the flu, I've stopped for a day or two. Certainly not more than that.
- Name a book that you could/would not finish.
'Remainder' by Tom McCarthy
- What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
- Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
'This Is Where I Leave You' by Jonathan Tropper. Loved the movie, and then loved the book.
- Most disappointing film adaptation?
'Much Ado About Nothing' (2012 black and white version by Joss Whedon). It turned me off completely within the first five minutes.
- The most money you’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
$200 or so
- How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I don't skim. I'll read the flap copy and maybe a review or recommendation, but I prefer to start fresh.
- What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
gratuitous anything--swearing, errors, anachronism, violence.... A poor ratio of dialogue to prose. Characters careening out of control.
- Do you like to keep your books organized?
modified Dewey. It comes naturally.
- Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
depends. Some I'd never give up, and others are a blessing to let go.
- Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
I don't seem to be getting through 'Perdido Street' very fast.
- Name a book that made you angry.
'Martin Sloane' by Michael Redhill
- A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
'Three Junes' by Julia Glass
- A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
'Borderline' by Nevada Barr. For a series (Anna Pigeon) that I've almost uniformly enjoyed, that book was utterly dreadful and stupid.
- Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
I feel no guilt about anything that I read. As with all of life, my particular taste changes over time, sometimes very quickly. Whatever I'm enjoying is worth reading simply for that happiness that it brings.
[gratefully stolen from here; the title quotation is by George R.R. Martin]