Monday, October 4, 2010

A Book Quiz

I saw this recently on Stuck in a Book, a blog I enjoy very much, and simply couldn't resist the opportunity to talk more about moi and especially about the things I like to read.

1. Favourite childhood book?

The Anne of Green Gables series.

2. What are you reading right now?

The Temptress by Paul Spicer, about Alice de Janze and a scandalous murder among the British colonial set in Kenya. 
Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I by Edward Gibbon

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

Two upcoming Charles Todd mysteries.

4. Bad book habit?

Buying too many.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

The Temptress.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

Mostly one at a time, but when I'm tackling something big like the Gibbon, I have to have fun reading breaks.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?


9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?)

Nothing springing to mind. If I don't like something I just stop reading. I'm getting older and don't have time to waste on books that suck.

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?
The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Occasionally, usually for book group.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

A comedy of manners (Jame Austen, Nancy Mitford) or a good murder mystery. 

13. Can you read on the bus? 

14. Favourite place to read?
In my armchair, with my feet up on the ottoman and kitties cuddling around me.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

Happy to do it, although I've lost several books I really like this way. I probably wouldn't lend something I couldn't easily replace.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

I do dog-ear favorite recipes in cookbooks.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Rarely. I do underline (in pencil) from time to time when I passage is especially beautiful.

18. Not even with text books?

I was a terror with a yellow highlighter.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?

English. I can stumble along in French but have to look up every third word.

20. What makes you love a book?

Different things in different books. Sometimes it's the writing style, sometimes the subject matter or characters.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

If I really couldn't put it down.

22. Favourite genre?


23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Science non-fiction.

24. Favourite biography?

Life in a Cold Climate, the biography of Nancy Mitford by Laura Thompson

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

When I was in my 20s. They didn't help. Can one blame the author for this, or does one have only one's self to blame?

26. Favourite cookbook?

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters and A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

The More I Owe You.

28. Favourite reading snack?

Tea and scones. Yes, I am that affected. 
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Confederacy of Dunces.  Everyone raved and told me I would love it and I just couldn't stand it. 

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Don't read many reviews. 

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

The only time I "review" books is at book group, where I have no problems whatsoever saying exactly what I think. 

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?

Classical Greek. And I wish I read French well enough to tackle Proust in the original.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

The Divine Comedy by Dante. 

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

I'm not easily intimidated. Mostly I avoid books I find off-putting or pretentious (*cough* Finnegan's Wake *cough*).

35. Favourite Poet?

John Donne before he got religion, and Elizabeth Bishop, whom I discovered thanks to The More I Owe You.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

Three or four.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?

Rarely. Usually when it's a new book I can't renew and I just run out of time.

38. Favourite fictional character?

It's a close race between Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) and Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables).

39. Favourite fictional villain?

Baron Charlus in Remembrance of Things Past.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on holiday?

Mysteries. I prefer murder to romance.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Two or three months in my 20s when I was clinically depressed and didn't have the attention span to read anything. 

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Water for Elephants.  I knew on the first page "whodunnit", and I refuse to read about animals being mistreated. Brutal serial killings, yes; circuses, No.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

If the book is riveting enough, nothing.

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?

The Merchant and Ivory Room with a View,  although Emma Thompson's treatment of Sense and Sensibility  comes a close second.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Even Daniel Day-Lewis couldn't save it for me.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I shudder to think, although working for a rare book dealer has put some of my past sprees in perspective. 

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I must steal Simon's reply: "Where is it that someone says 'I've done some pretty dreadful things in my time, but I've never skipped to the end of a detective novel'?" I'll read the first few pages to get an idea of the style and voice, though.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Boredom. Annoyance. I used to force myself to finish books, but now that I'm pushing 50, I figure I don't have the reading life left to waste on something I'm not enjoying. Also, any foreshadowing that something bad is going to happen to an animal--the real reason I never made through Moby Dick.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I'm a librarian. What do you think?

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Depends. If I love something,I have to own it. Otherwise, it can go on its way to another reader.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
The Help. 

52. Name a book that made you angry.
The revisionist history and junk science being put into American school textbooks (Thanks, Texas!) makes me insanely angry.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Comfort of Strangers  by Ian McEwan.

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?Agatha Christie and Nancy Mitford.

1 comment:

  1. Just finished "The More I Owe You," and I loved it, too. Now reading "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese. Not tonight, though, because this Texan is taking her 9th grade daughter to hear Richard Dawkins speak. Went all out for 2nd row tickets and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the big brain. (Please know that we're not all whack jobs down here; Dawkins sold out:)