Wednesday, November 23

Because I Can

Posted by Shelly Holder

1. Favourite childhood book?  
The Egyptian Game, by Zilpha Keatley Synder

2. What are you reading right now?
A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness, by Nassir Ghaemi

3. What books do you have on request at the library?  
None. I tend to be snobbish about sharing books.

4. Bad book habit?
Judging by the cover art.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
The Watchman
Bigenzast
The Runaways, Vol 1-3

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Just the software, for Blackberry and iPad, both Kindle and Nook.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One if it's fiction, but if it's non-fiction or for class, I read several at a time.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Every once in a while I try to impress people with an obscure title. It usually backfires.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?)
I admit to reading a lot of crap around 3 am. So the list is actually too long.

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year?
Gah...

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Rarely, so I am making an effort to do so more often.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Mind candy- paranormal, YA, romance, fantasy, sci-fi. I rarely read classics/ literary *shamefaced*

13. Can you read on the bus?
No- motion sickness. No cars, no trains, no boats... but planes are okay, funnily enough. But nowadays I've trained myself to sleep on planes, so any books I bring on-board are in the optomistic pile.

14. Favourite place to read?
Anywhere I am.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I hate it, because I never get them back. I used to, once. I've learned better.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
No. And I hate to highlight/underline. But I LOVE creasing the spine. I do on purpose. Nothing like that first crease, right down the middle. Then repeat, multiple times, so it looks well-read.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Only in textbooks/ things I read for class, i.e. notes for assignments. But I had to train myself that this was okay, that no book gods would strike me down with lightening bolts if I did.

18. Not even with text books? 
see above.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?
French, actually. I read Cyrano de Bergerac in French (an easy reader version, true), and loved it. Then I read a translated version (full-text) and hated the loss of tone and rhythm and fluidity, even though I knew the easy reader was nothing compared to the original. It was still so much better than the English.

20. What makes you love a book?
If I keep thinking about it long after I put it down, rewinding and rewatching the imagined scenes, re-reading for sentence structure and word choice and hidden nuance. 

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I rarely do, so I KNOW that you are perfectly suited in interest and previous reading material to like this one.

22. Favourite genre?
Fiction. After that I pretty much read anything, although I tend to read a lot of urban fantasy.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Narrative nonfiction and/or biography.

24. Favourite biography?
Erm, I dunno that I HAVE read a biography- I keep meaning to read Queen Noor's, but never got around to it...  

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
One. I didn't finish.

26. Favourite cookbook?
Michael Symon's Live to Cook

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

28. Favourite reading snack?
Anything. Usually involves cheese and/or chips.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
The short story with Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, A Scandal in Bohemia. All I heard was, Irene Adler! Irene Adler! The woman, the only one he loved, blah blah blah. And it was like, dude, of course she recognized your poorly disguised ass. Bah.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Depends on the reviewer/ blog/ firm.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Perfectly fine. I don't tend to WRITE then, but I rant in my head a lot.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Russian, for novels, and Polish for poetry.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?  
Ayn Rand. I forgot which one, but they both scare me.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
 Moby Dick. I refuse to read it.


35. Favourite Poet? 
Wislawa Szymborska.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
Heh. Usually the limit. So like 15 or so. I'm a "eyes bigger than my __________" kind of person. 

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread? 
More times than I like to admit.

38. Favourite fictional character?
Wow, tough one.  Wow, tough one! Um, yeah, I like so many... Next question!

39. Favourite fictional villain?
Ooooooh, Frankenstein's monster, except I don't think he's really a villain. 

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? 
The ones that I've been avoiding at home. I think that if I get myself into a hotel room with nothing else to read, I'll finally sit down to whatever I've brought. 


41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A few days? 

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
War and Peace. I think I got to page 423 and then just gave up. The names, man, the names. I couldn't keep them straight, even after four hundred pages.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Movement. There's a certain auditory point where I can tune everything out, but seeing something out of the corner of my eye is distracting. This applies to people, light, and TV.

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
Mansfield Park. The book was surprisingly dull, but the movie had action.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Blood and Chocolate. It was a favorite YA novel, and then they completely ruined it.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Erm. I don't think I've ever gone over 200.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
It's a must. Usually I can tell in a few pages, but sometimes I'll pick random middle bits for insurance.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
I rarely do. Maybe .... twice? So, really rare. I finish, in a sort of a watching-a-train-wreck kind of way. Does it fail to get better? Can it get even worse? Can this character get any lamer? Oh my gosh it does!

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
No, it doesn't bother me. I just want them on a shelf.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I keep books, but I'm trying to prune down. I sell some, and donate the hardbacks to the library.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Most of the classics. Most American lit. Especially Moby Dick.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
River Called, by Patricia Briggs. Seriously, a foster kid w/ abandonment issues who also happens to be a recent rape victim is happily getting married? And you didn't even write the proposal? GAHHH. Please, treat these issues consciously and not as a plot vehicle. (Both the previous rape and the marriage.)
(disclaimer: I believe that rape victims can get married. But I also think that completely forgetting said rape within a month or two is unrealistic. There are side effects. Especially with romantic relationships. Getting married should stir the pot emotionally. Briggs wrote the character as completely blase.)

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Villette, by Charlotte Bronte. It was a mind-blowing experience.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
The Language of Bees, by Laurie R King. It was fine, just ... dissatisfying afterwards. Not memorable, I guess. 

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Georgette Heyer, hands down.