Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Mother of All Book Memes

I just couldn't resist this week's Booking Through Thursday question. It is a book meme to beat all book memes. It's quite long and I doubt most people would want to take the time to read through the whole thing, but I had a lot of fun thinking about all these questions and how to answer them. If you decide to play along, be sure to link up your answers on the Booking Through Thursday website.

1. Favorite childhood book?
The Luckiest Girl by Beverly Cleary

2. What are you reading right now?
Small Island by Andrea Levy and The Given Day by Dennis Lehane.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Your Lost Me There by Rosecrans Baldwin
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (playaway)
The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (playaway)
One Day by David Nicholls
Private: Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, London James Patterson (for my mom)
Ape House by Sara Gruen

4. Bad book habit?
Checking out more books than I can possibly read in 3 weeks.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Small Island by Andrea Levy
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (playaway)
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden
The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (playaway)
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (paperback)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran

I feel as though a disclaimer is necessary here. Tonight is my turn to bring books to book club for selection. Seven of the above titles are directly related to book club. Most will be going back after tonight. (Though I may read them eventually.)

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Yes. I have a Kindle, which I use on vacation.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
If you had asked me this a year ago, I would have said one at a time! No way could I keep more story lines straight. But, I've since changed my mind. Right now I'm listening to one book, The Given Day, on playaway when I walk in the mornings and any other time I'm reading, I'm reading a hardcover edition of Small Island.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not at all.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Informed Consent by Neil Ravin

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Not very. I will if the book is for a book club or for Reading Across Rhode Island.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
I enjoy contemporary fiction with a little meat to it, but not too literary and non-fiction in topics that interest me.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Yes, the only place I have trouble reading is in the car.

14. Favorite place to read?
Laying down on the sofa in my family room.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I don't own very many books and those that I do are my favorites. I am happy to lend them out, but I do want to get them back.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Absolutely not. Never!

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

18. Not even with text books?
I never wrote in my textbooks, but I did highlight them.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English is the only language I can read in, unfortunately.

20. What makes you love a book?
Great characters and an interesting story that speaks to me in some way.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

If I loved it and I think that it would appeal to a specific person.

22. Favorite genre?

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
None. If I wished I read it, I would.

24. Favorite biography?
Night by Elie Wiesel

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes. Whenever I am faced with a new phase in life or some problem I turn to books for help.

26. Favorite cookbook?
I'm not much of a cook or a cookbook reader, but if I have to choose I'd say Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. A good basic cookbook.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

28. Favorite reading snack?
I don't typically snack when I read.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.(answer here)

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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

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

I do not like to give negative reviews. I prefer to provide book recommendations rather than say anything negative about a book. Though I have at times written mildly critical comments about some books. My main objective in reviewing a book is to encourage others to read it. And to encourage reading in general.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French, because it's the only language besides English, that I know a little bit of.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever was intimidating in the sense that I was concerned that it might be a bit academic. It was a little.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
I'm not intimidated by any book, but I tend to steer clear of books that seem too "textbooky".

35. Favorite Poet?
I don't do poetry.

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

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
25% of the time

38. Favorite fictional character?
Merriweather from Sleeping Beauty. I know technically she's in a movie and not a book, but she is still a fictional character.

39. Favorite fictional villain?
Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty. OK, now that's weird. I've never thought about it before, but those two really are my favorites in these categories. I don't tend to get attached to characters in books. But Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney movie and Aurora is my favorite Disney Princess and I've always loved Merriweather (Probably because I am short, brunette, round and feisty, just like her.)

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

The hottest new books on my TBR list.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Four and a half years - between the birth of my first child and when I joined my first book club. I did read relevant chapters in parenting books and articles parenting magazines during that time, but no novels or books for pure enjoyment.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
There are many. The most recent one was Second Hand by Michael Zadoorian. I just wasn't all that interested in the story. Which surprised me because I loved his other book - The Leisure Seeker.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
If the TV or radio is too loud.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Gone with the Wind. I can't say that I think it's a great adaptation of the book, but I love that movie and I love the book as well. Scarlett O'Hara is a close runner up for my favorite fictional character. Another feisty brunette!

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
I think most of them are disappointing if I see the movie close enough to when I finished the book. If enough time elapses between reading the book and seeing the movie, then I usually am not disappointed.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?Not sure. I don't buy a lot of books, except for gifts. $50, maybe.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

I never skim books before reading them and very rarely do I skim when I'm reading. The only times I skim is if I am running behind on a book club book and I'm not enjoying the book anyway. I can only remember doing this twice.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If I'm not enjoying it. And I may not wait to get half-way through.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
My fiction books are arranged by author's last name. I also have a section of a shelf for classics, for travel books and a small space for classical literature I read in college. My husband's books, which share three bookcases with my books, are not arranged at all. They are neat, but disorganized. And his books take up the lion's share of the space.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Since I only buy books that are my absolute favorites, I keep them. I don't buy books on a regular basis.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
I was avoiding The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, because it is not a genre a usually enjoy. But once it became so popular I decided to read it, so I could see for myself what all the fuss was about. But I still kept putting it off. That problem was solved in July when my book club chose it. Right now there is no book I'm avoiding.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. That book had me writing pages and pages of notes in red pen disputing his theories. That is completely out of character for me. Just the sight of one his books makes my blood boil.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Unforgiving Minute by Craig M. Mullaney.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
This year's Pulitzer Prize winner, Tinkers by Paul Harding.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Philippa Gregory's historical fiction about the Tudors and Plantagenets.

Did you really read that whole list? Amazing. So how about you? I'd love to hear about your reading tastes, quirks and preferences.


HTF said...

this list of questions totally made me realize I need to read A LOT more books. I couldn't answer very many... pitiful, I know. Very engaging though. I'd read a lot more if these computer things didn't exist...
Thanks for the time on your post!

Anita said...

I enjoyed your list,but I must admit my list would be boring because I don't have a very wide reading list.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

6. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Absolutely not. Never!

So librarian of you.

Will be anxious to see what you think of Rebecca Skloot's book. I had her for a workshop leader when she was writing the book. Saw her on Steven Colbert. On my list to read as well.

And, I, too, always check out more books that I can get read.

Star Forbis said...

Great list. You and I have a lot in common, I NEVER dog-ear books either. And I can read pretty much anywhere except for in a car. (motion sickness)

The major difference is I don't check out books, I only buy them. (cheaply of course like at Sams Club or half price books, or from the library) Because I don't want to have to give them back. I want to keep every book. Unless I really didn't like it! Then I will sell it back to Half Price Books. Or use it to hold up a plant on a shelf if it was sooo bad that I think no one else should read it either! :)

LindyLouMac said...

I certainly enjoyed reading this Pam and was very tempted to join in. Did you know I was also a librarian way back!


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