corrielle: (Book and Key)
[personal profile] corrielle

I got this from a friend on tumblr, and thought I should post it here, too.

1. Favorite childhood book?

This is complicated. So, here are some books that got re-read a lot when I was a kid:

The Amelia Bedilia books by Peggy Parish.

Keep Your Mouth Closed, Dear by Aliki Brandenberg (This is the first book I remember laughing at so hard I cried. It's about a crocodile who swallows things on accident.  I'm grinning just thinking about it.)

The Hobbit by… well… you all know it's JRR Tolkien. I read this for the first time when I was eight. Mom was reading it to me, but she got sick in the middle and said, "You know, I think you can read well enough to finish it for yourself." So I did.


2. What are you reading right now?  

I'm currently reading Through Stone and Sea by Barb and J.C. Hendee, The Body Sacred by Diane Sylvan, and I'm also reading The Pedagogy of the Oppressed and trying to actually absorb what Friere is getting at. 


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

I've got A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn on request. (I recently saw one of those EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT IMPORTANT STUFF reading lists, and I figured I've been lax in the "reading that stretches my brain" category lately.)


4. Bad book habit?

There is such a thing?


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

Nothing right now, though I use the library in my home town all the time. The last book I checked out and read was Joyce Carol Oates' We Were the Mulvaneys. It was massively depressing.


6. Do you have an e-reader?

I do! I have a Kindle with a keyboard for taking notes that Rae bought me for Christmas two years ago. I've recently discovered just how many free e-books are available out there, so I've been downloading a LOT. My most recent free additions include The Virginian (for the Western lover in me) and Eric Flint's 1632 for the alternate history lover in me. 


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

I can only do one work of fiction at once, but I usually have to have a fiction, a non-fiction, and a spiritual/metaphysical all going at once.  That way, I can read whichever I'm in the mood for at the time.


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

Well, none of my blogs are reading-focused, but I do spend a lot of time online that was once devoted to reading.  However, knowing that I'd eventually like to write up my reactions makes me more attentive as I read, sometimes.


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

Well, my grand total for 2013 so far is only 7, (YOU try reading a lot when your job involves copious amounts of grading AND you have an attention-sucking tumblr) but I think I have to say that the one I liked least was In Shade and Shadow, mostly because I spent the whole thing thinking how much cooler it would have been if Leesil and Magiere had been there.


10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

A Memory of Light.  The end of the series that introduced me to internet fandom, waiting between books, and online rp. It was good. It was really good. I cried. A lot.  I have a more rational review percolating on my hard drive, and maybe someday I'll finish and post it.


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

I'm trying to do that more often these days. The Joyce Carol Oates novel was actually an attempt to get over my irrational prejudice against realistic, contemporary American fiction.  (And my "contemporary" I mean anything post 1950 or so.) Usually, I tend to think, "I'm LIVING in that America. Why do I want to read about it?"


12. What is your reading comfort zone?

High/epic fantasy.  (I also have an irrational prejudice against reading urban fantasy, which is weird considering that some of my favorite TV, including Buffy, falls in that category.) I also really enjoy mythology and history and historical fiction, especially age of sail stuff.


13. Can you read on the bus?

I don't often ride the bus, but when I was traveling a lot in Europe, I read on the train all the time, and I have never had a problem reading on tour busses or in moving cars. (My dad once piled us all in his camper, and we drove from Central CA to Alaska. If I couldn't read in the car, I would have died of boredom.)


14. Favorite place to read?

I like reading outside in the shade in a comfortable lawn chair.  As I don't currently have a lawn that's just mine, I do a lot of reading on the comfy "dad chair," as we've dubbed the big stuffed chair that faces the TV in our living room.


15. What is your policy on book lending?

I'm a pretty indiscriminate book lender, and my friends are mostly book people too. I know that I'll get them back eventually.  (Though I am keeping all the Comic-Con freebie versions of the ASoIaF novels to lend to people so I can have MY copies with me… same things for the WoT books. Some of my original copies are falling apart.)


16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

Not even once that I can remember.


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

Only on very rare occasions, and never in my fiction.


18. Not even with text books?

That's my rare occasion. I'm getting better about highlighting, though, especially if it's a book I want to go back to for research purposes later.


19. What is your favourite language to read in?

Sadly, I can only read in one.  I used to be more fluent in Spanish than I am now, but that has all drained out my ear in the past ten years.


20. What makes you love a book?

That's like asking me, "What makes you love a person?" So many different possibilities. Really excellent, well-crafted prose. Characters I love like they're my own family. Ideas that make me shift my perception of the world. The desire to turn around and read it all over again when I’m done. 


21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Knowing that the person I'm recommending it to will probably enjoy it, based on what I know of them. Wanting them to share my pain.  (To anyone who never would have considered reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series if they didn't know me… I'm sorry.)


22. Favorite genre?

Epic/high fantasy. Hands down.


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

I think I really like mysteries… especially ones with interesting historical settings. (I read and really enjoyed two of the Brother Cadfael books, as well as two of the Amelia Peabody mysteries, and enjoyed them all immensely, I just never read much else in the genre, which is apparently a shame.)


24. Favourite biography?

I cannot name a single biography I have read off the top of my head.  I don't go for biographies much, I guess.


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

I suppose some of the New-Age-y/Neo-pagan books I've read could be classified as "self-help."  One of my favorites that I think would fit in that category is The Red Book by Sera Beak.


26. Favourite cookbook?

We probably have at least 50 cookbooks, and that's a conservative estimate.  We don't use them all the time, but we sure have a lot of fun when we do.  There's not ONE that I swear by, but I have a fondness for our  red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I've also enjoyed being adventurous with Around the World in 450 Recipes, and just because I'm obsessed with the series right now, I love our Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook.  We've made some things from it, and they were AWESOME.


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

I don't think any of the books I've read so far is terribly inspirational… but I sure felt inspired by all my favorite lovely WoT characters doing their things under extreme amounts of pressure and saving the world… (I totally made "My little sheepherder/pie-stealer/blacksmith/Wisdom/innkeeper's daughter is all grown up and saving the world jokes.  And I MEANT them.)


28. Favorite reading snack?

Tea and some sort of cookie to dip in the tea.


29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

I actually can't think of a single case where this happened to me. I'm pretty insulated from book hype, I guess?


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

I don't tend to read a lot of critical reviews, so I really don't know.


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

My negative reviews tend to be longer than my positive ones because I often try and figure out exactly WHY the things that didn't work for me failed.  This is especially true if I feel like it's a book that I should have liked.  I try to be honest about what worked and what didn't, but I also try to keep my comments from being mean spirited, especially because once, a very long time ago, an author of a book I read commented on my lj post about their book.  So… I'm very aware that I’m not just throwing my reviews out there onto the great, anonymous internet.  Authors are real people who might actually read my reviews… and even if I had issues with the book, meanness doesn't do anything for the author OR for other readers wanting an honest appraisal of the book.


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

Russian, with French as a close second.


33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

The unabridged Les Miserables, followed closely by War and Peace.


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

I'm about to commit sacrilege, but I've never read Joyce's Ulysses, and unless something drastic happens to change my mind, I don't intend to any time in the foreseeable future.


35. Favorite Poet?

W.B. Yeats.  Followed closely by Keats. I still laugh at the fact that those names don't rhyme even though they look like they should.


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

Only one or two. I'm a slow reader these days, and if I forget to take books back, I don't want fines piling one. Besides, we live close to the library, and it's not hard to take them back when I'm done and get more.


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

Not terribly often. More so in the last three years or so.  What's really annoying is when I FINALLY get the time to start a book, it's due the next day, and I can't recheck it because there's a hold on it.


38. Favorite fictional character?

HAHAHAHHA really? Yeah, I don't have one. I have an army.


39. Favourite fictional villain?

See above.  And they're not villains… they're just misunderstood. Mostly. ;-)


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

Now that I have my Kindle and I can upload books from my Kindle account onto my iPhone, I can bring a whole library!  When I vacation, I'm likely to bring books I haven't read before but have been itching to get to. If I was going to pack up for a nice, long stay in a quiet place right now, I'd probably bring Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay and Tongues of Serpents and Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik. (HOW have I somehow managed to fall two books behind on the Temeraire novels?)


41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

I really don't know… there were some times in college where I went a really long time without reading for pleasure… but I almost always have a book I'm at least ostensibly "in the middle of," and I can't think of a time when I didn't.  


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

Back when Season 2 of Downton Abbey was in full swing, I checked out a bunch of books on Irish history so I could "get" Branson more because I thought they were going to be going in a whole bunch of interesting directions with him, and I wanted context.  One of these was Modern Ireland 1600-1972 by R. F. Foster, which was an extremely interesting, scholarly (it had me running to the dictionary at least once a page) work of history.  It was also VERY slow going for me. And by the time I got to the middle of it… Sybil was dead, Tom wasn't really Tom any more, and all I could think of every time I looked at that book is how my main motivation for reading it didn’t even exist any more.  It's still sitting half-read on my bookshelf. 


On a silly note, a series I stopped reading was the Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind. The one with the evil chicken. And the Mud People. I stopped reading these back in college, and I continue to applaud my college-self for having some taste. (Sorry to any Goodkind fans I know… I still love you… I've just read too many really awful/ridiculous things Goodkind has said about the genre and his fans to have any respect for him or his work.)


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

The internet?


44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

I'm really fond of the Of Mice and Men adaptation with Gary Sinise and John Malkovich.  (I also like the To Kill a Mockingbird adaptation because… Gregory Peck, and my favorite Shakespeare adaptation is the Kenneth Branagh Much Ado About Nothing.)


45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

On the serious side, that Demi Moore version of The Scarlett Letter. On the completely frivolous side, the adaptation of Michael Crichton's Timeline, which left out all of the most interesting bits and changed things around in stupid ways and I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED. Still am.


46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

Oh wow… probably upwards of $200.00


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

Depends on the book. Non-fiction is more likely to get a thorough skimming. Fiction, I'll read the back and the first few pages before making a decision.


48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Lack of time, loss of interest due to fannish trauma that's related to my reasons for reading the book (see above answer about unfinished books), utter and complete boredom.  I think I've only actually stopped reading ON PURPOSE once or twice that I can remember, and it's because I was deadly bored by the books.  I don't even remember their names. That's how memorable they were.


49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

I like to TRY. My shelves are organized by genre, and I try to keep books on the same subject/from the same series together. My books get a good going-through every time I move, but between moves, new books tend to get put wherever they fit, and after a while "wherever I can find room" doesn't always mean "with other books like it." 


50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

I'm mostly a keeper. There are a very few books that I've read and immediately decided to give away, but every once in a while I realize that I'm never going to read a book again, and I'm just moving it from place to place and letting it take up space on my shelf.  Then, I know it's time to let it go… give it to a friend, donate it to the friends of the library, sell it in a garage sale… send it on to a new home.


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

I've owned A Feast for Crows for months. I haven't cracked it open yet. I still don't own A Dance With Dragons.  I'm not ready yet.


This is actually not the first time I've done this – love a series but subconsciously refuse to read all of it.  I hoard books in series I like, even when I'm not sure that they're going to rip my heart out and tap dance all over it.  I buy them, and then I don't read them, especially if they're the last book in a series, because I know that then, it'll be over. And I'll have to either wait, or know that there won't be any more ever.  I still haven't read the last book of Lynn Flewelling's Tamir Trilogy or the prequels in the Tales of the Otori series for that exact reason.


52. Name a book that made you angry.


The book itself didn't make me angry, but Lies My Teacher Told Me had me yelling a lot. Also, I may have screamed a lot at various people in A Storm of Swords.


53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

Not that I didn't expect to like it, but I was incredibly fond of Ahab's Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. It's basically… literary Moby Dick fanfiction. And it's really good.  It's not a book that I ever would have bought for myself, but I think a friend of mine got it at a "friends of the library sale" for me.


54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

Living With Ghosts by Kari Sperring. It looks like it should be right up my alley.  But I just… couldn't… like it.


55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Again, I don't feel guilty about any of the stuff I read.  But for sheer enjoyment? Give me a good, clever fantasy series with well-thought-out magic and characters I can cheer for and cry with, and I'm a happy camper.



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