Sunday, January 11, 2015

Not THAT A to Z ...
A Blog Book Survey

Stolen from another blog, I give you my answers to the A to Z Book Survey! I'm pretty sure all the Kidz 2-day doing the survey include images for each'll be lucky to get a handful of pictures from me! I always say, a thousand words are worth a picture...

A - Author You've Read the Most

Oh gosh, I'm not sure! Look at me already failing on the first question. But I mean, should this be the most individual books? Because that would be Dr. Seuss, I think. Number of pages? That might be Tolstoy, after only a couple of books. If we're not counting Seuss and Tolstoy, then it's gonna be either Sandra Scoppettone, Nelson DeMille, or Virginia Woolf - I've read about a dozen books from each of those three. If I weren't lazy about images (see above), I'd post a lesbian/mystery Venn Diagram to illustrate this answer.

Men Against the Sea (The Bounty Trilogy, #2)B - Best Sequel
Ooooh, good question. Oh, man, The Two Towers doesn't really count as a sequel, right, book-wise, because The Lord of the Rings is actually all one book, even though it's not. Hmmm. Well, if not that, then let's go with Men Against the Sea, the second book in the (Mutiny on the) Bounty trilogy. I adored Men Against the Sea.  I felt so impressed by and fond of the men and their boat that saved them. What a great yarn. Worth a look!

C - Currently Reading
I'm in the middle of the very good Truman by David McCullough, the current selection in my prez bios reading project, but also fiction-wise quickly blazing through Inherent Vice on the side (my second Thomas Pynchon) so then I can go see the movie.

D - Drink of Choice While Reading
So, coffee. Obviously.

E - E-reader or Physical Books?
I do not enjoy e-reading books. I have done a few, and found it convenient to be able to purchase and borrow books that way, especially when living abroad, but I do not really enjoy it. Here's to page-turning!

F - Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School
Um. I had no idea who I was or who the people I wanted to date were in high school. With that caveat, and knowing that it would probably not have been a good idea, I probably would have dated someone truly messed up like Laurent in Therese Raquin, or at least someone very confused, like Rob in High Fidelity -- confused but who likes music. Definitely, there would have been music involved.

G - Glad You Gave This Book a Chance
Let's go with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Before it became cool for adults everywhere to shamelessly read Young Adult because staring at screens has altered their brains and attention spans so much that they can't read lengthy amounts of words on pages anymore, I worked at Borders and there was an intriguing little green paperback bestseller that I became inspired to pick up and Oh.My.Goodness do I just love the hell out of that book. Read the sequels, saw the movie, and did a bit of spreading the gospel, but just in general, if you think The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is for some reason not worth your time, think again!

H - Hidden Gem Book 
This has got to be either Night and Day by Virginia Woolf , which seems to get exactly no attention, even from academic/feminist/Anglophile/literary devotees but which I maintain is one of Woolf's best, or Tepper Isn't Going Out  by Calvin Trillin, which gets no attention from anyone except me and Brian.

I - Important Moment in Your Reading Life
The obvious answer would probably be something about War and Peace, no?  But I think it might actually be when the Modern Library published their list of the Top 100 books (two lists, actually, one for novels and one for non-fiction) and I printed them out and highlighted and set out on a quest, and have since continued finding quests and projects and lists of books to read and I absolutely love doing this!! (Making lists of books to read next is a hobby of mine.)

J - Just Finished
Um, speaking of lists, Smoky the Cowhorse. Among other checklists I'm working my way through: the Newbery Medal Winners. Good ol' Smoky hails from the early days of that award, the 1920s.

K - Kinds of Books You Won't Read

 L - Longest Book You've Ever ReadOh my goodness, so many candidates. Now I have to go check which is longest out of  Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Infinite Jest, or Dream of Red Mansions/Chamber aka The Story of the Stone....ahhh, forget it, you can go look up how many pages yourself. I like long books. Proust, I'm coming for you.

M - Major Book Hangover Because Of...P
robably Into Thin Air. I couldn't shake that for months. And all I did was talk about it, with other people under the influence from it.

N - Number of Bookcases You Own 
There are three here in this living room, with Brian's and my books. Before my Great Book Sell-Off of 2006, I had about five tall ones and then some filled in Boston...there are books in houses in Phoenix...I don't really know/care how to answer this question other than literally. I guess I co-own three.

O - One Book You Have Read Multiple Times Again, besides Dr. Seuss? That would be Candide. Voltaire forever!

P - Preferred Place to Read 
Anywhere quiet.
A steady hum of sounds is OK. Jabbering, cell phone conversations, sitcoms, etc.? Not.

Q - Quote That Inspires You or Gives You All of the Feels From a Book You Have ReadObviously, Candide: "That is very well said, but we must cultivate our garden."

R - Reading RegretOther than maybe Cynthia Ozick, nothing I've actually read, but more all the time I've wasted not reading in this life.

S - Series You Started But Need to FinishSome people would say Harry Potter (I've read the first half of the first book...twice...)  Definitely not Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone ABCs, as I am So done with  all that. Let's see, what could it be? I haven't started Game of Thrones, really, though I did read the first few pages of the first, and that's my next-up series, I believe...I can't really think of any. Wait, Alafair Burke's Samantha Kincaid and Ellie Hatcher books are series, right? But she's still writing, and this is supposed to be a complete series. Ugh. Can I use Proust here, too?  Well, wait, actually, I think Alafair Burke is done writing Samantha Kincaid, she said, now that she's in New York. And I've read two of the Portland-set Kincaid series and need to read the third. So, that.

T - Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books(You see where I've already mentioned Candide and War and Peace multiple times, right?)
How about:
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

U - Unapologetic Fangirl For...
Fangirl? Me? Ummm...
Anna Quindlen?

V - Very Excited for This Release More Than Any Other
Would it just be wrong to say my own book?
I'm so not the release-anticipating type with books. I've fallen behind on all my still-writing living authors (Atwood, Berg, DeMille, et. al.) I've got one word for you, kid: classics.

W - Worst Book Habit
Sitting here with a laptop on my lap instead of picking up a book?
Judging people who read trash?  (I mean real trash, like Twilight; I'm not disparaging the genres here.)
Disparaging genre fiction?
Forgetting what I've read?

You tell me; which is the worst?

X - X Marks the Spot: Pick the 27th Book on Your Bookshelf (from the upper left)
Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon

Y - Your Latest Book Purchase
Pretty sure it was at Schuler over Christmas when I picked up Night Train by Martin Amis and Game of Thrones by the inimitable conscientious objector George R.R. Martin. Have I bought anything since then? I don't think so. I tried to get Vanity Fair at our neighborhood bookstore in Lincoln Square, The Book Cellar, but couldn't find it, and at Women & Children First, I tried to get our next book group book, Eichmann in Jerusalem,  and they were sold out of that! So, back to the library...

Z - ZZZ Snatcher: Book That Kept You Up Way Too LateThis has not happened in SO long. I am a champion of falling asleep these days. I love getting sleep. I can't remember staying up reading, sucked in, since I was in Andong (Korea, in 2011)...either Freedom by Jonathan Franzen or Long Gone by Alafair Burke; I remember being up late reading both of those that year.

What a fun survey!

How about you?

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