Longish book meme snagged from trialia:
1. Favourite childhood book?
I’m not really sure—there were a lot of books I liked as a child. Maybe Sharks and Other Creatures of the Deep, because I remember making my mom read that to me a lot.
2. What are you reading right now?
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None, because I’ve just gone to collect the latest batch.
4. Bad book habit?
Making impossibly long to-read lists.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Uh…too many to remember what all they are. Here, according to my library record, I have the following books checked out:
East of Eden
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Quantum Universe
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays
All Rivers Flow to the Sea
C++ for Dummies
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making
6. Do you have an e-reader?
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One at a time, usually, or one for pleasure and one for school.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I spend less time reading books now that I have all these blogs and things to read.
9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?)
Uh, I don’t know. I wasn’t tremendously fond of Writing Women in Modern China, which is a collection of short stories, essays, and excerpts that we read in one of my lit classes this year.
10. Favourite book you've read this year?
I really, really liked Rough Likeness, by Lia Purpura, which I just read and still have out from the library. She’s one of my favorite authors—she has another essay collection called On Looking that's one of my favorite books. And I also liked Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It was very funny and clever. Oh, wait, I’ve forgotten The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. It’s an amazing book—funny and sad and smart and just really wonderful.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Well, in school I had to do that a lot for my English classes. I don’t know in general…I guess Good Omens was a little out of my comfort zone, as I don’t tend to read supernatural fiction.
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Literary fiction, literary nonfiction, YA, popular science/mathematics, magical realism.
13. Can you read on the bus?
Yes, but strangely I can’t read in the car.
14. Favourite place to read?
On the sofa. Any sofa, really—my parents’ sofa, the sofa in my old apartment, the science building’s sofa.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
I lend books sometimes, but it makes me a little nervous.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
18. Not even with textbooks?
Actually, I don’t like to write in textbooks, especially if I’m planning to sell them back. I do it more with regular books that I read for class—novels, poetry collections, etc.
19. What is your favourite language to read in?
English. I used to be able to read in Spanish, although my vocabulary was rather small and so I could only really read children’s books and news articles. I haven’t tried it in a while, but I know I’ve gotten really rusty in Spanish.
20. What makes you love a book?
Beautiful prose, well-drawn characters, powerful themes, emotional realism, wry humor, whimsy, fairy tale allusions, metafictional elements, etc.
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I usually end up recommending books either because they seem like the sort of book the friend in question would like, or because I really liked the book when I read it.
22. Favourite genre?
Literary fiction, I guess?
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
I’d like to read more magical realism—I have a hard time finding it. Or long books. I wish I had more patience for longer reads.
24. Favourite biography?
I’m not really into biographies. I recently read Radioactive, by Lauren Redniss, which is more or less a biography of Marie and Pierre Curie in graphic novel form, and that was sort of cool.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, I have.
26. Favourite cookbook?
I don’t know that I have one. When I was a kid, I liked Pretend Soup, by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Probably The Fault in Our Stars or Rough Likeness. Also, Fabrication, by Susan Neville—it was very inspiring when I was working on my senior creative writing portfolio this spring.
28. Favourite reading snack?
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
What, like a book everyone said would be good and then wasn’t? I suppose I tried to read the first Harry Potter book a few years ago and was very disappointed that it began with the Dursleys being boring rather than Harry living in a cupboard under the stairs as I expected.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Mmm, I’m not sure. I used to be quite fond of The New York Times Book Review—I’d go to the school library every Sunday to read their subscription copy—but I don’t know if I usually agreed with the reviewers or not.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Well, the only review I’ve ever posted on Amazon was a very negative one. I had to buy a really awful and poorly edited textbook for my differential equations class, and I was rather frustrated with it; ergo, the bad review.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
I suppose I’d pick Hindi, because that’s the language I’d most like to speak. In terms of being able to read books in their original language, though, probably French. Or maybe ancient Greek or Latin or something like that.
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Probably Crime and Punishment, which I read for AP English in high school. Or maybe Book II of The Fairie Queene, which was part of a Renaissance Literature class I took as an undergrad.
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
There are a few Virginia Woolf books I’d like to read, but I feel like they’d take a lot of time because her prose is sort of dense. And then there are a couple books of The Fairie Queene I have vague ambitions of reading. I guess the most intimidating is probably Gödel, Escher, Bach, which I’ve read bits of and really enjoyed, but it’s about 700 pages and very intellectually demanding.
35. Favourite poet?
Galway Kinnell, Marie Howe, Keith Ratzlaff, James D’Agostino, Shakespeare. Uh, I’m probably forgetting a lot more.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I think I have about eleven right now? That’s just a few more than usual, I guess.
37. How often have you returned a book to the library unread?
All the time, sadly. I always borrow more than I can finish.
38. Favourite fictional character?
As in a character from a book? Mmm, I don’t know. I like Huck Finn a lot, and the Little Prince. Adam Eddington, Meg Murray, Hazel Lancaster, Aziraphale and Crowley…Oh, actually, it’s probably Stargirl Caraway.
39. Favourite fictional villain?
Uh, does Catwoman count? Or does it have to be from a book? If it’s from a book, probably Crowley from Good Omens.
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Whatever book I’m reading at the time.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
I tend to read stuff online even when I’m not reading a book, so probably not very long.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
I was supposed to read My Brother, by Jamaica Kincaid, for a nonfiction class I took last fall. I only got through the first half or so before I decided I couldn’t finish it.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
The internet. Even if my computer is off.
44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
I really like the movie version of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And I know this is heresy, but I actually like the movie versions of Stardust and Pride and Prejudice better than the books.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Off the top of my head, I’m not sure. I remember being frustrated by the differences between the book and movie versions of Ella Enchanted when I was a kid.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
If we’re counting the times I had to buy textbooks from the school bookstore, probably 200-300 dollars. Eeek.
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
If it was boring, if I found another book I thought I’d rather read, if I had to take it back to the library and didn’t like it enough to buy my own copy, if the writing style was irritating, if the characters were annoying….
49. Do you like to keep your books organised?
Does this mean mean sorted or alphabetized? If so, not really.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I usually keep books I like and sell those I don’t.
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
What does this mean? A book I should be reading but am putting off? I suppose that would be Romeo and Juliet. My schedule was messed up in high school because I was a transfer student, so I didn’t read it in ninth grade like everyone else in my school. After that, everyone assumed I’d already read it and so it was never assigned, and I’ve never gotten around to it on my own.
52. Name a book that made you angry.
This Clumsy Living, by Bob Hicok. It’s a poetry collection I was assigned to read in college. I found it very flippant, unpoetic, and annoying.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
I didn’t expect to dislike it, but I was surprised by how good The Fault in Our Stars was.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
I love Lia Purpura, so I was kind of disappointed that I couldn’t really get into King Baby, although it wasn’t bad and I did finish it.
55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?