book meme

Jul. 18th, 2012 03:25 pm
ladymercury_10: (Molly books)
[personal profile] ladymercury_10

Longish book meme snagged from [livejournal.com profile] 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

            Rough Likeness

            A Field Guide to Getting Lost

            The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

            Deathless

            Mr. Fox


6. Do you have an e-reader?
No.

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?
Not really.

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

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?
Maybe cookies?

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?
Fairly often.

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?
Probably fanfiction?



Date: 2012-07-18 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astrogirl2.livejournal.com
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente.

Ooh, I read that one about this time last year and liked it a lot.

Date: 2012-07-18 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
Yeah, I remember seeing your review! I've been meaning to read it for a while and never quite getting around to it. I like it a lot so far!

Date: 2012-07-18 10:54 pm (UTC)
ext_169355: Arthur Darvill (HP: Ravenclaw)
From: [identity profile] welshgirl15.livejournal.com
It's a shame you couldn't get into Harry Potter. Have you tried again since? When I reread them now I skip to when Hagrid comes to pick him up. You could try that? Or even skipping to some of the later books (my favourite is the Goblet of Fire). I'm assuming you've seen the films?

Date: 2012-07-18 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
No, I've never tried to pick them up again. I haven't seen the films either--I wasn't allowed to read or watch Harry Potter as a kid, and it's kind of a big undertaking to try to do them all now.

Date: 2012-07-19 08:24 am (UTC)
ext_169355: Arthur Darvill (HP: Ravenclaw)
From: [identity profile] welshgirl15.livejournal.com
Ah, it is a long series to started on!

Date: 2012-07-19 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giallarhorn.livejournal.com
Hey, I'm not the only person who's checked out C++ for Dummies from the library!

C&P was such a demanding book, just because it is written in such a dense manner. Russian lit is all kind of like that, I suppose.

I concur in that the movie version of Stardust was a lot better than the book, since it made the characters a lot more real and sympathetic. Pride & Prejudice...is kind a weird thing for me, since there's a lot of subtle things that you can't translate to the screen, though the film does an amazing job of doing it. I guess I kind of like them both equally?

Date: 2012-07-19 04:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
*high fives* Did you like it? I've never really programmed before, and I am procrastinating, so it's just been sitting on my coffee table gathering dust.

The part that really got me about C&P is how slowly it builds. It's so well-written, but after about 400 pages of Raskolnikov or however you spell his name wandering around fainting in the street and worrying he's blown his cover, I was kind of like, "GET ON WITH THE PLOT ALREADY!" Granted, I was a high school senior at the time and only had a little over a month to read it, haha....

I am one of those dreadful people who didn't really like the book version of P&P. I'm not really into romance or comedy of manners-type stuff, so....

P.S. Which film version are you thinking of? I'm thinking of the Keira Knightely/Matthew MacFayden one.
Edited Date: 2012-07-19 04:04 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-26 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giallarhorn.livejournal.com
It wasn't as helpful as I'd have liked, but it was a good sort of reference to the problems I ran into? So more of a go to guide with problems, as opposed to an actual tutorial type.

Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, whose name I memorized so I could spell it :D IDK, a lot of Russian lit, especially from that time era, tends to be really plodding and slow and well, thick. And dense.

I don't really view either version of P&P as a romance, though the movie version does come off a little more as a period romantic comedy. But the book always was more of a satire to me, which is how I approached it.

I'm a blasphemous person who likes the Keira Knightely/Matthew MacFayden more than the others :D

Date: 2012-07-26 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
I think that might be the only version I've seen. The cinematography is gorgeous. I also really like the movie version of Atonement, which is done by the same director.

Date: 2012-07-28 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] giallarhorn.livejournal.com
Omg yes it is so gorgeous. The director's also doing Anna Karenina, which tbh not one of my favorite books ever, just looks so absolutely well done and pretty.

Date: 2012-07-28 07:52 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-19 07:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hamsterwoman.livejournal.com
13. Can you read on the bus?
Yes, but strangely I can’t read in the car.


I'm the same way! I've always wondered what the difference is in they type of motion you experience as a passenger in one vs the other that apparently makes such a difference in this respect.

And I know this is heresy, but I actually like the movie versions of Stardust and Pride and Prejudice better than the books.

I totally agree on Stardust! (Out of curiosity, when you read Stardust, was it the fully illustrated edition, or the plain text? I read the latter and was quite underwhelmed, but I know folks who really love it, but those seem to be the folks who read the illustrated version, so I'm collecting anecdata to see if it keeps correlating like that :)

I haven't seen the P&P movie, but I do think the BBC miniseries is an excellent adaptation.

And yay for Good Omens!

Date: 2012-07-19 03:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
I read the plain, unillustrated version, so I guess that supports your theory. :P

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