Saturday 24 August 2013

The Latest Book Q & A...

Amanda Curtin tagged me in this questionnaire about my bookish behavior. Some of the questions were easy (we all know that b0ok recommended by a friend which ended up secreted in the recycle bin via over-arm bowl).  But choosing favourites from favourites and all the time feeling I have betrayed those who don’t make my paltry lists? – I needed to drink to get through this.  Please feel free to join in.  You can read Amanda Curtin’s responses here.  Mine are below (no heckling please)...

What are you reading right now?
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Philip Lombardo
(Several people from my past make cameos appearances in this one...)

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
 Mad In America – Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker
(I have a cameo in this...)

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
Room by Emma Donoghue
New York by Edward Rutherford
Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
Herzog by Saul Bellow
(Not necessarily in that order, but they are all here and accusing me every time I pick up something else).

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
None.  And why do people have magazines (and books) in their toilets?  I really want to know.  When you visit a friend’s loo and it’s decked out like a second hand book shop, do you automatically pick something up and start browsing?  No!  And do you know why?  Because you’d get cholera!  I’d rather drive to a gas station than pee amongst literature...

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer.  It may have found its feet further in *whispers* - I didn’t finish it...

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like?
Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
(Yes, I know that’s two but it’s my Blog, get over it)

What are your three favourite poems?
The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
The Difference Between Despair by Emily Dickinson
Child by Sylvia Plath

Where do you usually get your books?
Almost exclusively online, both hard copies and downloads.

Where do you usually read your books?
In bed or lying on the couch.  I prefer to read supine.  When the book becomes too heavy I turn on my side until my glasses are skewiff.  Then I roll onto my back again and prop my book up on the dog.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
If I could find a book then I would read it.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
I don’t like to read into the night, especially if I am loving something – I want it to last.  I have only every done this once.  I pulled an all-nighter many years ago with Possession by A.S Byatt.  (Damn you, Byatt!)  I then re-read it, tasting every word.

Have you ever ‘faked’ reading a book?
I “fake-read” Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews when I was in high school.  All I had to do was read the two pages my borrowed copy fell open to (the sex scene) and I was in with everyone else!  I hear she’s publishing from beyond the grave now...

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Yes – a couple of cook books.  And cook books tend to use that paper that smells so beautiful, and feels so smooth.  I was not disappointed.

What book changed your life?
My life is changing constantly so I am changed by books constantly.  This is an awful question and I had to think about it long and hard.  I came up with Amelia Bedelia  by Peggy Parish.  This was the first book ever read aloud to me.  I was 6.  It was read to me by my primary school librarian, Ethel Watson.  I discovered books that day.

What is your favourite passage from a book?
“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner." Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Who are your top five favourite authors?
Five?!  You want five.  Jane Austen.  Lionel Shriver.  Graham Greene.  Isaac Bashevis Singer.  John Wyndham.  Colleen McCullough.  John Le Carre.  Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  (I could go on...)

What book has no one heard about but should read?
Killing Time: One Man’s Race To Stop an Execution by David R. Dow.  Personal memoir that reads like thriller.  Intimate yet universal.  One man fighting against a corrupt and ineffective legal system.

What 3 books are you an ‘evangelist’ for?
Mothers of the Novel  by Dale Spender (and you all thought we were adjusting our bustles and getting the vapours)
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

What are your favourite books by a first-time author?
The Good Wife by Emma Chapman
(Yes, I know that’s one but it’s my Blog, get over it)

What is your favourite classic book?
There are so many.  Everything by Jane Austen and The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.

Five other notable mentions?
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Happy As Larry by Scot Gardner
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
The Magus by John Fowles

1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover (see mine below)

3. Answer the questions above
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

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