Tag Archives: meme

Booking Through Thursday – Disaster!

You’ve just dropped your favorite, out-of-print book into a bathtub, ruining it completely … What do you do now?

Whine. Post on the BookCrossing forums about it. Then pop onto AbeBooks and see about finding another copy.

One time my cat urinated on my backpack, utterly destroying the book I was currently reading. But then, it was The Da Vinci Code, so she may have just been commenting on my taste in literature.

Booking Through Thursday

Just a simple survey this week.

1. Favorite childhood book?
There are so many, but probably Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

2. What are you reading right now?
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, The Secret Scripture by Sabastian Barry, and Holes by Louis Sachar.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None at the moment, but I have Foundation by Isaac Asimov checked out for when I finish Holes.  When I start Foundation I’ll put the next book on hold.  (I don’t like browsing the shelves.)

4. Bad book habit?
Sometimes, despite my best intentions, the spine gets broken. The horror, I know.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Holes and Foundation, as mentioned above. They’re both audiobooks; that’s all I use the library for these days. I have plenty of regular books to read on my shelves at home.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Nah. I sit in front of a screen all day long already. That, and you can’t BookCross e-books.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Several at once. I have one main book (mostly read in bed at night), one audiobook in the car, and one book in my gym bag for reading while on the stationary bike.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I give more thought to what I thought about them and why. Sometimes I even make notes for my review before I finish the book.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
The Taking by Dean Koontz. Cripes that was terrible.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. Didn’t want it to end.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
More often than I used to, that’s for sure. It’s amazing the things that have fallen into my lap since joining BookCrossing.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Oh, I dunno. Science fiction and fantasy, I suppose.

13. Can you read on the bus?
No, I get motion sickness very easily.

14. Favorite place to read?
My recliner with a sleeping kitty on my lap. :)

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I don’t lend any book I absolutely must get back.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Not anymore. I did as a kid.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Generally no.

18. Not even with text books?
Not uness I’m correcting a mistake in the text.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. It’s the only one I can read in!

20. What makes you love a book?
That’s far too in-depth of a question to be answered in a single survey post.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If I really really loved it and can actually articulate why.

22. Favorite genre?
Probably SF/F.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
History and historical fiction.

24. Favorite biography?
Um. I haven’t read many biographies.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Not unless you count the Inner Bitch books.

26. Favorite cookbook?
I don’t cook, but my husband says Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child is essential.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Inspirational? I guess probably The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.

28. Favorite reading snack?
I avoid eating while reading, as I tend to pay more attention to the book and end up eating far more than I should without thinking about it.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Hard to say. I certainly wasn’t as impressed with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini as I’d expected.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t know. I don’t pay much attention to critics.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
About the same as giving good/positive reviews.

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

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Jeez, I dunno. Possibly The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

35. Favorite Poet?
Shel Silverstein.

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

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
Several times, always because the book was unlistenable due to either a terribly scratched disc or a terrible narrator.

38. Favorite fictional character?
I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one, but at the moment I’m kind of in love with The Colonel from Looking For Alaska by John Green.

39. Favorite fictional villain?
That’s not any easier to narrow down. Maybe Javert in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Whatever I’m currently reading plus several paperbacks – usually at least two more than I could possibly read in the timespan I’ll be gone. I’m paranoid about running out of things to read.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Until college I almost never read for pleasure, so probably months.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The Void by Georges Perec, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, others.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
The television.  A cat rubbing her face on my book.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Last Unicorn

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
There are so many. Probably Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, not because it was a particularly bad movie, but because the book was just so good that I had hoped to recapture those feelings with the film. And I didn’t.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Not counting textbooks, probably somewhere around $100, but it was mostly Christmas presents.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I don’t. I read the back and the first few paragraphs, and if it sucks me in, I read it for real. I don’t like skipping ahead, though as a kid I always read the very last word before starting a book. I have no idea why I did that.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If I just really wasn’t enjoying it and every page was a chore. Life’s too short to read bad books.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I don’t, really, though I often play around with my TBR spreadsheet.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I release them into the wild, of course.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. It’s pretty much my husband’s favorite story ever but I am reluctant because The Hobbit gave me narcolepsy.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
The Death of Common Sense by Philip K. Howard.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Sigh…

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore. More recently, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight by Gina Ochsner.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Jennifer Weiner.

Booking Through Thursday

Today’s Booking Through Thursday is fairly straightforward:

Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

I don’t read many biographies, auto- or otherwise, though my favorites have been primarily memoirs, such as If Chins Could Kill and Cancer Vixen, and of course pretty much anything David Sedaris or Laurie Notaro put out. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a straight-up biography, come to think of it; the closest was probably Silverstein and Me, which wasn’t really so much a life story as it was memories of a good friend in reasonably chronological order. Books about single people have never really interested me.

So I guess that’s my long way of saying that I prefer autobiography. Which is interesting, since before this meme I would have thought I had no preference either way.

Write on Wednesday

This week’s Write on Wednesday is a short survey. I know I’ve been horrible about actually doing these on Wednesday, but ehh, whatever.

1. What’s your favourite genre of writing? — Humorous fiction, often with a fantastic bent.
2. How often do you get writer’s block? — I don’t really believe in writer’s block. Sometimes I have more trouble with a story than others, but I’ve never been like “OMG I can’t write anything!” I can always blather aimlessly on paper. The trick is turning it into something worth reading.
3. How do you fix it? — Blather aimlessly on paper until my brain stops farting around and gets down to business.
4. Do you type or write by hand? — Both. Freewriting is better by hand, for me, but when I’m really cooking on a story I prefer to type because I can do it far more quickly.
5. Do you save everything you write? — Yeah. I don’t always look at it again, but it’s all there, either on a drive or in a box.
6. Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it? — Yup. Never turns out how I’d expected it to back in the day, but it’s always interesting.
7. Do you have a constructive critic? — My sister is helpful in general. Unless you mean Inner Critic, in which case not just no, but hell no.
8. Did you ever write a novel? — Only if you count NaNoWriMo, but I don’t.
9. What genre would you love to write but haven’t? — Historical fiction. My problem is that I get so excited when I first start a new project that I lack the patience to do the research, then once I get into the research I’ve lost momentum on the story. I’m kind of self-defeating that way.
10. What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will? — Political drama (science fiction or otherwise).
11. How many writing projects are you working on right now? — Actively? Uh, I guess two. An interesting project on Swap-Bot and the next chapter of Animal Faith.
12. Do you write for a living? Do you want to? — I write for pleasure. I tell myself I would love to get paid for it, but deep down I suspect that harsh deadlines would turn it into a chore.
13. Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper? — It was a college magazine, but yeah. Some awful piece on Hare Krishnas.
14. Have you ever won an award for your writing? — Not unless you count a minor poetry award on Artella.
15. What are your five favourite words? — I don’t have favorite words, though an old boyfriend was convinced my favorite word was “obnoxious”.
16. Do you ever write based on your dreams? — I’ve tried but it never comes out very well. So instead I write down my dreams and occasionally take some of the imagery from them, rather than trying to turn the mess into something coherent.
17. Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers? — Happy endings. I don’t like going to all the bother of reading something only to have it be a cliff-hanger, nor do I enjoy making an emotional investment in characters only to be disappointed in the outcome. After all, there are more than enough sad and unresolved endings in real life.
18. Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen? — Yes, and the artist loved the story. I kept meaning to write based on other stuff but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Weekly Geeks

Crikey. This week’s Weekly Geeks is a quiz. The post lists 100 first lines from books and asks how many you can identify. There is some kind of contest about getting all of them but ehh, I’ll just see how well I can do off the top of my head. Here’s the ones I know for sure:

1. Call me Ishmael.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.
Er, duh. Lolita by Vladimir Nobokov

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
1984 by George Orwell

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (*snore*)

10. I am an invisible man.
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (not H.G. Wells *grin*)

12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler.
Gee, I wonder if this could possibly be If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. ;)

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
(I can’t technically count this one. After all, I only know it because of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. That is, I only know who wrote it because of that. I first learned it, like most people, from reading Peanuts.)

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. (Great book, BTW.)

53. It was a pleasure to burn.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

65. You better not never tell nobody but God.
The Color Purple by Alice Walker (another excellent book)

66. “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.”
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (kind of a meh book)

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me.
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass (a very strange but intriguing book)

83. “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.”
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (I loved it, but it’s not for everyone)

So, I was able to identify 15 of the 100. Not bad, considering how few of the books I’ve actually read. I recognized many more, but Googling is cheating, so I’ll leave it at that. I hope subsequent Weekly Geeks are more interesting than the memes that routinely show up on LiveJournal.

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