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Book Meme

Stolen from megan_moonlight (Please read all the questions about 'this year' as 'last year', because... I am disappointingly slow. ;;)

1. Favorite childhood book?

I was going to say Jane Eyre here, but I actually read that for the first time when I was about 13 so that’d probably count more as a teenage book! Um. There was a big book of dragon stories that I read voraciously as a kid. Oh, and the 101 Dalmatians book! I also read that a hell of a lot. An honourable mention also goes to the Little House series, which I ADORED as a kid and still adore now.

2. What are you reading right now?

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson! Though that might’ve changed by the time I post this meme...

And it has! I am now reading All Star Superman, and enjoying the hell out of it. :D

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

The library is actually really far away from our house! So none, unfortunately. :( I’d like to use it more, but the timings/distance really don’t work out.

4. Bad book habit?

I still haven’t been able to kick the habit of flipping to the end of a book before I start reading! It’s TERRIBLE, I know, but oddly enough it’s only very rarely spoilery. Mostly it’s just characters going “...So that happened” and not mentioning specifics.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

See above for my library problems. :(

6. Do you have an e-reader?

No, but I REALLY want one. I read a lot of comics on my phone and really enjoy them, and I think having an e-reader would also up my consumption of books. Plus, cheap books! How am I supposed to resist cheap books, I ask you?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

Oddly enough, I’ve probably started reading a lot more since I started sticking strictly to my one book at once rule. There are obviously exceptions, I read a lot around Brandon Sanderson’s huge works for example, but generally I try to power through one at a time.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

It seems a little odd to refer to my journal as a blog, considering that it’s mainly just me screeching about my weird pairings and comics, BUT THIS IS NOT DOREY’S WEIRD HANG UPS MEME SOOOOOOO. Not really since I first created this place, 8 (!) odd years ago now? But I started properly reading again about the same time I rejigged my journal a year ago, so sort of!

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)

Gods of Gotham by Lindsey Faye (I think that’s her name?) Fucking Gods of Gotham, man. The most boring, aimless, up itself book that I’ve forced myself through all year. It’s not even on our bookshelf, it’s that bad.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

The Girl With All the Gifts by Mike Carey! Such a superb book, really inventive and well written with wonderfully crafted characters and an excellent plot. I’d most definitely recommend it!

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Not that often? I have a fairly wide comfort zone, so I get a fair amount of variety, but I generally know what interests me and what I’ll properly get into. I’ll sometimes read outside my comfort zone if a book has a hell of a lot of recs, but generally I’m happy to sticking to what I know best.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

...I have the feeling that this question and the last one should be swapped around, but anyway. My comfort zone is basically genre works. My main love is stuff that has at least some supernatural elements to it, be they magical or alien based, but in a pinch I’ll happily take crime stuff. Basically if it’s not set on everyday earth there’s a high chance of me loving it.

13. Can you read on the bus?

We live in a town where bus journeys are incredibly short, so I don’t really have the time alas! I have, however, read a few comics on my phone while going on the bus!

14. Favorite place to read?

Our sofa is incredibly comfy, and I really enjoy squashing myself up into a ball and reading on it!

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I’ll lend them to P, but that’s about it. I know I sound like a dragon, selfishly hoarding my books, but... I LIKE being a dragon selfishly hoarding my books.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

I used to, but not so much anymore. Though, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure why it’s considered such bad practice. I LIKE my books to look as if they’ve been well read, wrinkles and creases and all.

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

Sometimes? Not often, though!

18. Not even with text books?

This meme is oddly pushy. I resent your inquisitive tone, meme! But, uh, I did at English degree and there we were aggressively encouraged to write in our course books. To the point where a lot of the sides are covered in my scrawlings!

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

The only language I can actually read with any reliability is English, alas! So only English, with the brief foray into Latin.

20. What makes you love a book?

Oh, gosh, um. Many things, would probably be the correct answer? The perfect book, for me, would probably be one that had a great mux of plot and character with a few interesting ideas behind it. Saying that, though, I have loved books without much plot and with no great idea driving the whole thing. So, from that, if a book has good characters there is a higher chance of me liking it!

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Generally if I like it, I’ll rec it. I prefer to rec stuff that’s fairly easy to access, though, which means that I tend to rec shorter ones and stand alones more than books in a series.

22. Favorite genre?

As I said in the December talking meme, dark fantasy is probably my favourite genre. I enjoy most genre books, though. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror... If it has non-humans in it I’m quite cheerfully there, basically!

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Hmmmmmmm. I would like to read a little more sci fi this year, I suppose. Proper sci fi, with spaceships and everything! I have the Imperial Radch books lined up, so I hope to start rather strongly and carry on from there!

24. Favorite biography?

If we’re talking biography, then Suetonius’ Twelve Caesars is an absolute hoot and I’d cheerfully recommend it to anybody. So much trashy gossip! :D

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Nope. I have, however, frequently picked them up and giggled at them in the bookshop. They’re usually ridiculously over the top and unhelpful in a real life context, I can’t help it!

26. Favorite cookbook?

I haven’t actually read any all the way through, I don’t think! My mum got me some cooking books before I went to university, but that’s about the extent of it.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

Uh. Well, I’m going to count comic books here and say that I found the entirety of Geoff Johns’ Sinestro corps war really inspiring and engaging. There are some fantastic moments in there, and the whole thing just builds into something really special.

28. Favorite reading snack?

Whatever I have on me at the time! So usually biscuits and chocolate. I got some jelly beans from my mum this Christmas, so that’s been my binge eating focus for the last week or so!

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

I’m not sure if it was the hype that ruined it, or the fact that it just wasn’t my sort of thing, but I was assured that I’d like Station Eleven a lot more than I actually did. It was supposed to be fun apocalyptic fiction, and instead I just found it all a bit dull. :(

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Oh, don’t get me started on critics. I think most of them have rather lost their way, moving from the idea that all opinions are subjective to the idea that their opinion is the only correct one and everybody else is just wrong. Most critics just seem to live in an endless world of negativity these days, and I find that quite hard to approve of.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I’ll give my honest opinion of a book, but I’ll try not to endlessly bang on about it if that makes any sense? I try to focus on the stuff I love more than the stuff I hate. I don’t always succeed, but I’d rather at least make an effort to be positive instead of a constant negativity sink.

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

Hm. Swedish, probably. A hell of a lot of great genre fiction comes from Sweden, and I’d love be able to read it without the slightly dodgy translations.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

Well, Bill Bryson’s books do have a habit of saying rather threatening things...

More seriously, probably Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling. It’s still one of the longest books I’ve ever read, and also one of the plottiest. I read it all on the day it came out, and it still stands out as a great experience!

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Technically I did start it once, but after several chapters of one priest doing stuff I carefully set it down and went to watch the musical instead.

35. Favorite Poet?

Catullus, probably. He’s just so much fun to read!

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

#LibraryProblems. :(

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?


38. Favorite fictional character?

Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I went on a bit last month about how much I identified with her when I was a kid, and I stand by that. She’s just a really well crafted character, who it’s very easy to get invested in.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

I would argue the villain part, but for the sake of distinction I’m gonna say Juni Swan from The Demonata. She’s just an incredibly interesting character. With fascinating motivations and a really tragic and interesting character arc. I just live her so much, and think she’s a really interesting example of a tragic villain.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

Whatever I’m reading at the time! And usually the next five or so books I mean to read. You know, just in case.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Luckily, thanks to my English degree, I’ve read at least one book a month for most of my life even when it hasn’t exactly been for pleasure. So the longest I’ve gone without reading any book at all is probably around a month or so?

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Twilight. All my friends had read it, and I was quite eager to give it a go. I got about halfway through before abandoning it for something more interesting, and was highly amused to come across the Internet furore over it a few months later.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

Disappointingly, numerous things! The internet probably looms largest amongst all distractions, but eating things and affectionately poking P also come pretty high on the list!

Despite this, I’m generally pretty good at finishing books quickly. Multitasking works for me, I guess?

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

I’ve liked a lot of comic book adaptations, but this specifically says novel so... Hm. The lotr adaptations are excellent, of course, and deserve to be held up as an example of excellent adapting. Stardust is also pretty great, in that it improves upon and expands a lot of what made the novel great. Oh, and on that note, Gone Girl! Which is another one where I preferred the film to the book, and felt that it was an excellent adaptation of the source material.

To be honest, though, I often feel that TV adaptations do novels more service than films. With films you’ve got about two hours, with TV you’ve generally got at least six hours if not more. This generally leads to a lot more room for expansion, not to mention interesting side details.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

If we’re talking most disappointing, and not just plain bad, I’m gonna go for the adaptations of Harry Potter and the Hobbit. Both had such good source material, both had the roots of at least good movies in them, both – in my opinion – largely blew it. Harry Potter tried to make the world too ordinary and lost the magic, the Hobbit tried to make its world too wide and lost my interest. Lots of people like them, and that’s great, but they’re really not for me.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

If I kept track of that I’d probably start crying over my bank account, so. <<

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

...More often than I should? I try not to do it in great depth, though, and I usually manage to stop just short of spoiling myself completely.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

If it’s so boring that it makes me want to cry, if there’s something in it that offends me so badly that I take against the whole thing as a result (eg. I remember once reading a book where there was unexpected transphobia, which was fun), if there’s something in it that brushes up against my personal triggers and makes me super anxious as a result.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Oh, man, I have a SYSTEM... Which is basically just alphabetical order with any series grouped together, but feels incredibly satisfying anyway.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

Keep them, of course! Why... Why would you give books away? D:

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

Probably? Though I may well be avoiding them so thoroughly that my brain has decided to save me time and just forget their whole existence. War and Peace is probably one, most books that Jane Austen has written, the Divergent series, others...?

52. Name a book that made you angry.

Gods of Gotham still leaves me a little rageful now. Why was it so dull? Why was it so judgey? Why did nothing make any sense? I think of that book, and my teeth grind slowly and angrily together. >:(

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

One of my favourite series, the Blake and Avery Adventures by MJ Carter, is actually an example of this! I’d read a really dire historical crime novel just before them, and was expecting more of the same, but instead got a really lovely story with great characters and really enjoyable writing. It was nothing groundbreaking, no, but it was such a lovely surprise that I’ve had a fondness for them ever since.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

I hate to keep carping on about it, since I’m pretty sure I know some people who love it, but Station Eleven. I was expecting to love it, because it was post apocalyptic and contained Shakespeare, but instead I just found it dull. Dull characters, dull plot, even a dull apocalypse. :(

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

I... Am not sure if this question is asking me about my guilty pleasure reading, but I’m going to answer that way anyhow. Vampire Babylon by Chris Marie Green is very trashy, but I love it anyway. It’s just really compelling! And has excellent villains and a thoroughly compelling plot, under all the trash.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2016 05:06 pm (UTC)
Most critics just seem to live in an endless world of negativity these days, and I find that quite hard to approve of.
Thank you for this.

Why... Why would you give books away? D:
Because you don't like them? I mean, in general I don't understand it either, but I'm not looking forward to moving again. Especially if my mother insists on helping only to judge me for the amount of books I own. orz
Jan. 8th, 2016 09:18 am (UTC)
Thank you for this.

I can definitely understand disliking a thing, and was a critic myself at university so can even understand the urge to examine a thing more closely. But a lot of critics just seem to be looking for things to take against, and that seems a far too negative way to live.

I mean, in general I don't understand it either, but I'm not looking forward to moving again.

Hah, that's actually a good reason! To be fair, my SO also has this stance. He's really hoping that we don't have to move again this year, so he won't be forced to carry about ten boxes of books. :P
Jan. 8th, 2016 02:02 am (UTC)
Most critics just seem to live in an endless world of negativity these days, and I find that quite hard to approve of.

Yes, I agree with you so much on that one!!
Jan. 8th, 2016 09:24 am (UTC)
It's just slightly bizarre to me! If you don't like something, then maybe don't obsess about it? It really isn't that hard...
Jan. 8th, 2016 03:43 am (UTC)
I still haven’t been able to kick the habit of flipping to the end of a book before I start reading! It’s TERRIBLE, I know, but oddly enough it’s only very rarely spoilery. - I do the same thing! I'm awful :P

I'm sorry that you didn't like Station Eleven. It did have pacing issues, I will admit.

I think most of them have rather lost their way, moving from the idea that all opinions are subjective to the idea that their opinion is the only correct one and everybody else is just wrong. Most critics just seem to live in an endless world of negativity these days, and I find that quite hard to approve of. - I agree wholeheartedly.
Jan. 8th, 2016 09:29 am (UTC)
I do the same thing! I'm awful :P

I try to justify it by pretending that I'm just checking the length, but really I think it's just a habit that I can't shake! :P

I'm sorry that you didn't like Station Eleven. It did have pacing issues, I will admit.

It just wasn't really my type of thing, unfortunately! Plenty of people seemed to like it, so I'm pretty sure it was a good book that just didn't fit my tastes for some reason.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I'm glad! The thing is that I don't mind criticism, I even used to be a film critic, but I can't really approve of the lengths it goes to sometimes. What really annoys me is when certain critics seem to have decided that people are dumb for liking something that they personally dislike. I mean, I don't particularly like Twilight but I'm not going to say that all the people that did like it are inherently wrong and stupid!

Edited at 2016-01-08 09:29 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2016 07:40 pm (UTC)
I always check what happens in the end of the book so I don't consider it a bad habit anymore *lol* I need all the spoilers.

If it has non-humans in it I’m quite cheerfully there, basically!
Me, too :)

Keep them, of course! Why... Why would you give books away? D:
I keep my books, too.

I hope you get to read more SF!
Jan. 11th, 2016 11:18 am (UTC)
I try to avoid spoilers as much as possible, but sometimes it's just so satisfying to know what's going to happen! Besides, my defence is that sometimes how stuff happens is more important than what actually happens.

And so do I on the SF front! I got a few books for Christmas along those lines, so I'm hopeful. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )