liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
I know I had a big stash of topics I wanted to talk about once I got past the intense festival period, but I can't remember what they all were now. So have a meme about books, via [ profile] ghoti:

Author you've read the most books by
I think probably Nevil Shute; I read pretty much his entire output when I was a teenager and he's moderately prolific.

Best sequel ever
I really really love Babel Tower, by AS Byatt. I read it kind of by mistake when I was 20 or so, not realizing that it's actually the third in a quartet. And I liked it even better after I read the first two books in that series.

Currently reading
In keeping with the alphabetical theme, I've just started Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavić. This is a book that many of us got really excited about when we were teenagers, because it's all post-modern and non-linear and meta and mysterious, and also I was really interested in the story of the Khazar kingdom converting to Judaism en masse. I didn't really understand a word of it, and the copy I'd seen belonged to a friend, I think maybe [ profile] jacquic. And then I found a copy 20 years later in Toronto, so I'm excited to see if it makes sense to me as an adult reader.

Drink of choice while reading
Tea, obv. Tea is my drink of choice when I'm doing any possible activity that is in any way compatible with drinking. Is anybody surprised by this at this point?

E-reader or physical book?
I already wrote about this.

Fictional character you probably actually would have dated in high school
Ummmm. I very very much didn't date in high school, and there is no scenario in which I would have dated adult men IRL even if I was crushing on them in fiction. I fancied Henry Tillney from Northanger Abbey, and looking at the Wikipedia synopsis I'm realizing that Catherine was in fact of high-school age, so just about maybe. The other possibility is Toby Coleman from The L-shaped room; I did in fact date someone rather similar to him in personality and appearance only a year or so out of high school.

Glad you gave this book a chance
Random acts of senseless violence by Jack Womack. It has the most terrible and offputting title ever but is actually really good, a sort of version of Anne Frank's diary set in a near-future dystopia. I was lucky that [ profile] rysmiel convinced me to read it in spite of the title.

Hidden gem book
I have mentioned this one lots of times, but The book of Ebenezer le Page by GB Edwards is just about the most underrated brilliant book I've ever come across.

Important moment in your reading life
Really not sure about this one. I will think about it and see if I'm inspired with a topic for a separate post.

Just finished
A door into ocean by Joan Slonczewski

Kinds of books you won't read
There aren't many kinds of books I absolutely won't read if they're really good, even in a genre I don't like. I generally avoid horror but I'm willing to make exceptions. Probably macho gun-porn dick-lit style thrillers, I guess. Or a certain kind of Christian message books; I'm very happy to read books with Christian themes or about Christian characters, but not books that are trying to convince me that I should become Christian.

Longest book you've read
I think probably Vikram Seth's A suitable boy but I'm not sure. I've read Anna Karenina but not War and Peace

Major book hangover because of
I don't really get book hangovers very much, when I've finished reading books I tend to return to this reality quite easily. Maybe an unpublished thing of [ profile] rysmiel's I read in an early draft, and spent years after reading it mentally arguing with one of the characters? I did spend a while thinking about the setting and gender technology in Ian McDonald's River of Gods.

Number of bookcases you own
Not nearly enough! In my tiny flat I have one glass-fronted bookcase I was gifted by my neighbour in Scotland on the grounds that I read books more than him, and he doesn't really understand the value of things and was perfectly happy to give me a rather nice piece of vintage furniture, and a small bookcase of my religious and reference books. And in our house in Cambridge I have my books in two full-height bookcases, but we're hoping to install proper fitted shelves eventually.

One book you've read multiple times
There's very little that I reread at all. LotR, and Babel Tower and The Book of Ebenezer le Page which I've already mentioned. The other one I keep coming back to is William Horwood's Skallagrigg which is a kind of terrible book in some ways but there's something I get from it emotionally which I don't get from reading new books.

Preferred place to read
I read like cats sleep: anywhere. On public transport, including waiting at bus stops and stations. Sitting on the floor or on the stairs (when I was growing up it was a common sight in my house for all six of us to be sitting on different steps, each with our book). Outdoors if it's not too windy. In other people's houses if they don't find it rude for me to browse their bookshelves. Pretty much the only place I don't read is in bed, because I don't find it comfortable reading while lying down, and if I start taking books to bed I never get to sleep.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read
I've always been very drawn to Gandalf's speech to Frodo about whether Bilbo should've killed Gollum:
Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need... Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.

Reading regret
Mary Gentle's sequel to Golden Witchbreed, Ancient light, which literally ruins the first half of the pair, a book I really love. I like to pretend I never ever read AL.

Series you've started but need to finish
I tend not to read long series, I prefer stories that fit into a few hundred pages. I'm probably going to read the rest of Steven Brust's Dragaera series eventually, because even though it's planned to be 19 books they are so readable and the complex interconnections between the novels are so interesting that I am willing to overcome my prejudice against series, particularly incomplete series. I've only read up to Issola, though, cos I don't want this particular series to be too high a proportion of all my reading material.

Three of your all-time favorite books
Apart from the ones I've already mentioned:
  • The book of lights by Chaim Potok
  • The color of light by William Goldman
  • Armageddon Rag by George RR Martin

    Unapologetic fangirl for
    Hmm, I'm not sure I'm a fangirl for most books; there are lots of books I like and strongly recommend, but most of the time I'm not exactly fannish about them. I think maybe Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels. [personal profile] jack and I bought ourselves the whole collection in fancy hardback, and I am very excited about the setting and characters and the way Gaiman uses the medium, as much as the individual stories.

    Very excited for this release more than all the others
    I don't really get excited for new books coming out, much, because I'm bad at keeping up with what's getting published, tending to read more older books than brand new books. And there are several books, including continuations of series, that I was quite looking forward to but haven't made it a priority to rush out and buy though they are in fact available now. I've been waiting for Tolkien's translation of Beowulf to actually exist for over 10 years, but when it was in fact published earlier this summer I completely forgot to acquire it. So now this meme has reminded me, I should maybe do that!

    Worst bookish habit
    I'm pretty good at respecting books as physical objects, though if they're too precious to sling in my handbag they don't get read. Probably my most foolish habit is basically always finishing books I start even if I'm not really enjoying them.

    X marks the spot, start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book
    George RR Martin: Dying of the light. Martin's first published novel from before he became famous. Well written but a bit weird and very depressing.

    Your latest book purchase
    Jack Womack's Terraplane, which is another in the same series as Random acts which I haven't yet read.

    Zzzzz-snatcher book. Last book that kept you up way too late
    I'm mostly fairly good about stopping reading in order to sleep. The last book I had this difficulty with was Rumer Godden's In this house of Brede, which is an odd choice. It's about a woman who enters a cloistered convent, and the relationships she forms there, so it's about as far from thrilling as you could imagine. But there's something about the way Godden uses language that made it completely compelling to me, I just could not stop reading and I cared so much about the characters even though basically nothing happens.

    Anyone else want to have a go?
  • (no subject)

    Date: 2014-10-20 03:05 pm (UTC)
    davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
    From: [personal profile] davidgillon
    Interesting. May try this later in the week when, hopefully, I'll be in the same county as my bookshelves.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2014-10-20 10:33 pm (UTC)
    davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
    From: [personal profile] davidgillon
    Thanks, and so would I - these memes can be interesting for making you look at your reading from a different angle.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2014-10-27 06:05 pm (UTC)
    davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
    From: [personal profile] davidgillon
    Haven't forgotten about this, now back with my bookshelves and have the questions in an open file to be answered at my leisure.

    (no subject)

    Date: 2014-10-20 03:46 pm (UTC)
    rysmiel: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] rysmiel
    Maybe an unpublished thing of [ profile] rysmiel's I read in an early draft, and spent years after reading it mentally arguing with one of the characters?

    This, plus the proportion of titles mentioned here that are gifts or recommendations from me, makes me glow quite a bit.

    I will polish the through draft of that one more time soonish and send it you; probably next after I am done with the thing I am currently working on.

    Preferred place to read

    Date: 2014-10-20 04:16 pm (UTC)
    From: (Anonymous)
    As I said in January, an e-reader (or at least my NOOK (RTM)) is very comfortable to read in bed or at a blood donation session, where I must not move my [left] arm for at least an hour.

    Also, you can use an e-reader in bed without disturbing your partner's sleep.


    (no subject)

    Date: 2014-10-21 10:24 pm (UTC)
    ajollypyruvate: (Default)
    From: [personal profile] ajollypyruvate
    Yes, something I want to do but will have to wait until I have more time to post!


    Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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