Saturday, 19 July 2008

Book Meme

Finally! I can do this meme, that Rhinoa tagged me for on July 2. A most excellent book meme, so thank you to Rhinoa, and here goes:

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?
We were always read to, there are pictures of my sister (a year younger than I) and myself sitting on my father's lap while he read books to us, I would have been 3 and Patricia 2, if not younger. My father taught English most of his life, first as a teacher of English literature at various schools across the country, and later he taught English to French civil servants for the Federal Government. We always had books, and I don't even remember learning how to read. I always could. The first -presents I ever bought, that I could choose for someone else - was for my first best friend, when I was 8 years old - were books! it never really occurred to me to chose anything else! and I was so excited and pleased to give them. I'm not sure she read them, though she was the first person I also co-wrote a mystery with, so all was not lost! From an early age I read the cereal box, the milk carton, or anything else I could find at the breakfast table, and any other time we were allowed books there, and everywhere else. I would read under my blanket at night when I was 12, with a flashlight. (Did we all have to go to bed too early, since I think a few of us bloggers have mentioned this habit in our childhood?) While no one has ever said I was born with a book in my hand like Rhinoa's family do to her, my love of books is legendary and almost no one in my family will willingly enter a bookstore with me now!

What are some books you read as a child?

Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, Dr Seuss, The Hobbit, Cherry Ames, Meg mysteries, LM Montgomery (almost everything she wrote), Gene Stratton Porter, Enid Blyton mysteries - Famous Five, Adventurous Four, especially. Laura Ingalls Wilder, I loved her! This is all before I was 12, when I began to branch out, and discovered Harlequin Romances.

What is your favorite genre?
Fantasy and mystery are tied. I read widely in both areas, above and beyond anything else. I think I always have - see the books I read as a child. I'm sure if there had been fantasy being published then for kids I would have read it! I'm interested in lots of areas, so I have books on a lot of different topics. I love mysteries and fantasy, though.

Do you have a favorite novel?
A favourite for this year, or for always? Hmm. Persuasion by Jane Austen, Bellwether by Connie Willis, Bridget Jone's Diary by Helen Fielding, Black and Blue by Ian Rankin, Bones by Jan Burke, It by Stephen King, are some of my all-time favourites that I reread every other year or so. For this year, so far I have added Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman as one I know I will come back to again.

Where do you usually read?
In my chair by the window in the living room, or at the kitchen table. On the bus on the way to work, at work, and in bed (though that never lasts more than a few minutes before I start yawning). Never in the bath - I take only showers now, and I ruined some books though I love the idea of reading while taking a long bath!! someday, i will read again at the park, but my kids keep me far too busy to even think of bringing a book there.

When do you usually read?

Whenever I can, but mostly in the evenings after the kids are in bed, on the bus to and from work, and at work on my lunchtimes.

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Yes! I usually have a fiction book that I have at the table (or in my bag for work), and a short-story collection somewhere -either at the kitchen table or waiting by my bedside, or poetry there - poetry somewhere, and a non-fiction book, which gets moved around depending where i can find time to sit. It's the only way I can make headway on all my challenges, is to have a book nearby to grab! Usually I read one all the way through, though, but if I'm really interested in two, I'll go back and forth.

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than you read fiction?
See above, no!! It takes me longer to read non-fiction because I like to think over and absorb what I'm reading, whereas I read fiction straight through. Poetry I read a poem at a time, and the same with short stories.

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them, or check them out of the library?

I buy most of the ones I read. I much prefer knowing they are mine, mine, mine! I will use the library, especially when money is tight or I'm really not sure about an author, and I want to try one or two books, or when I have a whole list of new authors to try. Otherwise, and mostly in the past two years, I have been buying books over anything else.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

Oh yes!! I occasionally buy a book that I end up feeling lukewarm about, or can't finish, but that is rare, and they get given away to charity shops as soon as possible. Most of the books I buy I keep. I love Rhinoa's answer to this, by the way, which I completely agree with, and have said myself many times to other people here. I think a house without books has no soul, and certainly doesn't hold my interest for long!!!

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown - I don't recall this as a child, but my eldest son I think I gave a copy to, and the daycare I ran at the time with my two nieces LOVED this book. So I give it now to almost everyone with a child. Currently my two little ones are reading it, and it's fun to see that they react to different things than Duncan (the eldest) or their cousins did, but they all love it.
Dr Seuss is another, although my kids aren't as keen as I was. I have some MOther Goose books that we are starting to read, that I remember from when I was a little girl, and I have piles of books waiting - all my favourites listed above, I'm starting to collect again for my daughter in the hopes she will read alot.

What are you reading now?
-Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde,
-Secret Language of Signs by Denise Linn
-Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia McKillip
-This Year You Write Your Novel - Walter Mosley (ongoing)
-Tarot for Yourself - Mary K Greer (ongoing)

Do you keep a TBR (to be read) list?
Oh yes! Several! In my purse, on the shelf, all compiled from various sources. Mostly it's a list of books I want to acquire to read, and I update it fairly often - I add to it constantly, but every so often I take satisfaction from crossing off what I've bought or read and making a new list. I love my TBR lists!

What’s next?
Finishing some more challenges - the non-fiction 5 is up next, and catch up on my posts - I have to do reviews of several books I've read, and start seeing what I'm missing in order to complete some of the challenges I'm in. I also have just discovered one of my co-workers reads widely and he has some books I'm interested in borrowing.....

What books would you like to reread?
Persuasion (see above in favourites) is on my list to reread in December in honour of Jane Austen's birthday; Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights I am rereading this summer for two challenges, I am rereading several Charles de Lint books for the Canadian Challenge 2, and I really want to reread It by Stephen King (just because it is a book I associate with summer and I'm due to reread it now!)and Natalie Goldberg - Writing Down the Bones, and Julia Cameron The Vein of Gold, to get me started writing again. Some books I reread often - every couple of years - and others I am rereading for the first time in 10 or 15 years, or even 20 years, because I've forgotten much about them (at least until I open the book) and I find myself wanting to reread them and see if I like them as much this time, and to refresh my memory about them.
Dune by Frank Herbert is another book, and if I can find it, Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein, which was one of the first science fiction books that I loved (as opposed to fantasy which I loved from day one). Bellwether is due too for a reread soon, as is Doomsday Book, which I consider one of the best time travel books ever written, both by Connie Willis.

Who are your favorite authors?

So many!! Ian Rankin, Phil Rickman, Patricia McKillip, Jane Austen, Charles de Lint, Connie Willis, Sara Paretsky, Neil Gaiman, Mary Oliver (poet), Henning Mankell, JRR Tolkien, Robin McKinley, Jan Burke, Jasper Fforde, May Sarton (poet), James Lee Burke, Tanya Huff, Liza Cody.....I have so many authors that I love for various reasons, that I have not listed half of them. But these are all authors of books that I devour, that I love and in almost all cases, come back to read. Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Dan Simmons...... As Rhinoa says, the list goes on and on......and that's not counting the writing books - Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Walter Mosley, Stephen King, Eric Maisel, some of my favourites, my spiritual books, astrology books, history books.......but first and foremost, I think of the above authors first when asked this question.

So, who are your favourite authors? I would like to tag Nymeth at Things Mean Alot, Charlotte at Charlotte's Web, and Ann at Table Talk and Geraniumcat at Geranium Cat's Bookshelf.

Happy reading!


Rhinoa said...

Thanks for completing this meme. I am getting more into Patricia McKillip and hope to try Tanya Huff next year. I really enjoyed watching Blood Ties so may start with her Victoria Nelson series.

Nymeth said...

I really need to read Patricia McKillip!

It takes me longer to read non-fiction too, for the same reason as you. Unless it's something like The Polysyllabic Spree, which I just flew through.

I really love this meme. Thanks for tagging me Susan! I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get to it, but I promise to do it eventually.

GeraniumCat said...

Your answers made me smile, I agreed with so much. Thanks for tagging me, I'll get to it soon!

GeraniumCat said...

I enjoyed writing my answers, and they are up up my blog, Susan, here:

Historia said...

I am borrowing your meme. Hope that is ok with you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Susan, I've only just come across this - so many problems with my blogging life lately. Yes, I'll take you up sometime next week. At the moment I just wanted to let you know that I now seem to be up and running again as long as you use this address

rather than the old one that had 'mac' in it. If you have me bookmarked could you change it over?

Gentle Reader said...

I did this meme, too! It was fun to read your answers, and you've given me some ideas about authors I need to try :)

Susan said...

rhinoa: you're welcome! Thanks so much for tagging me! Tanya Huff's Tony and Henry Fitzroy series is also good - one of her latest series: Smoke and Shadows, Smoke and Mirrors.

nymeth: I can't believe you haven't read any McKillip yet! I would lend you some if we lived closer, she writes beautiful fantasy that is very otherworldly. As for being late doing the meme, don't worry, nymeth, I know you are in Brazil! the fact you are checking in on our blogs is amazing enough!! It's part of my plan to let you know you are not forgotten about as you take this dream trip! (hope it's as wonderful and fun as you imagined it would be).

geraniumcat: I'll come check you answers shortly, and let you know what I think....I'm interested to know how you answered it!!

historia: of course! I'll come check your blog and read your answers, thanks for letting me know you did it. I consider memes free to do, and if I could tag everyone, I would (and if I had time to read every blog every night, which when I do I end up not reading the books I'm wanting to blog about....!!)

Table Talk: of course I will change the bookmark, thanks so much for letting me know the new address. I was having problems leaving comments and was waiting for you to say 'hallelujah'! on your blog so I could come back in! I think you had three posts I really wanted to respond to.

gentle reader: welcome! I'll be right over too, and be bookmarking you too - I've seen you on other blogs, I enjoy your comments so I'm very curious about your answers to this meme!