Monday, 23 September 2013

A Reader's A to Z survey


 I came across this meme on three sites tonight:  Ana at Things Mean Alot, Care at Care's Online Book Club, and  Suey at It's All About Books.  The original meme/survey started here, at Jamie the Perpetual Page Turner's blog. So, I'm joining in, for the first time in a long time. This is a fun survey, and it's all about books and reading.

Author I've Read The Most Books From:  Jane Austen (only Mansfield Park and her unfinished novel Lady Susan remain to be read).  Agatha Christie. Arthur Conan Doyle. ( The latter two as a teenager, when I read whatever I could find of those two.  What I read is mostly lost in the mists of time now, so I have to go back and reread them.  They don't tell you that when you are growing up, either! ) L.M. Montgomery.  Currently: Mary Oliver, Phil Rickman, and Charles de Lint. Oh, and Stephen King.  Not everything, but most of his, including his non-fiction.  Connie Willis. Jo Nesbo.
Best Sequel Ever: I am drawing a complete blank here. 
Currently ReadingThe Greatcoat - Helen Dunmore.
Drink of Choice While Reading: tea, or hot chocolate in the evenings.  In my ideal world, I wouldn't have diabetes and I could drink hot chocolate every evening while reading.
E-Reader or Physical Book: Physical book, every time!!  I will eventually get an E-reader, but I will always be afraid that the battery will run out, or I'll lose it. I love the physicality of real books, of their texture, smell, the colours on the covers, the text, the pages.  They are evocative and lodge in the mind, the best books become a part of us.  I love holding them in my hands.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School: Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. I'm not sure he would have dated me, but he was my first serious fictional love (Mr Darcy was a long way away), and I adored him from the moment he pulled Anne's braid in class in Anne of Green Gables. Sigh.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:  Fables: Wolves.  My first Fables book, and one of my first graphic novels I tried.  I loved it, and have been reading a few graphic novels every year since.

Hidden Gem Book:  Middlemarch, by George Eliot.  I realized that I could read and even better, enjoy the classics.  I had recovered from studying them for university, and could now enjoy them again as stories.  I was blown away by the depth of characters and the life in the village covered in this novel. 
Important Moment in Your Reading Life:  When I realized that I would rather buy books than anything else. Followed by, realizing that I want to write stories, too, the kind I like to read.

Just Finished:  The Shining, by Stephen King.
Kind of Books I Won't Read:  this is hard, because if I were desperate, trapped in a bookstore or library say, for a long time, I'd eventually read these too.  I'd have to have some kind of fresh food source, so I could eat, and sleep.  Possibly at the end of the world?  Then I would read everything there including these. Since I still read the back of cereal boxes and magazines from cover to cover when I'm desperate, there really isn't much I won't read. So in fiction, I'd say:  Erotica and romance, erotica because I find it boring (I have a vivid imagination anyway for myself), and romance because I read so many as a young teenager - anyone remember Harlequin Romances, and the many lines of Harlequin Presents, etc? with the white covers?  I read those for about 2-3 years, anything I could get my hands on.  I've never recovered my ability to read romances after that, though a few of the characters still come up in my thoughts often.  Kathleen Woodiwiss?  I read everything she wrote, too.
Longest Book I've Read: Middlemarch? Jonathan Strange and Dr Morrel? any of the Wheel of Time books?  Later Stephen King books?

Major Book Hangover Because: ?? occasionally I get burned out because I read so many books over a period of time, and I watch a few movies to give my mind a break.  It doesn't last more than a day or two, and is rare.

Number of Bookcases I own:  13.  One is currently being used as a dvd storage holder, which I count as a bookshelf (it was built to be one) until we find a proper storage place for all the dvds we have.  And I still don't have enough shelves!

One Book I have Read Multiple Times: Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Among my favourite books of all. 
Preferred Place to Read: Currently, at the kitchen table, since it has the best lighting.  Sofa is the second favourite place.  I will be buying a reading chair soon, for the reading corner we are making as part of my 50th birthday year.  Then I will always be found there...
Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book You've Read:  Erasmus: "When I get a little money, I buy books. If any money is left, I buy food and clothes.The first time I saw this quote, I felt excited.  I wasn't alone.  Someone else, even long ago, even as famous as Erasmus, loved books as much as I do. 

Reading Regret:  There are so many, many good books to read.  More being published every year.  How can I pick and choose from them, when they all sound interesting and I want to read them all?  My biggest regret is not being able to read all the books I want to read.

Series You Started and Need To Finish (All the books are out in the series):  There are so many, since I read mostly series in both mystery and fantasy.  Currently working on catching up in mysteries: Peter James, Peter Lovesey, Ian Sansom, Stephen Booth, Carol O'Connell, Deon Meyer, Fred Vargas...... fantasy: Songs of Fire and Ice (stuck on book 4), Gail Carrigher Parasol series, Maureen Johnson, Stina Leicht (book one is my fantasy of the year so far), Wheel of Time (some day I will catch up),
Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books:  The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:  Ian Rankin.  And he's coming to Ottawa in November!!!  I'M SO EXCITED!!  I've missed the last two times he's been here, so this time I'm going.  I've caught up in the John Rebus/Malcolm Fox series, too, except for the new one, Saints of the Shadow Bible, which isn't out until November here.  He will be reading from it.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:  The Magus of Hay by Phil Rickman.  The latest Merrily Watkins is out on Dec 24!!!!  At least according to Amazon.  I have to have this for Christmas.  I love Merrily, the Anglican exorcist reverend, and the Borderlands where she makes her home, and the creepy atmosphere of hauntings and ghosts and evil. 
Worst Bookish Habit:  Taking out too many books from the library, reading 1/10th of them, and not returning them in time.  I run up a debt every year. 
X Marks The Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and pick the 27th Book:  Dubliners - James Joyce.  Partially read, of course.

Your Latest Book Purchase:  Police by Jo Nesbo.  I just picked it up on Thursday.
ZZZ-Snatcher Book- Book That Kept You Up WAY Too Late:  The Shining, by Stephen King.  I was up until 2 last night, and almost 3 am the night before.  It was that unputdownable.  I love it.  I once stayed up until close to dawn to read The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice, long ago when I was young and could stay up that late.


Care said...

I have never read Connie Willis, Jo Nesbo, Charles de Lint! But I KNOW of them and have them on my tbr. Yes, too many books too little time.

Susan said...

Care: I know of so many authors or books, too! lol my tbr pile - it's not just a pile. I'm happy we have so much to read, and anticipate reading. I want the time to read it all, too!

Cath said...

Loved reading your answers, Susan. I'd like to do it and may nab it, just depends on time at the moment.

Susan said...

Cath: go ahead! I'd love to see what you answer, too :-)

Cath said...

Done! I did it over a couple of days and had a lot of fun with it. Always nice to have a natter about the books I love. LOL

Geranium Cat said...

Lovely answers, Susan. I hadn't noticed that there was a new Rickman due. Lovely - we can guess how you'll be spending Christmas! It's out a bit earlier here, I wonder if I can save it up until December, it would be such a good holiday tread.

Susan said...

Cath: I went to read yours and Pat's surveys, they were so much fun!! It is fun to have these surveys, once in a while. I think I must own the most book shelves, though I'd rather have the wall of books (I could get more books on them!!) that you have.

Geranium Cat: Yes, indeed, the new Rickman is on my to get list for Xmas! you are so right :-) Are you up to date in the series too now? I really think it's one of a kind and so atmospheric and creepy, scary even in things that go bump in the night kind of way. I do wish more people read it, though I am so happy I have found it.

Susan said...

Cath: I went to read yours and Pat's surveys, they were so much fun!! It is fun to have these surveys, once in a while. I think I must own the most book shelves, though I'd rather have the wall of books (I could get more books on them!!) that you have.

Geranium Cat: Yes, indeed, the new Rickman is on my to get list for Xmas! you are so right :-) Are you up to date in the series too now? I really think it's one of a kind and so atmospheric and creepy, scary even in things that go bump in the night kind of way. I do wish more people read it, though I am so happy I have found it.

DesLily said...

I have more "book shelves" in the form of free standing cubes and wooden crates but they aren't "true bookshelves" so I didn't count them lol..

yeah I enjoyed reading your answers and Cath's it was a fun meme! Haven't done a meme in forever!

Susan said...

Pat: I want some free-standing cubes too, and am trying to talk my husband into letting me get some. I point out how useful they are and small size, can go anywhere, etc. He's afraid once I get into Ikea that I won't stop at just those! lol

It was a fun meme, and I'm glad you and Cath did it, too :-)

JaneGS said...

So, are you in line to read Dr. Sleep, King's sequel to The Shining? I don't read much horror, but The Shining was excellent.

I really enjoyed reading your A-Zs. I had a crush on Gilbert too--always so much more attainable than Mr. Darcy!

Susan said...

Jane: Yes, I own Dr Sleep, and am hoping to read it this coming weekend. I already snuck a peek at the first page, and can hardly wait! lol Are you going to read Doctor Sleep?

Gilbert Blythe was such a crush for many of us, wasn't he? I was just saying to Kelly at The WRitten World that Gilbert was the hero I compared all book characters to, until Mr Darcy came along. You're right, Gilbert is more attainable - and to be honest, more fun, than Mr Darcy. But they are both male characters to completely love, aren't they?

Did you do this A-Z survey?

Literary Feline said...

I've enjoyed reading everyone's responses to this survey. I'm not sure I am brave enough to try it. My memory is terrible these days.

Hot chocolate is a good choice! I am looking forward to the cooler weather so I can enjoy some in the evenings again.

I overdosed on those Harlequin romance novels in my teens too. :-) I'm actually trying this year to push myself to try romance again. It's come with mixed success. It's definitely the magic or the mystery or the adventure that most draws me in and keeps me reading even when it comes to romance novels. If they don't have that, my attention wanders.

Susan said...

Oh Wendy, I would love to see your responses! and none of mine is perfect....I left out things I thought about after.....

Hot chocolate is a drink I'd have every evening before bed, if I could. I have to find a way to make it diabetic-friendly now so I can have it more.

Which romances are you trying out this year? I always think historical romances are what I could go for.....but even when I pick them up, I just can't read them. I know there are some good ones out there, Marg at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader loves them, as do some other bloggers.

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