Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle

I blatantly stole this from Nicola and her Alpha Heroes blog. Here's what she had to say about her post:

The following is a questionnaire whose results are mainly:

a) embarrassing, if you don't read Lit-Tra-Toor

b) ego-building, if you do

c) an excellent opportunity for posting big fat lies, in either case.

1. What author do you own the most books by?

I own all but the two most recent volumes of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' historical Dynasty series, so that's 29 books for her.

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
The Bible. I have a copy that's been in the family for eons. The print's so small you need an electron microscope to be able to read it. A copy that was given to me as a child. A copy in French. A copy in Spanish. And the huge Rembrandt Bible. The link merely gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. The copy I have is 50 years old and much bigger than the one in the link.

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
That fictional character's identity is so secret that I don't even know it. I generally fall in love with stories, not characters.

4. What book have you read more than any other?

I haven't re-read books for many years. I had experiences of re-reading favorites and having them fall flat because I no longer was the same person who fell in love with them. I made up my mind that I'd leave the rest of my favorites as wonderful memories instead of trying to relive the magic.

5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Probably Walter Farley's The Black Stallion.

6. What is the worst book you've read in the past year?
I have no memory left of it. If I read a book that's that bad, all trace of it is soon expunged from my memory banks.

7. What is the best book you've read in the past year?
Flight by Sherman Alexie. (I just looked at my 2009 A+ Reads page on my blog.)

8. If you could tell everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
I don't like to be told what to do, so I don't like to tell others what they should be doing either. I'd suggest either Nancy Turner's These Is My Words or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

9. What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
I could take the easy way out and just say anything that was ever assigned reading in high school, but if I had to be specific, I might say Stendhal's The Red and the Black. I don't know if it was the translation or the fact that I just didn't like Stendhal.

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
The Russians, darlink!

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?

12. Austen or Eliot?
Austen. Eliot has a tendency to put me to sleep.

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
I have a degree in English and Comparative Literature, so I think I'm fairly well read. At this stage of the game, I read what I want to read and refuse to be embarrassed by what I've passed by.

14. What is your favorite novel?
Asking me to choose one book as my favorite novel is akin to asking a parent to choose a favorite child. One that I have a sentimental attachment to is Edith Pargeter's The Marriage of Megotta, historical fiction based on fact. I really enjoyed the book and later found out that it was about a few of my ancestors. (Reading historical fiction can be even more fun if you have a couple of genealogists in the family.)

15. Play?
Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie.

16. Poem?
Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Kubla Khan.

17. Essay?
Nothing's coming to mind.

18. Short Story?
Toss-up between F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Diamond as Big as the Ritz" and Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery".

19. Non Fiction?
A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona.

20. Graphic Novel?
Never read one.

21. Science Fiction?
Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy.

22. Who is your favorite writer?
Here's that choosing a favorite child thing again!

23. Who is the most over rated writer alive today?
Mary Higgins Clark. Danielle Steele. Nicholas Sparks. Richard North Patterson. Take your pick.

24. What are you reading right now?
Just about to finish Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe about a forensic handwriting analyst.

25. Best Memoir?
I know I've read some excellent ones, but the titles are refusing to rise to the surface. I reserve the right to edit this post when my brain decides to cooperate!

26. Best History?
Nathaniel Philbrick's Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842

27. Best mystery or Noir?
At the moment, Johan Theorin's Echoes From the Dead.

Feel free to grab this for your own blog, and please don't forget to link back so I can read your answers!


  1. This looks like a fun questionnaire. Love your answers.

  2. This was a lot of fun. I didn't know you had a degree in English and Comparative Literature!

  3. Can't live without that good old field guild to reptiles in Arizona!

  4. Thanks, Beth!

    Kathy--learn something new everyday, eh? :)

    "Rhapsody"--whenever Denis and I head out in the Jeep for the middle of nowhere, I always seem to be the focus of lizards, so it certainly does come in handy!

    Thanks, Nicola!

  5. I don't re-read books either and I just love the way you explained it with #4. I had that happen to me when I tried to re-read The Cather in the Rye (loved it when I was a teenager, not so much as an adult).

    in regards to #5 - loved that series! He had another series too regarding horses and I devoured those too. I can't wait to have a kid so I can force (I mean lovelingly try to make) them read these books.

  6. Kris--I'm glad someone else understands why I avoid re-reading books. I also devoured Farley's other horse well as any others I could find!


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