Stealing yet another fun quiz-meme from Maureen…!

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
Various children’s books – stuff like Tommy dePaola’s books, and The Weaver’s Horse, of which there are apparently NO cover images available online. Agggh! Did anyone else read that book, though?

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

Currently, I’m supposed to be finishing Konrad Lorenz’s King Solomon’s Ring, but I don’t actually have it with me; I’ve been sneaking rereads of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber instead. Last read was Robert Stone’s Bear and his Daughter. Next read… not sure. Possibly Peter Beagle’s The Innkeeper’s Song.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
Usually I love books that everyone else hates.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Ummm. Moby-Dick would be one of the major ones.

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”

What does that even mean? All the books I know want to be read NOW. :P

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
I used to occasionally read the last page halfway through the book (or read half the book out of order, really) when I couldn’t bear the suspense, but NO MORE. Partly because I no longer read as many epics… inevitably there are points at which your attention flags during those, and you just want to see if something better is coming up, so you mine for snippets of telling conversation or hints of pivotal scenes. The impulse to spoiler oneself just ends in tears and rankling sensations, though.

7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
Don’t mind them, especially when there are interesting, contextualizing tidbits – contextualizing as to the creation of the book, or actual historical background, or whatever.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Off the top of my head, pretty much any of Robin McKinley or Patricia McKillip’s characters, and Garth Nix’s Lirael, especially when she’s working in the Library of the Clayr. (Someone get me a spiral-shaped library, a red waistcoat, and an emergency mouse, stat.) I always wanted to live in Rivendell, also. And of course New Crobuzon, except I’d probably die in a horrific and embarrassing fashion there in under an hour.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
All of them. But picking somewhat at random, The Hobbit, since my dad read it to me on the couch before bedtime for two years, and Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, most of which I read over a summer, lying outside on a bench – I have particular memories of being extremely unsettled by Greenwitch as a green, sticky summer evening came on. Also, my first collection of Greek & Norse mythology (Usborne’s) – first book I can remember getting caught reading with a flashlight in bed.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
Man, I know I have some good stories, but I can’t think of one right now.

11. Have you ever given a book for a special reason to a special person?

*looks significantly at Kakaner* Probably 50% of our gifts to each other, for all occasions, have been books, or book-related.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
A random subset of my poetry books goes back and forth with me, since I have to have them around if I’m going to get any writing done. About the same goes for The Bloody Chamber, with particular regard to prose.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Again, I always liked the things that other people hated. I’m going to go off of Maureen’s answer a bit, though, and say that I have become increasingly obsessed with Hamlet.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
My copy of Orlando has some beautiful, inscrutable scribbles in faded brown fountain-pen, but I can’t think of any exciting objects.

15. Used or brand new?
Depends on how cheap I’m feeling, what edition I’m looking for, and whether I’m more interested in supporting a particular bookseller or a particular author.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?
Stylistically he’s too self-indulgent a lot of the time, but I think he is a really, really sharp writer, particularly in his emotional experience and intelligence. There’s a lot of real hurt and thought in his stuff, and of course he knows how to tell a story hella well. Basically, I believe in his integrity as a storyteller. I really need to find the time to read his Dark Tower series.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

Let the Right One In.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Pretty much all of them.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

REDWALL HOLY CRAP. Honestly, anything that has a half-decent description of food in it… I love reading about food, or any kind of sensual experience, really.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
Kakaner. I can probably count the number of times we’ve been wrong about book recommendations for each other on one hand.

21. Name one book you will never, ever buy.

To steal from Maureen: Take a wild guess. (Hint: it starts with ‘T’ and has an apple on the front cover.)

– E

9 thoughts on “Quizzed”

  1. On the food question … I had to go out and buy a 2 pound jar of wild honey after reading McKinley’s Chalice and bake the whole wheat bread to eat with it.

  2. Hamlet! Let me tell you, at this point I’m basically a Hamlet fangirl (play and character). I don’t know what that says about me, but hey! If I’m okay with it…

    I actually *hides in shame* have never read Redwall. But from what I hear, it would make me hungry. Oh! I thought of another one too–Jill Barklem’s Brambley Hedge books. They’re gorgeous little picture books, with amazing detail and they’re always eating these neat foods.

    My brother has most of our family picture books, so I didn’t count those.

    This summer a friend of mine and I read Moby-Dick aloud. We finished the day before I left. It was actually pretty funny, which we didn’t expect. Some of his metaphors are so insanely over the top that you can’t help but laugh.

  3. Redwall, hell yeah. Brian Jacques was my first ever author-signing (he’s very sweet in person, at least to shy ten year olds).

    Moby-Dick: You’re not missing anything.

    I’m reading The Bloody Chamber for the first time at the moment, and it’s kind of leaving me speechless. Just, wow.

  4. Matia – Welcome, and thanks for the comment! You know local honey can improve pollen allergies if you have any, so how healthy and responsible of you to treat yourself. ;)

    kakaner – I’d say it wasn’t so much the acquisition of it as it was the events surrounding it, and the resultant emotional scarring…

    Maureen – I’M GLAD I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE. I used the phrase “sterile promontory” in conversation today and got laughed at. sadface. But every time I read or see Hamlet, I fall a little more in love with him… also don’t know what that says about my personality, but ohh well.
    I just looked up the Brambly Hedge books, and now I can’t believe I never read them. I’m dying just looking at the illustrations! Little paws putting up jars of jam, eeeeee. *cute explosion*
    Hahaha, I can’t believe you picked Moby-Dick for dramatic readings. How long did it take you? I don’t think I’d have the stamina to get through the whole thing out loud, even over a summer.

    Andy – Squee, I can’t believe you got to go to a Brian Jacques signing! Which book did you get signed? And yes, he’s well-known for his love of children – he originally started telling the Redwall stories at the school for blind children where he was a delivery-man. He sounds like a generally lovely person.

    Moby-Dick: You’re not missing anything.
    I know a couple of people who are wild over it, and being exposed to their enthusiasm always sways me a little… but not enough to actually get me to sit down with it.

    Excuse me while I do my dance of happiness that someone else is reading The Bloody Chamber. I had no idea what to make of it the first time I read it (“feminism? what’s that?”), but the language alone exploded me. I’ve been unpacking it a little bit more every time I’ve read it since, but I frequently miss the complete, joyful bewilderment that I felt when I first read it…

  5. It’s one of my ambitions in life to memorize all of the soliloquies.
    My friend was already reading it when I arrived (I stayed at her family’s house over the summer) and we wanted to finish before we did another read-aloud. Then it took us the rest of the summer. The problem is, we did it in spurts–so we’d read a whole bunch for a week and then nothing for two. It’s not my favorite book ever, or even my favorite classic ever, but it was more entertaining than I had expected.

    Brambly Hedge is definitely one of my favorite childhood memories. SO adorable! And apparently some of the recipes they make are real–I keep meaning to try the hazelnut biscuits the author put in a different book.

  6. Oh gosh, it’s been ages, but I remember I brought 4 of my Redwall books (I had way more than that!). I think I got Redwall, Martin the Warrior, Mattimeo, and Salamandastron signed. I have half a mind to pick up those books again, I bet they’re fun for adults too. Y’all should totally do a Redwall themed baking post.

    The Bloody Chamber is kinda freaky and yet so sensuous. I’m reading it very slowly, to make it last.

  7. The mention of Redwall’s food makes me wants tarts and pastries with unusual fruits- like gooseberry and rutabaga.

    Other than that, I just realized that it’s probably a tie between the first Harry Potter book and The Animators Survival Kit for books that have been on my self the longest. My old children s books have a living room shelf, and I have to periodically get rid of books from my collection because of shelf space.

  8. Maureen – I actually memorized a fair chunk of the “to be or not to be” soliloquy via the Calvin & Hobbes strip in which Calvin’s sludge-for-dinner starts doing a dramatic recitation of it at him, but I’m not sure how much that actually counts. In any case, that’s my way of saying I share your ambition. :P
    And I think I’m going to have to try this dramatic recitation business now, because it sounds like a fun way to sample particularly gnarly prose. New summer activity!
    I checked out the website of Brambly Hedge’s author, and she has a good number of amazing-sounding recipes. Oh, for the time to try them all!

    Andy – I re-read the Redwall books so much when I was younger that I’m chary of falling back into the cycle (I used to do re-reads through the entire series, in either chronological or publication order), but the temptation is always so, so near. You should go for it! Riddles and longbows and forests and seafaring and comfortingly uncomplicated moral decisions… :)
    There’s actually already a Redwall cookbook out, with a seasonal theme, and it looks a. adorable and b. delicious. Yet another thing I wish I had the time to cook/eat my way through.
    Luckily The Bloody Chamber is really, really rewarding with repeated visits (…I should get frequent-flier miles for mine), but yeah, there’s really nothing like the first read.

    Anda – I thought you wrote “Animorphs Survival Kit” for a second there, and got REALLY excited. Hahahaha, 50% of my brain is still 10.
    I have to periodically get rid of books from my collection because of shelf space.
    Happens to all of us! Of course my dream is to have so many shelves that it never has to happen again…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *