1. Favorite childhood book?
The one I think is my favourite NOW from then was probably Where The Wild Things Are, but the question sort of assumes that I have only read five books and don't, for example, remember loving the hell out of Madeleine L'Engle or Beverly Cleary or the Boxcar Children or Walter Farley or Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein or other things by Maurice Sendak or Susan Cooper or a whole host of other things I have read and loved.
... fuck it, I only read five books and my favourite book was Dick and Jane. Still is. The rest of this meme's gonna be pointless, isn't it?
2. What are you reading right now?
A book on Python, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Land of Painted Caves, a Lucky style guide, The Children's Crusade (Avengers), Snowcrash because I'm the only person who's never read Stephenson, Cry The Beloved Country, The Barbarian Conversion, and some books on the religious revivals of the early-mid 19th century. Thank Christ I finished Sade: A Biography, because it was BORING. And, of course, Man's Rage For Chaos, the book that will NEVER DIE.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
I don't really do libraries. This does mean that I own more than a few books for only a matter of days or weeks.
4. Bad book habit?
Buying books. Never being able to buy only ONE book. Buying books I will never read. Judging books by their cover.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
I suppose technically Special Topics and some book I can't remember the name of that I really should start because it's my next book group book are out from the library because the group is run by the library.
6. Do you have an e-reader?
Nope. Or, very broadly, yes, in the sense that I do read novel-length fanfic on my computer.
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I'm someday hoping to know where all the books I'm reading ARE.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Yes and then back again. I stopped reading books essentially, as my free time diminished not long after I started blogging and then I started reading them again lately because reading social media is not my favourite thing. Also, due to job change, I feel like I now actually have uninterrupted time to read. It's awesome.
9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
Sade: A Biography. The book is well researched but it's a somewhat suspect translation, to me, and also, it turns out that the Marquis was VERY FUCKING BORING INDEED, which I would not have expected. Also, I tried to read 120 Days of Sodom once and got about two pages in before I really wanted to throw up (the ... count, I think, who apparently has never felt the need to practise anal hygiene AT ALL) so I don't exactly have a spoogefest over the Marquis and his AMAZEBALLS literary talent, unlike the author of this book. And it turns out that in real life he was basically a whiny child.
Note that I have this opinion after reading a book by someone who clearly faps to the wonderful transgressiveness of the Marquis. THIS IS A BAD BOOK.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Uh. Probably either the two Morning Glory TPBs that my comics dealer made me buy or else Colour. I haven't read a lot of really great stuff this year yet. I did like Blood's A Rover but The Cold Six Thousand was so unmitigatably fucking terrible that it's hard to say I liked the third book in the trilogy after reading the second, you know?
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Rarely. I mean, my comfort zone with reading is large and eclectic as is, and I won't say that there's not, like, a self-help book or an investment manual that would just make me spooge myself with glee, but it seems unlikely. And beyond that, I have no idea what a comfort zone is, literarily. If you're really a fan of a certain genre maybe reading outside of that is outside of your comfort zone, but I don't have a comfort zone apparently.
12. What is your reading comfort zone?apiphile
says it best: "books which don't suck".
13. Can you read on the bus?
Interesting fact! I can read on the bus if I am not facing forward and/or windows are open. Otherwise, recipe for instant nausea, just add Cass. But I can read in cars where I am facing forward, so GO FIG.
14. Favorite place to read?
At home. Not in bed, though, as I fall asleep and I hate looking like someone's been hitting me when the book falls on my face.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
It depends on the person. I lend books to people where I know I will never see the book again but don't mind (if I really mind, I will actually buy a copy of the book for that person) such as graeae
and my mum. If I loan to my dad, I'll get it back eventually. If I loan to pretty much anyone else, I have given it away in my head.
This policy would have stood me in good stead to remember when I loaned a book group friend 10 graphic novels (which are NOT cheap!) two years ago and I'm not sure how to say "Hey, remember that several hundred dollars of books I loaned you? Yeah, I can't afford to replace them, so I need you to give them back, because I did not actually give them to you."
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Not much. I'm more likely to write ... *reads next question*
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Yes. I underline too. That said, I generally dislike marginalia and underlining (and highlighting is OF SATAN) so I really really really am involved in a book if I mark it up.
18. Not even with text books?
Depends on the text book. See above re: engaged in the book.
19. What is your favourite language to read in?
The only one I know, which is English. I read technical books too, and I don't promise that I understand them because they are often written in a language I don't know. Or about a language I don't know.
20. What makes you love a book?
VAGUE. I have loved books that were terrible, I have loved books that were brilliant, I have loved books despite their faults, I have loved books for their faults. I guess I would go with "good story, good characters with good motivations, and something that feels unique about the book." And by "good motivations" I don't mean that their motivations were good, I mean that they weren't motivated by, like, the logic of "suddenly pregnant MUST DEFEND THIS STRANGE PLACE I HAVE FOUND MYSELF." Believable motivations, I suppose.
Actually, some of the best books have totally objectionable characters where you can understand their motivating force even if you don't agree with it at all. (These are the characters I like to write, so I'm biased.)
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Not much. I hate it when people recommend books, generally, and I question whether I'm a good judge of books people would like, so I rarely recommend. The book and the person have to both be standout in my head. Or, the person has to be willing to read anything, like my sister-in-law.
22. Favorite genre?
Genres are so mainstream.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
What is this I don't even.
24. Favourite biography?
Not Sade: A Biography, anyway. Atomic Farmgirl had a fascinating premise and suffered from not fitting its premise. I quite liked This Republic of Suffering, even if it's not really a biography. Heroin: How to Stop Time From A to Z fascinates me, so let's go with that. Also, it's in the bathroom so I reread bits of it often. Biography is not one of my favourite genres, though I do read a number of them.
Looking at a later question, I realised: Michael Collins.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, but I doubt I liked it. Someone gave me the book, practically at gunpoint, and the thing about self-help books is that they're so rarely YOUR self-help.
26. Favourite cookbook?
The Discworld cookbook, probably. Or the one that my mum put together where she copied a bunch of her recipes including my favourites. That was an awesome gift. I also like the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks I have, and I want to use White Trash Cooking more than I do.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Colour, probably, and Michael Collins probably. They were both GREAT.
28. Favorite reading snack?
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I'm so hipster that when there's hype I avoid the book like the plague. This is why I haven't read The Hunger Games.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I almost never read reviews.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
BWAHAHAHA, I used to be an editor. I have NO SHAME about bad reviews if the book was bad. That said, this does imply that I review.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Fuck if I know. German? German has lots of great words in it.
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Man's Rage For Chaos. It's not intimidating so much as "so much more complex than anything else I have ever read, written using words that *I* don't know the meaning of a lot of the time, in a discipline (philosophical art theory, I guess) that I have no grounding in, written during a time that was a lot less culturally-diverse than now so I keep wanting to argue with the examples provided because my life is different." But someday I will defeat that motherfucker, and then I will have to reread it to try to get it to make sense. I THINK I know what the author is saying, and he does make a compelling argument, but it's hard, yo.
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Godel Escher Bach probably. I keep avoiding starting it and I don't know why because I bought that motherfucker. I WANT to read it, I just HAVEN'T.
35. Favorite Poet?
Oh fuck no. I don't do enough poetry to have a favourite one. Or Rashid Husayn because he rocks.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
The last time I checked a book out, I was probably 15.
38. Favorite fictional character?
+++ Whoops! Here Comes The Cheese! +++ MELON MELON MELON +++ Error At Address: 14, Treacle Mine Road, Ankh-Morpork +++ !!!!! +++ Oneoneoneoneoneone +++ Redo From Start +++
Which is a fancy way of saying that question has no semantic value as that implies I can pick one.
39. Favourite fictional villain?
SEE. ABOVE. WITH ADDED MELON. I like a good villain even more than a hero!
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Ones I'm trying to read.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Without reading books for pleasure, probably weeks at a time. I know that a couple years ago when I was finishing my web design degree I was spotty about any other reading.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
That terrible academic book by Norman Cantor that was supposedly about the Black Death leaps to mind.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Fight Club? I DON'T HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS OH MY GOD.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The later Harry Potter books. "Let's leave out this plot entirely so we can add a totally unnecessary dragonfight that wasn't onscreen in the first place!"
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Probably a couple hundred, not including any time I needed to get a whack of textbooks.
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Stop permanently would be only if it was a terrible book. And my standards of terrible are pretty low - I AM going to finish the Land of Painted Caves, after all, and that book is awful.
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Only in a sense that I am the only person to understand.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Keep, keep, keep!
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Like a bad date or something? Uh, yeah, but not because the books have done anything bad, usually. It's more because a book on the science of dreaming sounds great, I buy it, then it languishes for 10 years while other things, more shiny and more tarty and more urgent, come along.
52. Name a book that made you angry.
Three Cups of Tea made me want to punch my relationship to America in the face. So did The Road From Ar Ramadi. In a totally different way, River Horse made me quite angry, but I wanted to punch the author for being a pretentious twat in that case.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
At Swim, Two Boys. I don't know how you can make gay boys in early Republican Ireland, set against the backdrop of the struggle for independence and identity and with bonus World War I awful, but that book managed it.
I also hated In The Wake of the Plague, but that was because it was wrong in so many ways.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Discworld, Elizabeth Moon, David Weber, Janet Evanovich.