Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Post About Books

As seen at Big Stupid Tommy's.

1. Favorite childhood book?

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl or The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. I read both of them many, many times and never tired of them.

2. What are you reading right now?
On The Road by Jack Kerouac and Marvel's Planet Hulk/World War Hulk series of comics. I'm not entirely convinced that either is as good as its supposed to be.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None. I've got hundreds of unread books in the house.

4. Bad book habit?
Buying books when I already have hundreds of unread books in the house.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
None. Although I recently returned Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No. I don't believe in them. Books have a special quality that no electronic device can ever truly recreate.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Generally I have one main book on the go along with piles of magazines, comics, graphic novels and smaller 'dip in' books that I read in the smallest room in the house.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I read more online features and articles and more blogs, but I probably read more books as well, as I now travel by train and can read a book a week if it catches my imagination.

9. Least favorite book you read this year?
Either How To Be Idle, which I thought would be funny but wasn't, or The Great Gatsby, which I expected to be entertaining but wasn't.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Possibly The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. There hasn't been much this year that I've thought "wow" - the last time that happened was with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I try to mix it up by reading fiction then non-fiction. But even then I don't venture out of my comfort zone as often as I should.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Fiction - gangster stories, espionage, WWII fiction, vampire stories, Discworld.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Yep. I can read just about anywhere. Except when watching TV.

14. Favourite place to read?
In bed or on the couch when the house is quiet and the TV isn't on. I can read with music on in the background, but not the TV.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I'll lend books to anyone I know and then worry about them until they're returned. I've got a Bill Bryson compendium loaned to someone just now and would like it back....

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
NO! I always use bookmarks. I try my best to keep books looking like new.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No, I'd rather write something down in a notebook than ever deface the book itself.

18. Not even with text books?
Nope. Always used to take notes on paper so that I could sell the books afterwards.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. I can follow the gist of something in German with time and a dictionary and I can recognise a few words in Gaelic and Norwegian. But I can only read fluently in English.

20. What makes you love a book?
An interesting plot if it's fiction or an interesting way of presenting information if it's not.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Something that makes me laugh (Bill Bryson), something that keeps me entertained (Cloud Atlas) or something interesting (A Short History of Almost Everything).

22. Favorite genre?
Gangster stories - from The Godfather onwards.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
More non-fiction so that I could feel I wasn't just pissing my braincells away on Iron Man and Kick Ass.

24. Favorite biography?
Bret Hart's was the most recent and is high up the list. A fantastic look at the world of professional wrestling. Tony Cascarino's was very absorbing - a great goalscorer who struggled with demons that made him continually doubt himself. Albert Goldman's Elvis really helped deconstruct a legend. As did J Randy Taraborelli's biography of Michael Jackson. But at the moment it's Bret Hart's. I really enjoyed it and keep on foolishly recommending it to non-wrestling fans.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
No. Nor do I ever intend to.

26. Favorite cookbook?
The Cadbury's chocolate cookbook.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?
Possibly Bret Hart's. He came back to physical and mental strength after a stroke and seems relatively normal despite the insane life he's lived. He understands that when all is said and donee, nothing's more important than your kids.

28. Favorite reading snack?
I don't really eat while reading.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Twilight. I was hoping for a vampire story like True Blood but got a drippy teenage love story.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don't really read book reviews so I don't know.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I'm fine with it - if I've wasted my time with a crappy book, I don't want others to do the same.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Japanese might be a good shout to read genuine Manga. Otherwise I suppose French.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
The Lord of The Rings. You think the story must be almost over, but it keeps going...and going...and going...

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
I've got a history of the world oil industry that I keep meaning to start for the second time.

35. Favourite poet?
I don't read much poetry. I do like John Lennon's surreal stuff from In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
None. I don't really use library much anymore.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
I haven't done that in a long time. Not since school I don't think.

38. Favourite fictional character?
From literature rather than movies, it would be Forrest Gump as portrayed in Winston Groom's original novel. The book is much funnier than the film.

39. Favourite fictional villain?
The Witches from the Roald Dahl book of the same name. Wonderfully grotesque.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Three or four novels. Nothing too big, something that looks like it will have an interesting plot.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
I'm not sure. I'm always reading magazines, but I've probably gone a few months without reading novels at different times since university.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
I didn't actually finish The Lord of The Rings. It just dragged on too long.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
TV. I struggle to concentrate with the idiot box on in the same room.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Trainspotting. One of the few films that's as good as the book.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Why ruin the best children's book of all time by making it a musical?

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
About £60 in the Borders closing down sale.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I'll flick through it but I don't skim read.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Lack of interest. The writer trying too hard. Or not trying hard enough.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, I think I'm borderline autistic when it comes to organising books, CDs, DVDs and so on.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I'm also a hoarder.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
No. I've already read the Twilight books and the first of Stieg Larsson's.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Anger isn't an emotion I often feel when reading a book. Maybe James Kelman's A Disaffection, which was very dull but I'd agreed to read it for my CSYS dissertation at high school.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The second Twilight book. I was expecting more dull teen gushing, but it moved on a level.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
The Five People You Meet In Heaven. Good idea, poorly executed.

55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Comics and graphic novels. I love them but other adults tend to look down their noses.

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