Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Twenty Questions

This isn't really the sort of thing I usually do, but there is one question in this group of twenty that I saw on Curiosity Killed the Bookworm that I simply had to answer! Why, I hear you cry, don't I just answer that one and ignore all the rest? Shut up, I say to you! I want to plaaaay...

1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?
So so many, but it's probably Crime and Punishment or something like that (I can't read clever books very easily...)

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?
Current reads are Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates and Different Seasons by Stephen King. My last read was How to Leave Twitter by Grace Dent, which I LOVED and can't wait to review , and my next read, who knows?! My next Stephen King will be Christine, but other than that I'm really not sure at the moment- possibly A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan because I just got that out of the library.

3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
I definitely didn't like The Virgin Suicides as much as everyone else seems to, as much as I now love Jeffrey Eugenides. Not sure I'd say I hated it though, at least not as much as I hate Grease 2 (my main barometer for things I hate).

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?
Nooo, I will definitely read all the books I tell myself I'll read! If I have to answer, I'm probably going to have to say Walden, because I've tried to read it so many bloody times, and other than that Uncle Tom's Cabin, because I've read the first 50 pages, and let's just say I wasn't too thrilled by it...

5. Which book are you saving for 'retirement'?
Fun question... Probably Crime and Punishment, and War and Peace (which I don't even own yet, but there you go). Then again, I should probably read them while my mind is still agile enough to deal with them, i.e. before I'm about 30.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
To quote Stephen King: "If you have ever done this [turned to the end of the book first], I have three simple words which I feel it is my duty to convey: SHAME ON YOU! It is low to mark your place in a book by folding down the corner of the page where you left off, TURNING TO THE END TO SEE HOW IT TURNS OUT is even lower. If you have this habit, I urge you to break it... break it at once!" Pretty much sums it up. I am a notorious page counter though (counting the pages to see how many there are until the end of the chapter etc), and this sometimes leads to me glancing pages ahead and reading things I really don't want to... Yeah, I should really stop that.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper, or interesting aside?
I'm not really bothered either way about acknowledgements, but dedications, especially when they're to a spouse or to the writer's children make me happy. I sometimes imagine the dedications I would write for my various bestsellers that I just haven't written, which pleases me greatly- I'm quite the master of a couple of sentences, just nothing longer...

8. Which book character would you switch places with?
I'm honestly not sure I'd switch places with any book character, mainly because I read books where the characters are not necessarily in good places in their lives/are being chased down by supernatural forces (thanks, Stephen King). That being said, I'd probably switch places with Scarlett O'Hara, and not fuck things up as fantastically as she manages to- with a friend like Melly and a husband like Rhett, why on earth would I need to fantasise about Ashley Wilkes all the time?!

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
There are a lot of books that can take me back to a specific time (like To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, always reminds me of doing GCSE English when I was 16) but in a way, every time I read a book, I am a different person, so each time it's kind of a new experience, even though it's the same book. Case in point- The Bell Jar, which I have read 3 times, and each time had varying opinions on, depending on how miserable I am. This is part of what makes reading pretty special, in my opinion anyway!

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
Hmmm... I have a book that my sister more or less stole from her classroom for me, but other than that I can't really think of any other interesting book acquisitions- Oooh, other than winning them from other blogs! That's the best way to get books!

11. Have you ever given away a book to a special person for a special reason?
I'm not sure I've ever given away any books, but I often give them as presents for special reasons, mainly that I love them so everyone else should too! I also made a reading list for my friend Steph and gave her two of the books from it for her birthday (The Bell Jar and To Kill a Mockingbird) because I'm pretty sure they should be required reading for all people.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
I don't think I really have a special travel book that I must read in many places... I do have babysitters club books from the Caribbean, and mainly psychology books from The Strand in New York though! So they've probably travelled the furthest just because of that. Also, I was reading Travels with Charley for about a year, and that went to New York, and to Uni and back home a few times before I finished it, so it's probably that.

13. Any 'required reading' you hated in high school that wasn't so bad ten years later?
No lie, I liked a lot of the reading I had to do in school (To Kill a Mockingbird especially!) but anything I didn't like I haven't revisited (to be fair, I haven't been out of school for 10 years...) I really really hated Pamela in University though, so maybe I should revisit it in ten years to see what I think- I'll do it if someone pays me a lot of money!

14. What is the strangest item you've ever found in a book?
I've never found anything exciting in a book! Except sometimes receipts and stuff that people have obviously used as bookmarks and then forgotten to take out. I did find written in a poetry book in a charity shop a note that said "thank you so much for being my bridesmaid" etc etc, and then felt really sad that someone had given that book away, and obviously couldn't buy it after that!

15. Used or brand new?
The majority of my books are used, but I don't necessarily prefer them- I'll take anything really!

16. Stephen King: literary genius or opiate of the masses?
Mwahaha, the question I wanted to answer... If you've been on my blog ever before, you've probably noticed a fair bit of King worship, and I of course think he's a genius! And, even if he is an opiate of the masses, myself included, at least he's a better one than alcohol or tv...

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
Tricky one... All I can think of right now (and please bear in mind I'm feverish and sleepy) is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which I thought was slightly better than the book in that it gives you a real representation of what living with ALIS is like, which you don't get quite so much with the book. I also cried a lot more during the film, which obviously means it's better... Also, The Graduate is quite a lot better than the book.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Ahh, so many films to criticise... Harry Potter aside (I'm sorry! But I just can't.), I'm going to have to say The Stand by Stephen King- technically a TV miniseries, The Stand is probably one of the worst things I've watched, ever. And it's not even unfaithful to the book! It's just... really shoddy work.

19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, excluding cookbooks?
Definitely... Chocolat and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have both made my mouth water, and pretty much, if a good sounding meal is mentioned in a book, I'll want to eat it.

20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?
I'll pretty much take book advice from anyone I like, and trust. Frances is one of these people, Jenn is another, and I'd basically read anything that Alley said was good. I'm very trusting and innocent when it comes to book recommendations, I guess, and I truly believe that when someone is passionate enough about something to recommend it, it has to have at least some redeeming features.


  1. Aww thanks for the shout out! I'm humbled you listen to my ramblings :)

    Also, I think I might totally answer your 20 questions myself on my blog. I skipped today's TTT as well, since I couldn't think of any sequels I'm looking forward to

  2. Dude, I saw you reference Grace Dent's book and went and immediately bought it on Amazon. So thanks for the rec. :D

    Annnnd yeah, I didn't like Virgin Suicides, but I loved loved Middlesex. So I'm unsure about The Marriage Plot.

  3. I also feel like I'm saving those big scary books like War & Peace for my old age... I don't know why. You're right, we should read them while our minds are still capable of good reading comprehension, lol.

  4. Alley- I do of course listen to your ramblings because they are awesome :). Also, these 20 questions are reallllly fun, so I hope you do answer them!

    Alice- You have no idea how happy that makes me! And it is such an awesome book. Also- Thank you! I thought everyone but me liked The Virgin Suicides. I did like Middlesex so much that I'm pretty excited for The Marriage Plot though! But we shall see.

    Sarah- I know right! It's just too much reading! I will get round to it eventually, but I read Anna Karenina this year, which is quite enough GIANT Russian literature for now...