Saturday 25 October 2014

(Accidentally) Saturday Sundries

HI! I'm not even going to explain where I've been cause I think we all know this already. I'm not even going to give you a lowdown of my week, because mostly I've been crippled with tiredness and a cold on top (I'm basically fine now. Because it's Saturday and OH WEEKENDS THANK YOU GOD) INSTEAD of that junk, I'm giving you a bookish survey that everyone did ten thousand years ago and that I've only just seen because I've been reading blogs this evening instead of Shakespeare. OH WELL. Anyway, here's that thing:

1. Favourite Childhood Book?
I want to say something really smart here, but realistically, it was The Babysitters Club books. I freaking loved those guys, and, FUN FACT the very first book blogs I came across were Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High ones. Gateway drugs in both cases, I guess.

2. What Are You Reading Right Now?
Well... Henry IV Part Two (so weird), Americanah which I GENUINELY read some of this morning, and Kindred which was my bag book but I had to take it out because my bag got too heavy... So I'm kind of not so much reading that right now.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Don't be silly! I can't go to the library any more! (Except at uni and that doesn't counnt. But I have no books on request there either)

4. Bad book habit:
Not... Reading them? I guess watching tv instead of reading at the moment, but... Momma's brain needs a rest.

5. What do you currently have checked out at from the library?
Do you really want to know? Ok, King Lear: Contemporary Critical Essays, Plays Five by Howard Barker, and Shakespearean Negotiations. It is literally like a thrill a minute.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
I do! I have a Kindle Paperwhite and an iPad mini, and I really only use the iPad... Hey, does anyone want to buy a Kindle off me?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
I can't remember the last time I was reading one book and that's it... I like to have at least a fiction, a non-fiction, a Stephen King and a kindle book on the go. Which is a LOT, I realise!

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
They've definitely changed since starting a Masters... But yeah, no, they definitely did- I read a lot more widely now, and that reading a lot of books at once is probably a blog thing too.

9. Least Favourite book you've read this year?
Ummmm... Probably either The Keep by Jennifer Egan or We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson- but even they weren't that bad, really.

10. Favourite book you've read this year?
Oh right, saw that coming. Annnnnd I can't do it. But I really loved Landline by Rainbow Rowell, obviously. But also, Running Like A Girl. And alllll the Japanese stuff I read this summer. So, yeah.

11. How often do you read outside your comfort zone?
Is Shakespeare a comfort zone?

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Is Shakespeare a comfort zone?

13. Can you read on the bus?
I can! I don't always because I'm usually really tired if I'm on a bus (or, you know, doing anything) but I can do it without trouble.

14. Favourite Place to read:
Outside. Or in bed. Either is fab.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I am my friend Becci's personal library. I am always enthusiastically lending my housemate books that he takes but possibly has no intention to read. I am still waiting for someone I don't see anymore to give Metamaus back to me. I have no policy.

16. Do you dog ear your books?
So much. Soon much.

17. Do you write notes on the margins of your books?
Nooooooo! Although I have just started to on the plays just because it's quicker than writing out whole quotes and then commenting on them. But I still don't liiiike it!

18. Do you break/crack the spines?
I usually buy used books, so the spines are broken for me. But with my own, I try not to... Usually unsuccessfully, but I'm not precious about it.

19. What is your favourite language to read?
Ummmm... Swedi- no, it's English. English is the answer to this one.

20. What makes you love a book?
Oh my God, I don't know! Just that special something of awesomeness that makes me want to be doing nothing but reading that book for all eternity.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Me loving it? It being Ready Player One is a big one... Thinking that the person I'm recommending it to will actually like it.

22. Favourite genre:
Is Shakespeare a genre? (LOLJK it's definitely not that) I don't know, is literary fiction the answer of a douchebag? (yes)

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Graphic novels (love but hardly ever read), Classics (love but so loong and harrrrd [that's what she said]), Non-fiction just generally.

24. Favourite biography?
Biography or AUTO-biography? I don't know, I like memoirs more than formal biography things, and Lena Dunham's book of essays is the most recent one I've read so let's say that. OH WAIT and Murakami's running memoir was awesome.

25. Have you read a self-help book (and was it helpful)?
I don't... think so. Unless you count Running Like A Girl (you shouldn't), which was super helpful.

26. Favourite Cookbook?
Allllll the Hummingbird Bakery books, and Joy the Baker's first book (I want her newest one so badly, but NO LAURA. Christmas.) and Isa Does it, which is vegan cooking and it's awesome and the book in itself is just fab too.

27. The most inspirational book you've read this year?
Holy shit, I'm not going to have to do the end of year book survey this year, am I? I'm going to have to say Running Like A Girl again, I'm sorry.

28. Favourite Reading Snack?
I don't really eat and read, but I'm not anti a nice hot chocolate and a book at this time of year.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience:
I think I'm really lucky in that the books that have a lot of hype that I ALSO get excited about (JK Rowling and... Probably some other stuff) usually turn out to be excellent. However, Gone Girl was sort of ruined for me by knowing too much about it, I guess.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I dunno... I basically only read the book reviews in Bust, and that's just so I can add loooooads of books to my wishlist every couple of months. Which is obviously what I need.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
They're literally my favourite reviews to write, but I usually don't read books that piss me off to the end, I just give up on them these days. But I love a good rant.

32. If you could read in a foreign language which would it be?
Either Russian (original Anna Karenina OMG) or Japanese (original Murakami *salivates*) Yeah, probably Japanese, actually...

33. Most intimidating book I've ever read:
Ok, so... Les Miserables. Crime and Punishment. And I was super intimidated by Richard II as my first proper History play. All were pretty great (as long as you skip parts of Les Miserables. Like, lots of parts.)

34. Most intimidating book I'm too nervous to begin:
Infinite Jest. War and Peace. And I own Ulysses for some ungodly reason.

35. Favourite Poet:
Emily Dickinson. Walt Whitman. That one Bukowski poem I really like. And I guess Shakespeare's ok.

36. How many books do you generally have checked out of the library at any given time?
Really not that many. Like, probably a maximum of about 5?

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?
Um, of those five, I'd probably read about 1. I'm terrible for it.

38. Favourite Fictional Character?
Your mum. I mean... I don't know, Atticus Finch is obviously amazing, Melly from Gone With The Wind is like a goddess, you know the people I like.

39. Favourite Fictional Villian?
Your... Ok, no. I don't know, I'm getting really tired now.

40. Books I'm most likely to take on vacation holiday:
So, I don't go on beach holidays basically ever, so I don't ever really read on holiday. However, I obviously still take books with me, and they are usually fiction-y and not too heavy. Says the girl who took Atonement to Berlin with her and cried over it for a while one evening... Fun!

41. The longest I've gone without reading?
I think I've probably gone some fairly long periods without reading an actual book, but life is reading, right? Probably no longer than a month, on the book side of things.

42. What distracts you easily when you're reading?
Being at my train stop. Having the TV RIGHT THERE. Life.

43. Name a book you could not finish:
The Finkler Question. Cloud Atlas. All Jeanette Winterson books I've read that aren't memoirs (OOH! Her autobiography/ies are good!)

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
Ok, so Matilda is pretty great and A Little Princess? Also, Les Miserables. OBVIOUSLY.

45. The most disappointing film adaptation?
Harry Potter. In a general way. The films have their moments, but... No.

46. Most money I've ever spent in a bookstore at one time?
I literally don't really shop in proper bookshops that often! But I think I spent about £40 in Waterstones in Leeds, so let's say that.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Basically never. I don't even like reading the blurb, really!

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through it?
Unrelenting shittiness?

49. Do you like to keep your books organised?
I want to organise them by colour but really they're just in locations based on whether I've read them already or not. Only Stephen King is organised. That wasn't really an answer, was it?

50. Do you prefer to keep your books when you're done, or give them away?
Depends entirely on the book. I definitely keep more than I should/will ever re-read, but... I like them! What if I NEED that book one day and I don't have it?! Exactly.

51. Are there any books you've been avoiding?
(Oh, we're still going? We didn't stop at 50? Ok then..)
Not really. Only now that there are books that I HAVE to read, of course I don't want to. I have total brain issues.

52. Name a book that made you angry:
Um. I got pretty angry at King Lear because I was extremely extremely tired when I finished reading it. But we've made up now.

53. A book I didn't expect to like but I did
I don't know. It's late. I can't even remember any book titles. OH WAIT- yes, Bleak House. It was the balls.

54. A book I expected to like but didn't.
Ummm... All Jennifer Egan books that aren't Goon Squad. Definitely. Still got my fingers crossed for Look At Me.

55. Favourite guilt-free guilty pleasure reading:
Fuck you and your guilty pleasures. My pleasures are just.. Pleasurable.



  1. I couldn't finish The Finkler Question either!
    Why didn't you finish Cloud Atlas? I read it as a student and loved it, but that was back in the days when I didn't have a massive list of books that I wanted to read. I wonder if I would have the patience for it now (I can remember that I had to read at least 1/3 of the book before I properly started to enjoy it).

    I think Infinite Jest might be a good one to leave for some day when you have a massive amount of time to kill, because I read it while working normally and it felt like I was reading it forever!!!

    1. I think the start of Cloud Atlas was basically too much like historical fiction for me and I just could not with it at the time... Was probably having a bad week or something haha. Definitely was a patience issue.

      I feel like this about Infinite Jest too! I feel like I'm leaving alllll the books until I have a lot of time to kill at the moment though hahaha... *SOB*

  2. Laura... I don't know where I've got this from, but... are you, perhaps, maybe... STUDYING SHAKESPEARE!? :o

    I managed to finish Cloud Atlas, I think, but I remember it took about three weeks. I enjoyed it but I don't think I'll ever read it again (although naturally I kept the book, for some reason).

    I really want to do this survey thing but there's a deadline tomorrow for a job that I actually kind of want so I should work on that today, I suppose. Maybe I'll use this as my reward when I finish it.

    I never knew you felt that way about the Harry Potter films! :) That's a perfect way of putting it - they had their moments, but overall... no.

    1. I don't even know what you're talking about Hanna! Don't be weird.

      DON'T DO THIS SURVEY OMG I NEARLY DIED IT WAS SO LONG. Or do, you know, whatever. Just don't start at like 11pm hahaha.

  3. Oh hey, I just walked out of King Lear on Saturday! By which I mean I waited until intermission and then did not come back. Because I am not THAT rude.

    Melanie forever.

    1. WHAAAAAT?! It's ok, because King Lear can't be performed.. Or something, I don't know. I fell asleep watching the Ian McKellen version!

      Melanie <3

  4. I think I am cursed on your blog, because everytime I write a comment it gets devoured by the internet monsters and then I end up writing a much less interesting comment because I am annoyed at said internet monster.

    So I am going to write about something else instead, namely that I just heard about a Harry Potter themed hotel in London so when I come to visit next year you better believe I'm going to spend at least one night there. And we can wear robes and have our wands and eat lots and lots of chocolate and drink tonnes of butterbeer.

    1. Oh yeah, I've got that set up cause actually I hate you.

      I KID I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! I don't really know what to tell you, other than was it a super long comment? Sometimes my blog doesn't like that, even though I do!

      I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THAT HOTEL but yes we must clearly go there. Although I bet it costs ten billion pounds a night... dammit (in advance hahaha)

  5. Yesssss survey

    I appreciate you made a "That's what she said" joke while talking about how you like reading classics. WELL DONE

    Your book organization sounds like mine. Meaning "not much". I, too, have most of my Kings together but otherwise it's Hey, here's a pile of books I've read.

    1. Literally my entire sense of humour is 'that's what she said'. I can't help it, man. It's like a DISEASE.

      Soooooo little organisation. Like, a load of books thrown on shelves, more stacked on top of them and then some on the floor? Not even alphabetical or anything.

  6. Laura, I don't even know where to start with this long post of longness!

    YES for Running Like A Girl - it's the best :) I had a bit of a running break after the Great North Run but I'm back now and I was thinking about the book when I was running this morning. I've pretty much decided that I want to run a marathon before I'm 30 (so like, in the next 22 months) because of that book so hurrah.

    Also, the film of Matilda IS the best - my little sister and me used to watch it all the time!

    And another ALSO, I remain intimidated by Les Miserables because I know that I'd need to skim to stay sane and I'm rubbish at skimming. I get worried that I'll miss out on something and just end up ploughing through everything. So that would make me cry. I watched the film so that I'd have a good idea of the plot before reading it and could maybe try skimming some bits knowing that I know where the whole thing is going. Does that make sense? Yeah, enough.

    Incidentally, I hope that you're loving the Shakespeare learning - I've been the worst at commenting recently (work work blah blah) and I haven't checked in. Shame on me!

    1. YOU BOUGHT ME THAT BOOK! (Did you? I'm pretty sure you did. I CAN'T REMEMBER THINGS ANYMORE) I will be so so incredibly impressed when you run that marathon, Charlotte- I'll be watching you on TV and waving a little flag or something!

      YAY MATILDA! I used to watch it with my cousin at my nan's house- it was pretty great :)

      Literally, you can skip so much of Les Mis. Like, I can give you entire sections that you don't need to read, and I can guarantee this because I READ THEM FOR YOU. However, there are also bits that are extra but I really liked, so it all works itself out in the end really.

      Oh dude, don't even, I have been THE WORST at commenting since Shakespeare took over my life... But yes! It's going well! I'm so tired and not convinced that I don't have my second cold in about three weeks coming, but apart from that I'm totally in love with old Will. And this week's reading week, so I say that knowing I can take it a little bit easy this week hahahaha.