Sunday, December 4, 2011

Celebrating (Imminent) Success

End of the year blog meme time, yay! I've seen this one around a bit lately, and since I'm within single digits of reaching my only tangible goal for the year - reading 150 books - this shall be my reward party.

And since you've all totally been watching my little ticker over there >>>>>>>>>>>> with baited breath all year - yep, I am down to nine more . . . woo hoo!!! There were times when I wondered if I'd pull it off.

Anyway. Meme time.

1) What author do you own the most books by?

Tough call. Rick Riordan and L.M. Montgomery are both up there. Does my collected works of Jane Austen book count for each novel? Because then she'd probably take the title when you include the duplicate copies.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I only own double copies of three Jane Austens.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?

I usually don't notice until it's pointed out. So . . . thanks for that.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Character? As in . . . singular? Can I just say "all of them" and have it count as one?

Marius Pontmercy
Gilbert Blythe
Fitzwilliam Darcy
Colonel Brandon
Sir Percival Blakeney
Rhett Butler
. . . and any others who might slightly resemble any of the above

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)?

Probably Tuck Everlasting . . . but I reread books a lot, so it's hard to say.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

You really have to be more specific - I've never had consistent favorites. Favorite book on my tenth birthday? Favorite fantasy book when I was ten that I read that summer? Those I could answer.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Hard to say. In an attempt to make a dent in my massive to-read list I've found myself reading a lot of vanity/self-published
stuff lately. I'm sure there are some gems in that pile, but most of what I've found epitomizes why that was the route those people took. These, however, fall into the category of worst-of-the-worst.

9) If you could force everyone to read one book, what would it be?

Again, hard to say. The Happiness Project comes to mind, but I think I'd prefer to tailor my recommendation to each person.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?

Me. Totally. :-)

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

Do I really need to get into my do-not-turn-books-into-movies-ever rant again?

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

See above.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

I don't generally recognize people in my dreams. I know I know them, and I know where I know them from (high school, Florida, books, etc.) but I don't usually know who they actually are.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Ummmmm . . . what part of "vanity press" strikes anyone as high brow?! Anyway . . . yeah. I totally read fluffy stuff. Gotta balance out Austen and Milton and Wilde and Dickens and such somehow.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Define difficult. While I speak it pretty well (or, at least I used to) I can't read French to save my life, so the stuff in my French lit classes were brutal. (and yet I hold on to the more than slightly insane goal of reading Les Mis in french someday. Unabridged.) I've never had to much trouble with Shakespeare or any "old school" stuff - if you go a little slower it's really not that hard. That said, I struggled with Wuthering Heights the first time . . . I think I was a little too young for the writing style. Also, somehow I ended up with a copy of Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English for a concurrent enrollment class my senior year.
Kind of hard to read a book that is literally in a different language . . . especially when you think it's in yours.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

Sadly, the only one I've seen is Macbeth - kind of shameful when you consider where I went to college, eh?

Also: donations for Lacey's ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY trip to Cedar next summer are being accepted starting . . . wait for it . . . now. Because with front page news like that . . . yeah. I have to go.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

Oh! Oh! New answer for most difficult!! I've never finished anything by a Russian - and heaven knows I've tried. I will get through Anna Karenina someday, dangit!

Hugo? Is my hero. One of them.

18) Roth or Updike?

Haven't read either, actually. I probably should fix that.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?


20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

Okay, I haven't actually read any Milton yet . . . I said I was working on my to-read list, not that it was done. Tough call - Shakespeare is a bit easier to read un-translated, but Chaucer's dirty jokes are easier to get.

What? You didn't know that those are two of the dirtiest writers in the history of writing?

21) Austen or Eliot?

I shall echo others' answers: which Eliot? And why Eliot? Because when I think of authors similar to Austen, Eliot doesn't even make the top, like, 100.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

I don't know that there are any large gaps in my collected readings, but there are a few that would make me feel like I should turn in my degree if I admitted to them.

23) What is your favorite novel?

Today? The FitzOsbournes in Exile. Mostly because it's the last one I finished . . . well, the last good one anyway. Can't wait for the third one.

24) Play?

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . . Much Ado. But mostly just because I've got Shakespeare on the brain from all these questions.

25) Poem?

I'm not a huge poetry person, but I do have a bit of a thing for "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold.

26) Essay?

Really don't do essays. Montaigne, I guess. Since I've read him.

27) Short story?

Again, not so much with the short stories. That said, a former professor of mine has a great collection out there (umm . . . shameless plug alert!) And I am a bit of a junkie of anything Millhauser.

28) Work of nonfiction?

I almost never read it so this is easy - The Happiness Project.

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Today? Ummmmmmm . . . Jane Austen, Jo Rowling, Jasper Fforde, and Emily Bronte

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Stephenie Meyer . . . Jack Weyland . . . oh! - Jodi Picoult! I really don't get why she's so huge. I wanted to like her since I'm practically the only person who doesn't, but all her books are the same - sex and violence that serves no real purpose beyond shock value to get people talking about her books.

31) What is your desert island book?

If ever I find myself on a desert island, it will be the chunk of land that castle from Beauty and the Beast is on, which mysteriously floated away from . . . ummm . . . all the land surrounding it . . . and I shall never leave.

32) And … what are you reading right now?

Dreams of Joy. I read Shanghai Girls this summer and really liked it, so I have high hopes for this one, but I haven't gotten very far yet.

P. ost S. cript
Totally fitting. Also totally awesome. And totally spot on.


  1. 1. Since you own lots of L.M. Montgomery's books, have you read The Blue Castle? It's gooooood, as far as her books go. I also love her Emily books much more than I love her Anne books.

    I can loan you my copies, but you'll have to come get them at Just'In's mom's house around Christmas so I can give you a hug to go with them. Oh, wait. Never mind. They're all packed. Well, I would lend them to you.

    2. Not can do it read the "These" link. Your goodreads list is private, apparantly.

    3. I agree with you on Chaucer versus Shakespeare. Even the sign for his name in ASL is...colorful, but Chaucer was more approachable to high school seniors once Mrs. Boggess explained the history. There was lots of dirty laughter in that classroom that I think the administrators would have been shocked at, had they known.

    4. Eliot wrote Silas Marner. Did you not read it? No matter--go rent A Simple Twist of Fate and you'll know the plot. It's the closest movie-to-book adaptation I've ever seen. All the details in the book are in this movie. For some twisted reason, this makes Eliot awesome. And the fact that she went by a male pen name to be first published until she became famous, after which she still went by her pen name. This makes her much better than Austen.

    5. I had Petersen too, but I didn't know he had stuff published. The only things I remember about him were A. I asked him on the first day of class where he was from because of his accent, and he told me that no one had ever asked him that before. (The Northwest. :D) B. Most of the time, he didn't undetrstand what I wrote in his Creative Writing class, so me and the few other people who did understand it had to explain it to him. C. Despite that, I had a crush on him at the end.

    6. You should finish the Happiness Project so you can lend it to me by the time you come give me a hug when we're visiting Just'In's mom's house (even though all of that sentence is you doing all the work). :D

  2. 1. I have indeed, and I'm a fan. Have you read Tangled Web? Another great one. I haven't gotten to the Emily books . . . not sure how that's worked out.

    2. Huh. Didn't realize that. I haven't looked at my privacy settings since I signed up - since, you know, goodreads doesn't change them all the time like facebook does. You'll just have to join so you can see them! :-)

    3. I'm intrigued about Chaucer's name in ASL now . . .

    4. That would be one of the holes in my reading I'm loathe to admit to.

    5. He's got two, the short story collection and novel. Read them both this summer and really liked them. And I don't think there are many girls who go through the English department at all without having a crush on at least one prof, and Todd is a popular one. For me it was him and Harris. :-)

    6. Oh, I"m done - and I highly recommend it. We'll have to try to coordinate so you can borrow it. Otherwise, I'd definitely snag it from the library if I were you!