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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Read All the Things

As I'm sure you are aware, I am a huge nerd and I love to read books. I started reading at a very young age, and just didn't stop. I would read while walking down the street (much to the concern of my parents). I read in class (much to the dismay of my teachers, especially when they called on me because they thought I wasn't paying attention and called on me, only to have me spout off a correct answer. I'm not sure my ability to multitask is a good thing necessarily). I would eagerly await the delivery of a new book from our school's Scholastic delivery program (anyone else remember this...?), only to devour it halfway during the ride home from school, and the other half sitting in the stairwell because I couldn't put it down for even one second.

Hence my currently being in three book clubs. Luckily, one of these book clubs (my work book club) keeps picking books I've already read which is fine with me at this point.

Anyway, I came across this reading survey on Tumblr and thought it was fun and that I should fill it out because I love the books.

Montana 039

But first, sidebar.

Did you know that Gillian Anderson was offered the part of Lady Cora Crawley in Downton Abbey? And that she TURNED IT DOWN??!  My heart is so sad you guys. I mean, Elizabeth McGovern is...fine I guess...but how bad ass hurts too much, I can't think about it.

Moving on.

55 Reading Questions

(poached from Tumblr)

1. Favorite childhood book?
  • Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede - still one of my favorites actually.  Cimorene is a princess who is tired of being a princess, and runs away to live with dragons. I love how Wrede plays with standard fairytale tropes, and this book was a true inspiration to a girl who would rather have taken barbies on 'safaris' through the backyard than watch them lounge in their dream house all day
2. What are you reading right now?

  • The second volume of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home has been on request for eeeeeeeeverrrrrrrrrrr.

4. Bad book habit?

  • Probably buying too many books and then not having time to read them

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

  • Nada

6. Do you have an e-reader?

  • No. The luddite in me refuses to purchase such things. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of not having to carry several paperbacks with me every time I go on vacation, but I just love having books. I love looking at them on the shelf, flipping through the pages to find passages I underlined. Nope.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
  • I definitely prefer one at a time so I can be completely immersed in that world.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

  • Not sure this question is relevant to me. No, not at all.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?

  • I haven't read anything this year that I disliked.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

  • Hmmm...probably Swann's Way actually

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

  • Haha good question. My comfort zone is very broad. I love everything from classics, to YA lit, to sci fi, fantasy, contemporary lit and everything in between. The only thing I don't reach for as often is non-fiction, but I wouldn't say that is necessarily because it's outside of my comfort zone, it's just not the first thing I tend to reach for. One of my all-time favorite books is non-fiction.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
  • See above. I honestly don't know that I have one.

13. Can you read on the bus?
  • Well, I don't take the bus anymore since it isn't really convenient to home or work. I did take the bus to school when I was in my grad program, and I read on the bus all the time.

14. Favorite place to read?
  • On the living room couch, or a coffee shop if I can find a comfy chair.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
  • I'll absolutely lend books, but if someone loses it/fails to return it/destroys it then they lose their borrowing privileges. I've never actually had this happen though.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
  • Not really. I tend to underline more than dog-ear.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
  • All the damn time.

18. Not even with text books?
  • See above.

19. What is your favourite language to read in?
  • English, which is the only language I speak fluently at the moment. I used to be fairly fluent in German and would read in German at that time, but I've kind of gone lax on my Deutsch skillz.

20. What makes you love a book?
  • How drawn into it I get. The beauty of the prose. The depth of the characters. How the book makes me feel. If it can make me feel deeply and it's beautifully written, I'm pretty much in. It's a very visceral thing for me, if I love a book, I love it deeply and despite its flaws.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
  • Hmm, this is a tricky one. I actually tend not to recommend books I hold too close to the chest, unless I really trust the person I'm recommending it to. I'm afraid someone will ruin the magic, especially if it's a book that might not be for everyone, or if it's not necessarily the greatest work of literature ever but I love it anyway. I'll usually recommend a book if while reading it, I think 'wow, so-and-so would LOVE this' and it's somewhat independent of my own feelings about the book.

22. Favorite genre?
  • All.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
  • I kind of wish I had the initative to read more non-fiction.
24. Favourite biography?
  • Wagner and Philosophy by Bryan MaGee is fantastic. It's not necessarily a biography, more an exploration of the ways in which philosophy influenced Wagner's work, and how his views changed and developed over time. It also explores Wagner's relationship with Nietzsche which is friggin fascinating.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
  • Nope

26. Favourite cookbook?
  • The ones I go back to over and over are anything by Heidi Swanson, and So Easy by Ellie Krieger. I never thought a book by a FN chef would be one of my favorites, but there are some winners in that book.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
  • Inspirational? Honestly I'm not sure. I've been immersed in BKS Iyengar's Light on Yoga lately, which is pretty damn inspirational actually.

28. Favorite reading snack?
  • I don't snack a ton while reading - all I need is a good cup of tea, and maybe a cookie if I'm feeling peckish :)

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
  • I hate to say it but, Gone Girl. I heard all these things about how OMGAMAZEBALLS it was, and I expected it to blow me away and it just...didn't. Don't get me wrong, it was very good and I enjoyed it but I wish I'd read it without hearing all the hype, so I could absorb it without expectations.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
  • I don't read critical reviews too often. I tend to avoid them until way after I've had time to digest the book.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
  • Oh I have absolutely no problem with it. If I dislike something I will be very blunt, but it doesn't really happen that often.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

  • French - so I could read Proust and Hugo in the original language :)

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

  • I tend not to be intimidated by books. Well, except for really dense philosophy. I was fairly intimidated by Kant when I read him in college.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

  • Again, I tend not to be intimidated by books.

35. Favorite Poet?

  • I'm not a huge poetry person but I do love T.S. Eliot, Walt Whitman and Octavio Paz.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

  • One or two

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?

  • Never
38. Favorite fictional character?

  • Hermione Granger
39. Favourite fictional villain?

  • Iago
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

  • Well, on my last vacation I brought two fantasy novels by Patrick Rothfuss and 1Q84. On our honeymoon I took Treasure Island, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest, Kafka on the Shore, Love in the Time of Cholera and The Toilers of the Sea. know. Anything.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

  • haha

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

  • Then We Came to the End. I just was not feeling it at ALL. You only have so many hours in your life to read, and I don't think there is any point in wasting them on books you don't like. I also refused to finish the Twilight series.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

  • The internet. My cat.
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

  • The Lord of the Rings is quite excellent actually. And Sense and Sensibility with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman etc.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

  • The Time Traveller's Wife. Goddddd it was terrible.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

  • not know?
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

  • Hardly ever. I usually just dive right in.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

  • If I get too busy and then forget where I stopped. Or if I'm just really not feeling it and decide my time would be better spent reading something else.
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

  • Yes I keep my books categorized by genre and then alphabetized. Shut up.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

  • Keep them if I would ever plan to read them again.
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

  • Not really.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It was just so whiny, and it's a shame because Dave Eggers is a really great writer (see What is the What). Vomit.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

  • The Casual Vacancy. My expectations were not super high but I really liked it!
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

  • Matched by Allie Condie. I really thought it would be a good bit of entertaining, YA dystopian lit but it was pretty bland. Boring characters, story ripped straight from The Giver. Not impressed.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

  • YA fantasy. I've really been loving Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, Colin Meloy's Wildwood books and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Lani Taylor. I also re-read all of Madeline L'Engle's Time quartet recently, and have been meaning to give The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (see question1) another go-round.


  1. Gah!!! I loved Dealing with Dragons and other others she wrote! I'm pretty sure my sister got the name "Jasper" from her books when she named her cat. Brilliant.

    1. Yaaaaay!!!! That's awesome I had no idea!

  2. I adore The Enchanted Forest Chronicles!!! I had a mouse named Morwen for a bit :) And I am completely obsessed with Hermione Granger. I (true story) when faced with difficult decisions, have thought to myself, "What would Hermione do?" This survey put me in such a good, book-wormy mood.

    1. Yay for showing The Enchanted Forest Chronicles some love! They're by a local author so I actually haven't found too many people outside of MN who have read them, but they're so good. The fact that you had a mouse named Morwen is beyond fantastic.


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