06 September 2013

A to Z Bookish Survey

Part of my library shelves
My goodness, but this last week and a half has been exhausting.  Working long shifts, almost entirely on my feet, for textbook rush.  This might seem a bit like TMI, but there was actually one day where the only times I sat down were when I was in the bathroom.

Thus in between my aggressively scheduled naps today I plan to catch up on some blogging, and a fun & easy way to start seemed to be to participate in the A to Z Bookish Survey that I saw Red, Kayleigh, and Sarah do. Here we go:

Author You've Read the Most Books From: Bill Bryson.  He may, in fact, be the only prolific author whose entire published oeuvre I've read. Including his forthcoming book next month, this means sixteen books, and I'm including his two dictionary/reference books because I've read every word of those, too.

Best Sequel Ever: This one is pretty difficult.  I've read a lot of series. But for this I'll choose Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is my favorite individual book in my favorite series.

Currently Reading: A few things, actually. I'm just a few pages into The Lion Seeker, a novel about  family of Lithuania Jews who move to South Africa before WWII.  It's about to burst forth with trials, tribulations, race, apartheid, and anti-Semitism, I can just feel it. I'm also about 100 pages into The Tilted World by Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, and I surprised myself by re-reading last night The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion in an effort to prepare for his author appearance at my store next month.

Drink of Choice While Reading: I'm actually not super-particular.  Hot herbal tea with lots of lime and agave is a favorite during the cooler months, water or iced tea during the warmer months.

E-reader or Physical Book:  I still prefer the physical book but I'm slowly adjusting to reading on my Kobo.

Fictional Character That You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School: If Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books had been around then, definitely him. I liked nice guys back in high school.  Still do, I reckon. I also liked misunderstood underdogs, so I reckon I'd have wanted to date Harry Potter, too. However, if I had been at all open to the possibility of dating a girl, then Luna Lovegood would have ticked ALL of my boxes. (I grew up in a pretty small and homophobic town; even if I'd been a lesbian I would never have acted on it.)

Glad You Gave This Book a Chance: I'll go with A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Not only was it the first audio book I ever listened to, but it introduced me to one of my favorite writers at a time when I was reading fiction almost exclusively.

Hidden Book Gem: This makes no sense to me. Does this mean undiscovered? If so, I choose Yoko Ogawa's quiet and wonderful book called The Housekeeper and the Professor. I don't think I've ever seen it reviewed by any other book blogger.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life: Hmmm...I suppose it was the first time I ever got lost in a book, but I have no idea of what that book was.  I'll also say that when I discovered fanfiction it was a pretty important moment.

Just Finished: Teen Spirit by Francesca Lia Block. Ugh, please don't bother with it.

Kind of Books You Won't Read: Horror.  I don't like getting scared. I also can't imagine reading a nonfiction book about sports, but I wouldn't refuse to read one.

Longest Book You've Read: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (in translation). Or maybe Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  Not sure which one is longer.

Major Book Hangover: Every Harry Potter book. Also The Fellowship of the Ring. Just. Couldn't. Talk. To. People. After. Reading.

Number of Bookcases: Too lazy to get up to count them.  My computer work station is in my library, and from where I sit I can count eleven. (See photo above for reference)

One Book You've Read Multiple Times: I'll count the Harry Potter series as one book, then.

Preferred Place to Read: Well, on a beach in the Caribbean for druthers.  But short of that, propped up in my bed next to my cats.

Quote That Inspires You: Too many. "Not all who wander are lost" is a good one but over used. The opening lines of The Great Gatsby are certainly words to live by.

Reading Regret: Sticking with books that weren't good enough to finish.  I've wasted a lot of time in my life doing that.  I'm better now at putting books down if they're not the right fit at the right time for me.

Series You Started and Need To Finish: There are not any completed series out there that I feel compelled to finish that I've not finished already.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: The Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice and The Lord of the Rings

Unapologetic Fangirl For: Harry Potter--the canon and the fan fiction.

Very Excited for This Release More Than All the Others: Um, I have no idea. I just learned that Dinaw Mengestu has a new book out in winter 2014.  That's pretty cool. But I've already read most of the books forthcoming this fall that I was excited about because I have the best job in the world that gives me early books to read: Bill Bryson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Donna Tartt, Gayle Forman, Rainbow Rowell, etc. Oh, wait. I should maybe say my husband's book.  His memoir will be published by Algonquin, but probably not until 2015.

Worst Bookish Habit: Not reviewing the books I read immediately after finishing them.  When I don't do that, I usually end up not reviewing them at all.

X Marks the Spot--Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and pick the 27th book: The Lovers Dictionary by David Levithan.

Your Latest Book Purchase: I have no idea.  But my latest book-related purchase was yesterday, where I bought a Great Gatsby cover for my Kobo.

ZZZZ-snatcher Book (Last Book That Kept You Up Way Late): Hmmm...it's been a long time, but I think maybe Eleanor and Park was the last book that I stayed up to finish because I couldn't put it down.

How about you?  Which of these would be the most difficult for you to answer? Have you done this A-Z survey already?  If so, link to it in your comments!

20 comments:

  1. Yes EVERYONE DO THIS SURVEY!

    I love your answer of Luna. If I liked ladies then I probably wouldn't have thought of her and then I'd be kicking myself now to see you come up with the best answer. I'm still sorta kicking myself cos man, Luna is great.

    Also oddly enough I think a won a copy of your hidden gem book roughly 6000 years ago but the copy never showed up.

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  2. I kept thinking of you while doing it, because even though I had to get up once to find book #27, it took a lot of work for a supposedly lazy post.

    Luna is one of the best characters. Ever. Man, can we please just make the Harry Potter readalong a yearly thing?

    re: the Ogawa...I don't think I ever did a giveaway on that one, but I'm pretty sure I sent you a Dennis Lehane book back when I was cleaning out books from around the house. did that one ever show up?

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    1. Yup! I got the Lehane book. I keep going to pick it up but it's SO BIG and my shoulders groan looking at it.

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    2. That might be one of the reasons I never read it...

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  3. Fun!! I'm going to schedule this survey for Monday. :) (I need to catch up on review posts, yikes - your worst bookish habit is one of mine, too!)

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    1. I look forward to reading your survey, then! This is a meme I've enjoyed more than most because not everybody is doing it at once--it's more spread out.

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  4. You DO have a great job *mumbles jealously*

    And I hear you on the reviewing immediately front, there's a very specific window I need to write in or it's too hard. Too soon and it'll be too emotional, too long and it's super vague.

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    1. Yes, you've nailed it with that "very specific window." You need enough time after reading it for your thoughts to coalesce, but if you wait too long than you're already too far along into the next book.

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  5. Thanks for visiting my blog! I used to read sooo much and now it's a sad effort to get myself to read! Makes me miss the days when I used to work at penguin and always had a book I was reading. This survey wants me to get back to it!

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    1. Hopefully you got at least a little reading done while you were on Anguilla! That's cool that you used to work at Penguin.

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  6. Ooooo ELEVEN bookshelves. Be still my heart.

    I love how much this survey is spreading! *evil laugh*

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    1. Yes, see what you helped start?

      We've got a ton of bookcases and still books are spreading over our home like kudzu. That's what happens when you have two people in bookselling and/or publishing living together!

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  7. "I should maybe say my husband's book. His memoir will be published by Algonquin, but probably not until 2015."

    Um... is this the first news of this major development on your blog?! So casually written, but such a big deal. Congratulations to you both!! Perhaps it will become a NYT bestseller and you can move to Anguilla permanently like Dan Brown, and then open a bookstore/library/cocktail beach shack. We can all dream, right?

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    1. Well, we can all dream, can't we? Algonquin is one of my favorite publishers, but I think it's safe to assume that they usually don't publish the types of books that dominate the NYT bestseller lists. ;)

      And yes, I think this is the first I've mentioned it like this in "public." It's been in the works for a while but only recently under contract.

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  8. This survey was really fun to do. X marks the spot for me was a cookery book for sushi??!! I never knew I owned that, I certainly didn't buy it and it doesn't belong with my cookbook library in the kitchen. If life is too short to stuff a mushroom it's way too short to make your own sushi. Have donated it to the local charity shop and now have a teeny gap for something more deserving of bookshelf space.
    I look forward to your husband's book.
    P.S. I would have dated Heathcliff - I've been in love with him since I was 14.

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    1. No, not Heathcliff?! I may lost all respect for you now. ;)

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  9. This survey was tons of fun to do, but it's been even more fun to see other bloggers' answers. I learn so much about the blogger and always pick up great book recommendations. Love it!

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  10. Love the photo of your library shelves. Amen to Bill Bryson - he is just the best. Have a lovely review of Barbara Kingsolver's "Flight Behaviour" written by a reviewer called Karin Schimke. Trying to get her permission to post it on the blog.

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  11. *waves hand* I've read The Housekeeper and the Professor and also The Diving Pool by Ogawa. Such beautiful prose! I love seeing others' answers to this question in particular.

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    1. oooh, you've read it, too? Yay! Did you write up this post? I'll have to go check it out now...

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Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)