I lifted this one from Citizen Reader, a blog I admire greatly. You should check it out.
Author You’ve Read The Most Books From: If you went by my LibraryThing account, it would be Patrick O’Brian. But I’ll be honest about my romance habit and admit it’s more likely Georgette Heyer, from my high school days, or Lisa Kleypas, from more recent years.
Best Sequel Ever: I know I’m supposed to say Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel — but I’m going to go with Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness, just because.
Currently Reading: Wedlock by Wendy Moore and The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Drink of Choice While Reading: Coffee … or, later in the day, white wine with a couple ice cubes in it. Yeah, I’m classy like that. I already told you I read romance!
E-reader of Physical Book? Either/or depending on the book. Genre fiction works well for me on an e-reader, and not just because people can’t see what you’re reading. But I still need the physical page for focus with nonfiction or literary fiction.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated in High School: I would have had a massive crush on Yunior from Junot Diaz’s stories. But I doubt he would have dated me. Otherwise, Quentin from Lev Grossman’s novels The Magicians and The Magician King. I liked geeks in high school. I still do.
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: Lost Girls by Robert Kolker – I don’t read a lot of contemporary true crime but this book WAY transcends that label and delivers a complex and disturbing portrait of the life some young women are living.
Hidden Gem Book: Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith. A biography of a remarkable woman — Victoria Woodhull — who defied pretty much every convention she came across. A great portrait of late 19th century America while you’re at it, which I think is what a terrific biography provides.
Important Moment in Your Reading Life: 1) When I successfully defied my second-grade teacher, who thought Caddie Woodlawn was too advanced for me to check out of the library, by showing her the card that proved I had already checked the book out like five times 2) When Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series helped get me through the horrible year of 2005, when I was editing the local daily, coping with a horrendous hurricane year in work and life and also dealing with a couple major medical crises. Those books were just what my brain needed.
Just Finished: Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale. Not as absorbing as her previous book, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, or as jaw-dropping as her first book, The Queen of Whale Cay, but a worthy read that will make you consider and appreciate how important feminism is. Or women’s rights, if you prefer that term.
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: Horror (never read anything by Stephen King; I’m just a wuss that way) and certain flavors of popular women’s fiction, of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood school. Yech.
Longest Book You’ve Read: I honestly don’t know the answer to this but the longest book I’ve read in recent memory is A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin.
Major Book Hangover Because Of: Not sure about this question. If it means the kind of book that hangs around your head making you feel kind of bad after you’ve finished, it would be The Disenchanted by Budd Schulberg. If it means the kind of book where you’re depressed because it’s over and you really wanted to stay in that world for longer if not forever, then maybe Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. And the George R.R. Martin books count in both categories, actually.
Number of Bookcases You Own: Two — but one of them is really, really big. And a couple of booktrucks, if that counts.
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Jane Eyre. I used to read it every year at Christmas, when I was in my 20s and far from home. It changes from reading it as a kid (identifying with young Jane in the horrible school) to a young woman (identifying with Jane the governess in love) to … a more mature reader. Who does have to wonder if that Rochester guy is really worth all that heartache given his track record and treatment of our heroine.
Preferred Place to Read: A porch or deck — outside but in the shade/under cover. I especially like to read on a covered porch in the rain.
Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From A Book You’ve Read: I’m not the kind of person who remembers or writes down quotes like this. So instead I’ll just go with the Groucho Marx classic that covers two of my favorite things in life, books and dogs: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
Reading Regret: I haven’t read Moby-Dick and I gave up on Vanity Fair (even though I liked it). Is that what they mean by regret?
Series You Started and Need to Finish (all books are out in series): Patrick O’Brian again, for real this time.
Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books: The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen, One Art by Elizabeth Bishop and Titan by Ron Chernow. All nonfiction, come to think of it. Is that weird?
Unapologetic Fangirl For: Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. Yeah, there be dragons. And they are awesome.
Very Excited For This Release More Than All the Others: I’m supposed to say the next book in the Hilary Mantel Cromwell series, right? And I am excited for that. But I’ll say the next book in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness because I’m trying to be ruthlessly honest here. Also because I know what’s going to happen to Thomas Cromwell, but I don’t know how Harkness will wind up her trilogy.
Worst Bookish Habit: Hoarding. I do it with books I own. I do it with library books even though I can presumably get them back out if I am actually going to read them. And I do it with advanced review copies. Fortunately I now have that really, really big bookshelf.
X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I bought it and started reading during a church-attending period of my life … but gave up when I came across the anti-gay passage. For one thing, why? For another, Lewis was the childhood author I read most, possibly after Laura Ingalls Wilder, so it’s heartbreaking to see him expose himself as a bigot, even if it was a different time.
Your Latest Book Purchase: The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz, as a birthday gift for my husband. It hasn’t arrived yet but I’m pretty safe because he doesn’t read this blog. (Do you?)
ZZZ-snatcher Book (last book that kept you up WAY late): I stay up later than I intend to not infrequently — but the last book I really remember having this effect was Sharp Objects, Gillian Flynn’s first novel. Or maybe it was Blindspot by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore. Not sure which I read most recently but both were impossible to put down, even to sleep.