To celebrate my 100th post (which has come round much, much sooner than I thought it would!) I’m taking part in the Bookish Things tag I read about on Bookishandbright. So without further ado…
1. What is your favourite book and/or book series of all time?
I’m choosing this on the basis that the one book or series that would stay in existence if all other books were sent to a different planet to populate the libraries for the colonies. I would choose…
Dracula – Bram Stoker
For me, it’s the pinnacle of the gothic genre and if earth is to develop a new library based on its example, then that would be fine with me.
2. What is the longest book you have ever read? How many pages?
I’m guessing it’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell at 782 pages.
3. What is the oldest book you have ever read? (Based on its written date)
4. What is a book or series that everyone else loves but you do not?
The Miniaturist by Jesse Burton. I have no idea what I read in comparison to everyone else.
5. What book or book series would you like to see turned into a film/ TV series?
The Three by Sara Lotz would make a good film.
6. What is your favourite stand-alone book?
I’m going to go with Oryx and Crake – I realise it’s the first in a trilogy, but think it can be read as complete without reading the other two.
7. What is a book that you feel glad for not reading?
I can’t think of anything that I wouldn’t read for a specific reason, though have a number of books I started and felt like I was fighting with so gave up and have no regrets about not finishing. The biggest of these is probably The Luminaries, which I’ve tried to read so many times and eventually gave up when I read a review that noted its strength lay in its literary structure and device than story.
8. What is a book that you feel guilty for not reading?
White Noise by Don deLillo as my brother’s been recommending it for years, I have his copy of it and I recently brought my own copy of it to tear through and read the crap out of. Still haven’t read it, even despite purposefully adding it to my May TBR list.
9. What is a book you have read that is set in your country of birth?
There are thousands, so I’ll go with The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, as it’s first scene is set in the same town I was born in.
10. What is a book that you own more than one copy of?
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Luminaries, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, White Noise, Wolf Hall
11. What horror book made you really scared?
The Amityville Horror in my teens, The Accident when I was younger and more recently, Will Storr vs the Supernatural.
12. What book do you passionately hate?
The Teleportation Accident – I brought it as a holiday read at the airport and have no idea what it was about, or what it was supposed to be about and just grew increasingly angry wasting my time trying to get it.
13. What is the biggest book series you have read? How many books are in it?
As a teenager I read through a ton of the Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Twins books as well as the Point Horror series. I’m guessing SVH was the biggest read through with a total of 143 books, and I’d guess about 60-70 read.
14. What book gives you happy memories?
The Virgin Suicides – I brought it after school one night, after listening to that one song from the soundtrack that I still love (Playground Love by Air) and read it in one sitting on a Friday evening in April or May., in the bedroom I shared from my younger sister (no idea where she was that night). I remember the house being so quiet (very rare back in those days) and getting completely lost in the story.
15. What book made you cry?
Tess of the d’Ubervilles when I eventually read this at sixteen, despite lying to an English teacher about reading it at 13 when she was trying to wean me off the Sweet Valley books.
16. What book made you laugh?
Penelope – Rebecca Harris.
17. What is your favourite book that contains an LGBTQ+ character?
I had a few but chose Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis in the end.
18. Have you read a book with a male protagonist? What is it?
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – Matthew Quick. This feels like a strange question as I’ve probably read more,or at least equal mounts of books with a male protagonist.
19. Have you read a book set on another planet? What is it?
Don’t think so…
20. Have you ever been glad to not finish a series? Which?
Twilight – I started with book one and lost it about halfway through the first novel. Having grown up with Angel as the most stunning vampire, this lot seemed wispy and waifs in comparison.
21. Have you ever read a book series because you were pressured?
No but had to read books at school which felt like pressure – To Kill A Mockingbird and A Room With a View being two books that I should probably re-read as an adult.
22. What famous author have you not read any books by?
Jane Austen. I keep meaning to but something stops me. I think memories of English Literature at school put me off it.
23. Who is your favourite author of all time?
Douglas Coupland. I started reading his books when I was about seventeen and as he’s been writing for the entirety of my life since then, it’s a nice feeling of dropping in for a catch-up.
24. How many bookshelves do you own?
12 and a half.
25. How many books do you own?
I’ve just done the maths and it works out at about 300 books. Some of those are my husband’s but my collection is definitely larger.
26. What is your favourite non-fiction book?
This is surprisingly hard. I went through a big non-fiction phase some years ago and would say the one that had the biggest effect on me was Promiscuities by Naomi Wolf.
27. What is your favourite children’s/middle-grade book?
Room 13 by Robert Swindells – it’s a modern telling of Dracula that takes place during a year 6 school journey to Whitby. I thought it was the cleverest thing I’d ever read (when I was 10).
28. What is your next book on your TBR?
Possibly, Dead Writers in Rehab by Paul Bassett Davies. I hadn’t heard of it but found it in a charity shop over the weekend. The general premise is that the character wakes up and finds himself with a load of dead writers. He doesn’t know whether he’s dead or dreaming but it sounded fun.
29. What book are you currently reading?
Never Let Me Go by Kazoo Ishiguro. I’m about a third in and am enjoying it.
30. What book are you planning on buying next?
I brought quite a lot in a visit to an Oxfam book shop this morning so will probably have a break before the next shopping spree!
31. What was the cheapest book you bought?
Not sure – brand new books wise I’m guessing a classic for £1 in Greenwich during the 90s, so possibly Dracula or The Picture of Dorian Grey
32. What was the most expensive book you bought?
Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis – I never buy hardbacks but did when I saw it in the window at the end of a day at university
33. What is a book you read after seeing the movie/ TV series?
I have a separate list of these but the first one that springs to mind is American Psycho.
34. What is the newest book you have bought?
Newest as in it just came out? Most likely any one of the last three Harry Potter books, which I turned up (with my younger brother of course) to buy when the supermarkets did those special night openings on the book’s release day.
35. What three books are you most looking forward to reading in 2019?
- The Testaments – Margaret Atwood | I studied this book at school and remember discussing the open-ending – the idea that there’s a follow-up coming feels like an alternate ending to A-Level English Lit.
- The Hunting Party – Lucy Foley | I’m saving this for an autumn read as it sounds cosy and mysterious!
- Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton | My sister isn’t a huge reader but has recommended this, so I’ll pack it for a city-break planned for July.
36. What is a book you love that has a terrible trope? (Love triangle, etc)
I don’t like love triangles but am growingly tiring of an unexpected pregnancy. I mentioned this in a recent review of Severance. My least favourite use of it was in A Modern Girl’s Guide to Modern European Philosophy. I was trying to learn about philosophy in a hopefully entertaining way but the main character’s pregnancy stole any hope of a more interesting story developing.
37. Have you read a book in a different language? What was it?
I started reading Shopaholic Gets Married in French to teach myself French when living in Switzerland. I didn’t get through it but actually thought I’d read it before when I started reading it in English a year or so later, so some of it went in.
38. What is a book you’ve read that is set in a time period before you were born?
Loads, so I’ll try to pick a book I haven’t mentioned yet… On Green Dolphin Street by Sebastian Faulks, a cold war era novel set in Washington.
39. What book offended you?
Can’t think of anything. A number of books have stayed with me a long time after reading, taking longer to process because they have been shocking, but I think this is the mark of a writer doing what they should do.
40. What is the weirdest book you have read?
The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks. It probably wasn’t that weird but left me feeling gross.
41. What is your favourite duology?
I don’t think I’ve read any as an adult – the only one I could think of was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its second book.
42. What is your favourite trilogy?
The Hunger Games. I’m not really into series(es?) but enjoyed this one. Not so much the second book actually, but the first and third were good.
43. What book did you buy because of its cover?
The Book of Lost Things
44. What is a book that you love, but has a terrible cover?
I had a copy of The Hypnotist’s Love Story which I hated and actually put me off buying the book for a while, though when I eventually read it it surpassed the blah cover. I’ve lent it to my cousin at some point and it’s never come back, so have found an online photo.
45. Do you own a poetry anthology? What is your favourite poem from it?
I think I do as I have a pink book called Love Poems or something but I have to be honest that I’m not a massive fan of poetry and don’t have a favourite from it!
46. Do you own any colouring books based off other books?
No – I didn’t realise this was a thing.
47. Do you own any historical fiction?
I own two copies of Wolf Hall but haven’t read it and don’t think I will.
48. What book made you angry?
The Grapes of Wrath inspired what is closest to anger in a novel in relation to the events. Mostly I have to admit I get angry with books that waste my time by being what I think of as starting off strong and going into Silly-Land (I’m looking at you, Vox).
49. What book has inspired you?
- Engleby inspired me to write a proper journal again;
- Eat Pray Love inspired me to try yoga (still working on that one);
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell inspired me to to just get on and start writing a book (I’m still writing it…);
- Sweet Valley High inspired me generally to tidy up my bedroom (I was 12…)
All of the above have vanished from my bookcase (obviously so inspirational I gave them away to inspire others). The other three I came across are shown below:
- If You Want to Write – This is great for all creative ventures but really inspirational when it comes to writing.
- On Writers and Writing – I read this after a writing drought (which I’m still not on the other side of) and it met the goal of reading about an author’s lifestyle to try to work back into that discipline again. Great tips too!
- The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober – A very honest and insightful journey of sobriety and pages of inspirational exercises and tips to help anyone looking for a clean-up.
50. What book got you into reading?
There was a period in my teens when the children’s books at the time were too far from the adult books (the YA boom was needed!) so I wan’t reading much. Then a book called Jemima J came out which captured the fluffiness of the SVH books I’d left behind, but was set in a world outside the school gates.
From there, I started reading a lot again, realising that books written for ‘grown-ups’ weren’t as boring or difficult to read as I’d assumed they would be.