Book meme

Apr. 12th, 2011 01:04 pm
mirrorshard: A book growing from a tree branch, captioned "Books where fruit should be". (Books where fruit should be)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
Via [personal profile] webcowgirl:

1. A fictional character you identify with and why

Alessan di Tigana. As for "why", this may explain.

2. Your earliest memory of reading or being read to

Tucked up in bed in my family's first house in Colchester, with "The Cops and the Robbers".

3. Your favourite book aged 9 ½, or 13 ¾, whichever you remember best.

When I was 13 ¾, I don't think I could pick one favourite, because I'd been reading anything that wasn't nailed down for years, and then I got a clawhammer for a birthday present. I used to take two books to school every day, because I'd probably finish the first at lunchtime. I remember answering this question then, though, and it's embarrassing—I picked Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. Makes me cringe thinking about it.

4. The book that’s been on your shelves the longest.

Now I'm going to have to go and look... I've got almost none from my childhood & teenage years with me, because my current collection is based on what I had at university. It's probably Michael Moorcock's The Revenge of the Rose.

5. A book you acquired in some interesting way

My copy of Neverwhere is a rare BBC edition (only 1000 printed, according to Neil Gaiman when I asked him to sign it for me) withdrawn from Colchester library and then found in a charity shop. It pleases me that it was discarded twice before it came to me.

6. A book with a story for you, that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time).

I inherited my Complete Works of Shakespeare from my godfather, an amazing man who had a scholarly obsession with the actor Edmund Kean. It's a Folio Society replica of the Fourth Folio, and there's a bookplate inside noting that it's a replica of one presented to Kean.

7. What fictional character are you (secretly) in love with?

That's not very secret, is it? If I had to pick just one, it would be Jehane from The Lions of Al-Rassan.

8. The last book you acquired, and how (begged, bought, borrowed?)

Ekaterina Sedia's The Alchemy of Stone should be landing on my doorstep any day now. For the ones actually now in my possession: Patricia S Bowne's Advice From Pigeons, sent to me as a review copy by the author, and three I found in a charity shop: M John Harrison's The Centauri Device, Haruki Murakami's The Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Alastair Reynolds' Pushing Ice.

9. Your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next.

Currently reading: James A Michener's The Floating World, on Japanese printmaking in the Edo period. Charles Yu's How To Live Safely In A Science-Fictional Universe, for a long-overdue review. Last: Pushing Ice, Durham's The Other Lands, Tom Holt's The Better Mousetrap, Dan Abnett's Prospero Burns. Next: could be the Sedia if it arrives, might be the Murakami or the Harrison.

10. What author do you own the most books by and why?

That's probably Mercedes Lackey, since she's written so many. It would be Pratchett, but I left most of those behind in Wales, and haven't acquired new copies since.

11. Do you own multiple copies of any book? What are they? Why do you have multiple copies?

I have a couple of duplicates, and no real idea why. I have 16 copies of Twelfth Night, because I ran a drama workshop on queer Shakespeare a couple of times.

12. Book borrowing – do you use the library? Do you prefer to try before you buy? What about lending your books to friends? Are you a good borrower, do you remember to return books?

I am an enthusiastic borrower and an enthusiastic lender, and I do remember to return them! I don't (can't afford to) buy books unless I know they're going to be good.

13. Do you reread a lot? Why (not)? Name a book you have reread many times.

I've always reread a lot, because I need to do that so I don't run out. The easy answer would be The Lord of the Rings, but that's a common re-reading target (for good reasons), so instead I'm going to say The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer. It's the story of a philosopher turned bank robber.

14. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

The Habitation of the Blessed, by Catherynne M Valente.

15. Do you recommend books to other people? If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?

Enthusiastically! In fact, I keep a review & essay blog for fantastika. I wouldn't want to force anyone to read anything, because that's a good way to put them off, but I'd recommend The Dazzle of Day, by Molly Gloss, to anyone.

16. Adaptation: What book would you most like to see made into a film? Do you like to read the book first or see the film? Any books you have read after seeing the film version?

I don't really do films.

17. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

Oh dear, that's a hard one. I'm having a lot of trouble with How To Live Safely In A Science-Fictional Universe, even though I zoomed through it and am now on a second reading, because I need to write about it. I had a lot of trouble getting through Middlemarch, because some of the themes are rather triggering for me, but I'm glad I did.

18. Your favourite book series & your favourite book out of that series

Hugh Cook's Chronicles of an Age of Darkness, and The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers.

19. Your favourite picture, junior fiction and Young Adult books

Asterix! And Diane Duane's Young Wizards series.

20. Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise

Aristocracy, royalty, feudalism, or kingship actually being genetically meaningful.

21. A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving

I remembered disliking Hexwood, by Diana Wynne Jones, when I first tried it, then years later loving it.

22. Your "comfort" book

Persuasion, by Jane Austen.

There are more questions, but I'm running out of energy for them - I may come back to this meme in a while.
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