All the Cool Kids Are Doin' It

This meme was too fun to pass up. Picked up from Nightfly.

1. Favorite childhood book?

Oh, there are way too many to list. Some are still in my possession, and some are still at my parents’, now being read by my niece and nephews. Many of them are Christmas books—Petunia's Christmas, the GingerBears—but there are also a few that are just wonderful picture books. Every once in a while, I try to get my hands on one that got away, like Giant John. I’d also like to give a shout-out to books I read when I was not so much a child, like A Cricket in Times Square.

2. What are you reading right now?

Dragonfly by Julia Golding, Catching Fire (on audio) by Suzanne Collins, Finders Keepers by Seamus Heaney. Oh, and I have to read Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for next Monday because my mom’s dragging me to a book club.

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

Surprisingly, just one, The Julian Game by Adele Griffin. I’m going to see if it’s appropriate for the upper grades for a bullying discussion. I’ve had to do a lot of requests from the library because there’s a huge renovation and 90% of the collection is in storage.
(Side note: I’m glad I had to log in to look this request up, because I discovered my account is flagged with an overdue item that I returned last week while picking up yet another request. Can’t wait to go pick up The Julian Game so I can have a conversation about that.)

4. Bad book habit?

“Bad” sounds so. . . condemning. I guess my real sin is reading too many books at once. Literary gluttony.

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

Everything listed in #2 except the McCann book. Oh, and from my school’s library I have Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson to read to the fourth graders next week in anticipation of Thanksgiving.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

Nope. Not in my budget.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?

Have you been paying attention?

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

No, but I’ve gotten some good recommendations that way.

9. Least favorite book you read this year?

I didn’t love Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (discussed here).

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Don’t make me choose! If forced to, I’d probably say The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni or the book I won from CCR—that was hilarious.

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

Constantly, because I have to read books that I think my students might like, and I don’t have the same interests as my students oftentimes—so I have to endure some juvenile stuff sometimes.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Things that are more age-appropriate and interesting to me, I guess.

13. Can you read on the bus?

Can you say, “Carsickness”?

14. Favorite place to read?

I don’t think I have a favorite; reading takes me to another place, anyway.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

Loans are limited to people I know well enough to be assured I’ll get the books back. I lost my college copy of Pride & Prejudice with all my notes in it after making a bad lending decision. Lesson learned.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

If they’re mine, yes, for things I want to come back to or reference. Not as a bookmark. I also underline in pencil.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Yup. I love reacting and responding to what I’ve read.

18. Not even with text books?

Again, have you been PAYING ATTENTION?

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

Properly used English.

20. What makes you love a book?

The satisfaction of a good story, engaging characters, superb wordcraft—and in the case of picture books, great illustrations. I recently fell for Henry in Love and Katie Loves the Kittens.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

I recommend books for a living, so I’d say I’m inspired by what people tell me they like and/or recently enjoyed and/or want to read. Or if they ask me if I’ve read anything good lately. But that doesn’t happen often. Oh, and then there are all those unsolicited recommendations on this ol’ blog.

22. Favorite genre?

YA. Surprise!

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?

I used to read a lot more Fantasy, but there’s too much crappiness to wade through to figure out what’s good. It also seems as if you have to be “hardcore” into it to enjoy it anymore. I wish I could get into Science Fiction but it’s so complicated it makes me feel dumb.

24. Favorite biography?

Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

More than I’m willing to admit.

26. Favorite cookbook?

It’s a toss-up between Moosewood and Cooking Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?

What’s considered “inspirational”? Um, I read from Living Faith every night before bed. Does that count?

28. Favorite reading snack?

Hey, I may dog-ear pages, but I don’t eat around books. That’s just poor book care.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Me vs. Harry Potter. I just can’t get started. Same thing with Lord of the Rings.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

You mean, like "critically acclaimed" books? I tend not to read that kind.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I tells it like it is, babycakes.

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

French. There seem to be so many spot-on idioms that don’t translate that well to English.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

The Inferno.

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

Define “nervous.” As in, afraid I’d never finish it? Or afraid I won’t get it? Or afraid I’ll get through it and be PO’d I wasted my time? The possibilities are endless so I’ll pass. Better luck phrasing a question next time.

35. Favorite poet?

John Donne, probably.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

I average about three to four.

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

Maybe once, because I couldn’t renew it and there was a request waiting.

38. Favorite fictional character?

Too many to list.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

They’re villains so I’m not inclined to like any of them. . .

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

Something I haven’t read yet, obviously.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

I went a couple days without reading matter when I was in CA and was quite happy when we found a Target near the hotel so I could get a magazine (finished that night) and a book (finished on the plane ride home).

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

The Notebook. Sold it on for a tidy profit (it had been a gift).

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

I’m pretty focused when reading but sometimes The Cat has a habit of revving up the affection when I’m reading and she wants attention.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

An Ideal Husband was pretty good.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

One I saw: I’m sure there are worse, but In Her Shoes annoyed me for bending over backwards to redeem Maggie, when what happened in the book was adequate. Rose should have been played by a less slender actress, too. Still, it was fairly faithful.

One I refuse to see: Ramona and Beezus—for starters, the book was titled Beezus and Ramona, so right off the bat you’re confusing potential readers. Also, that actress who plays Beezus just irritates me. I feel as if she’s always smirking.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

I tend to spend a lot when I’m buying gifts, probably because I have to buy them brand new. If they’re for me, I either borrow or buy used.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Before reading? Not much. Before buying, if it’s physically in front of me, pretty much always.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Um, it sucks?

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Fairly organized, yes—but it’s a system for me, not anybody else.

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

It’s a case-by-case decision.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

There certainly are some I never want to see again. But it’s probably safe to say anything by Philip Roth or Dan Brown.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

It’s kind of obscure, so I won’t name it, but it was the last book in a fantasy trilogy. I hated the nihilistic ending so much that I was almost completely put off fantasy. That’s when I started writing.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

I didn’t think I’d like The Hunger Games, but I’m hooked now.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

I’m pretty selective in advance, so I can’t recall anything. If it's something I had to read to satisfy my curiosity or to preview for the library, I've already prepared myself.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Right now I’d say The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger. I just allowed myself to buy the last book because the school administrators gave me a gift certificate.


Lizzie said…
Good Lord, I love it when you talk books. It makes my queue at the library overflow, though. (I've had worse problems.)
nightfly said…
"Lat book in a fantasy trilogy" ending in a nihilistic fashion? OOOOOOOH you reminded me of Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless," in which he tacks a fifth book onto the Hitchhiker's Guide books in which everybody dies and the Vogons win. It was this huge middle finger to all his fans. I was outraged and immediately invoked my emergency reader's powers - It Never Happened.

Oh - spoiler alert. If, you know, any of it had actually happened.

BTW - if you're looking for long-lost rare, obscure, or out-of-print books, alibris is a good place to search. My wife found me a replacement copy of The Christmas Whale through this site.

Thanks for jumping in the meme!
Kate P said…
Lizzie--I have the same problem after reading about books on other blogs!

'Fly--Aaaah you big spoiler!!! Seriously, I could've sworn I'd read "Mostly Harmless" but that sounds totally unfamiliar. Maybe somebody else warned me. Or I've blocked it out of my memory. Dunno. But yeah, I've used alibris a few times and that's where I got "Giant John." But who is this Christmas Whale???
Lindsay said…
Oooh, I may have to do this one. And, yes, I have the same problem Liz & you do--every time someone writes about a book on their blog, I'm all, "Well, shoot, another one onto the list..."

I wish reading were a full-time occupation. I'd like that.
Kate P said…
Lindsay--at this point I have so many on my list that if I have to read them all in my lifetime, I will never die.

And people DO seem to think that because I'm a librarian reading IS my full-time job. I wish.

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