Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A to Z: a Bookish Survey

As I tweak and grow my blog, I've taken time to think more about my reading life. Reading will always be my happy place, but I also want it to be my learning place, teaching place, and connecting place. My book reviews have evolved to reflect my desire to share my joys of reading, and posts like this one help as well. Even though I'm not back in school, I wanted to take stock of some of my recent reading habits. I've seen this survey pop up on a few bookish blogs recently, and I think I found where it originated. The Perpetual Page-Turner created this one way back in August of 2013. It's a simple and fun way to document how I feel about reading at this moment and to see what books have affected me most--and it'll be interesting to see how my answers change if I come back to this in several months or years.

Author you've read the most: That's got to be Anne Tyler or Dave Eggers. Anne Tyler just because of her expanse, Dave Eggers because of my devotion. Meg Wolitzer is catching up to these guys, though.
Best sequel ever: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card--which is funny, because he had the idea for that book first, and wrote Ender's Game as more of a "prequel" so he could write Speaker without having to explain all of Ender's history first. And then Ender's Game went on to become his most famous book (now a movie as well). 
Currently reading: The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer.
Drink of choice while reading: In the AM: coffee. In the PM: white wine/tea.
E-reader or physical book?: Physical book. I don't have an e-reader so that makes this easy, plus I'm slow to jump on the technology bandwagon. I'm sure I'll be reading things on  an e-reader/my phone by maybe 2052.
Fictional character you would have dated in college: Hmmm. I see facets of my current relationship in the relationships of fictional characters, but (thankfully) none of my college relationships were successful. I dated/crushed on a lot of Peter Pans.
Glad you gave this book a chance: Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan. I really didn't think I'd get into it, but thanks to a four-hour plane ride I had few other choices for entertainment. I ended up getting lost in the world of the story and the lives of the characters.
Hidden gem book: The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan...not sure how hidden it is, but I can't remember how I stumbled upon it. Or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, which I read so long ago it feels like a dream.
Important moment in your reading life: I don't remember the book itself, just that I was in third grade and realized the "chapter" book I was reading was actually just a long book...I kept waiting for the next chapter to signify where I could pause, but it never came....so I never stopped reading. I realized the power of a story to keep me engaged for extended periods of time.
Just finished: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. Five stars.
Kinds of books you won’t read: I judge books largely by their covers, so books with bad graphics? I'm also not a fan of most memoirs, unless they are hilarious/written by comedians.
Longest book you’ve read: AKA, Longest Book I've ATTEMPTED to read: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I think I did pretty well on this monster. I read a lot of articles about the book, and the parts I did read included the footnotes.
Most major book hangover: right now, Speaker for the Dead. It's been a while since a book stuck with me like this one is. Biggest "book hangover" of all time: nothing can top We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
Number of bookcases you own: three. One actual bookcase, one hutch turned into a bookcase, one stack of books by my bed that serves as a Read These Next bookcase. I also have several virtual bookcases. And one wish-listed physical bookcase in an online shopping cart.
One book you have read multiple times: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Once when I needed food, once when I needed God, once when I needed love.
Preferred place to read: bed/couch/Saturday/bench/morning
Quote that you like, from a book you’ve read: Oh, gosh. I have journals full of quotes I like and quotes that have stuck with me to this day. I'll go with the most recent: "As long as you keep getting born, it's alright to die sometimes." (Orson Scott Card/Ender Wiggins, Speaker for the Dead)
Reading regret: Not giving up on lemons sooner. Life is too short to waste on books that aren't AWESOME.
Series you started and need to finish: The All Souls Trilogy...I've only read A Discovery of Witches.
Three of your all-time favorite books: How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers, (perfect perfect nugget of literature) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (met me at the right time in my life) and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (inspiration for one of my tattoos). And Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow (I read it twice in three days). (Oops, that was four. Math was never my strongest subject.)
Unapologetic fangirl for: Dave Eggers, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tina Fey, Michael Pollan, David Sedaris, Margaret Atwood, Meg Wolitzer (recently), A.J. Jacobs, Jhumpa Lahiri...
Very excited for this release more than all the others: I'm lucky if I read a book within five years of its release, much less being excited for said release. That being said, I want to read Amy Poehler's upcoming book (Yes Please) sooner rather than later.
Worst bookish habit: Dog-ears. Sorry future readers...this just means there was something insightful on that page!
X marks the spot: Start at the top of your shelf and pick the 27th book: The Sound and the Fury by William Faulker. One of my Own But Haven't Read.
Your latest book purchase: Well, it was definitely at the thrift store, since that's usually where I buy books. Possibly a Michael Crichton. Or A Discovery of Witches.
Zzz snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY too late): Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. Can you tell I finished this recently and it's still on my mind a bunch?

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