In Place of Something Bookish…

To try and cover up my lackluster blogging efforts, I’ve completed a meme I found on My Porch’s blog and which i enjoyed reading. I’ve been sick these last few weeks due to a bad cold (if I was a man, I’d say Flu ;-)) that seems to be floating around work and being curled up in bed with tea and Agatha Christie were the only things I could handle. 🙂

1. Favorite childhood book?
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.

2. What are you reading right now?
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Heaps of things but mostly DVDs and magazines. Bookwise, I have the two ‘Room’ books shortlisted for the Booker.

4. Bad book habit?
Buying far too many and perhaps being a bit too precious about them.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
I belong to two libraries and the lists are very long!

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, and I didn’t think about getting one until I saw how the iBook looked on the iPad which made me think ‘hmmm’. The display looked very good but it’s not something I’ll be getting anytime soon. I would rather buy more books or a lovely new bookshelf.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One but I’m greedy and impatient.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not much at all. I mainly use my blog to try to keep my writing skills from disappearing after university finished and to also try to promote underrated or favourite books. I suppose one thing that has changed is that I make more of an effort to read Australian literature and little known books so I can blog about and promote them.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
I don’t have a least favourite book but I was slightly disappointed with The Brontes Goes to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. I guess I was expecting much more after all the sparkle on the blogosphere.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
I really lucked out this year and enjoyed all the books I’ve read. The standout would be Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy which was just heartbreaking and The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett which was just hilarious and very geeky.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Almost all the time unless I’m unwell which has been the case lately.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Cozy mysteries! Agatha Christie, particularly Miss Marple, and Agatha Raisin. Or Jane Eyre.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Usually, unless it’s really noisy or the driver is particularly terrible.

14. Favorite place to read?
Bed, bed, bed.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I only lend to close friends and those that I know will take care of books.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Very rarely…

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No, but I mark the passages I’m smitten with softly with a pencil.

18. Not even with text books?
I scribbled all over my text books. With PEN.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. I would love to be able to read in a different language though. I had a tutor who once told us that the best way to learn a language is to grab a classic and a good dictionary. That was the way she apparently learned French with Candide.

20. What makes you love a book?
A good story that makes me think without me realising, a story that takes me away and when I finish leaves me that little bit breathless.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
A good read that I know the person would love or enjoy.

22. Favorite genre?
Literature and Classics.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Non-fiction. There are so many sociological texts I want to read but never get around to. Foucault is languishing on my shelves. Also, short stories.

24. Favorite biography?
I don’t think I’ve ever read a biography. Oh, yes I have! I just recently finished Beautiful For Ever by Helen Rappaport and it was great fun. Review to come soon! I was writing it when I got sick.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
No. This is where I believe it’s better to be practical but I think I have used fiction to help me through things.

26. Favorite cookbook?
None. I don’t cook. I occasionally flick through cooking magazines but not cookbooks. I tend to make things combust.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
The Age of Reason by Jean-Paul Sartre; The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and, to an extent, Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. I also can’t seem to count!

28. Favorite reading snack?
None. It distracts me and I’m usually in bed. I do like tea/hot chocolate/coffee though.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
See question 9!

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t think I agree but they provide a new perspective.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don’t think I’ve ever given a really a bad or negative review. I’ve never hated or disliked a book that much but all the books I’ve read are my own pickings.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French and German.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Nausea by Sartre. I was intimidated starting off. Also, Madness and Civilization by Foucault.
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Anything by Proust, Foucault, James Joyce. I’m still a Proust virgin though.

35. Favorite Poet?
Christina Rossetti.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
Around 10. Ok, I’m lying. Around 20.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
About 50%! I like hoarding books.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Jane Eyre. And also dear Miss Marple.

39. Favorite fictional villain?
Dear devious Becky Sharp. And Lydia Gwilt in Armadale by Wilkie Collins.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Usually more contemporary books or mystery/crime.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
I have absolutely no idea! Perhaps from birth to the time I learned to read?

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt. It took too long for me to get into it and I grew impatient.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Loud annoying noises and inane conversations.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

I don’t really like adaptations but I do love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Breakfast at Tiffany’s despite Mickey Rooney’s unfortunate attempt at playing a Japanese man.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The Lovely Bones. I had such a high hopes. There was always something just missing.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Never more than $100 and that has never happened!

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I rarely skim. My eyes always catch at some significant word.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If I’m utterly bored by it and it feels like a chore.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I have good intentions. I just need the room.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Definitely keep. I need to cull some books though but I’ve been putting it off.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
No, why would I? I’m a free woman!

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Plot wise, The Mill on the Floss. I was more sad and shocked than angry.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy by Steig Larsson.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
The Brontes Went to Woolworths

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
The Agathas, Tintin and Enid Blyton.


  1. Great answers! I did this same meme on Monday (although I got it from somewhere else). 🙂 I do believe I also listed Jane Eyre as a favorite fictional character. I am thinking I need to follow in your footsteps, though, and read some Sartre.

    1. Jane Eyre is such a favourite with everybody. It’s amazing how much she speaks to so many even after all these years. I really recommend Sartre. If you don’t think too much of his theories and philosophy, he is really quite readable. I really enjoyed The Age of Reason.

    1. I think I would like a rosier ending, as taboo as that might sound, but perhaps just a tad. An ending that wasn’t as abrupt and sudden as that.

  2. I am new to blogging. I enjoyed your blog about reading. I am very impressed by a couple of things.. First, your stamina and second, your reading without guilt. I love to read and my family thinks I should be doing something constructive. I love to read everything from the milk carton to novels. The only thing I don’t like to read is something that is good for me!

  3. Interesting answers! Hope you’re enyoing Notes from the Underground and can encourage me to give it a try 🙂

    I love the Agathas for comfort, too (am reading Agatha Rasin and the Viscious Vet now)!

    Hope you feel better soon! 🙂

    1. LOL, ‘Notes’ encouragement might have to wait. Didn’t get too far into it before I got sick. You might have to entice me back. 🙂

      The Agathas are lovely aren’t they? You can just pick one up and know you’re in a for a nice afternoon or evening.

  4. Get well soon. Gosh, there are so many answers I agree with – Magic Faraway Tree being one of them, and buying too many books another. 7, 13, 14, 15 = my answers match yours, although on the whole dog-earing pages – surely the answer should be never ever ever! 🙂

    1. Thanks. You should do the meme if you have time. 🙂 Dog earring – I make it as small as possible but, I have to admit with some shame, I only do it to library books…

  5. The Magic Faraway Tree is one of my favorite childhood books as well. And my guilty reads and rereads primarily consist of Christie and Georgette Heyer!

    Love your answers

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