I love a questionnaire and I love a survey. I also love books and reading and anything literary. So, in a break from our regular programming of politics, disability, parenting and poetry, I've taken Maggie May's lead and answered the following questions. I'd love to know what your answers are, so feel free to leave long comments or answer one or two!
Authors of whom you've read the most books:
Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison and Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Best Sequel Ever:
I can't think of one. Do books have good sequels?
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Drink of Choice While Reading:
I don't drink while reading. Oh, maybe water sitting by my bed.
E-reader or Physical Book?
I love my Kindle for memoirs and "quick" reads. If it's an author I love or a book that I've anticipated, then a physical book is necessary. I'm finding that when I read fiction, I become more engrossed with a physical book and that the e-reader is distracting -- something about how fast I read and how weird it is to turn pages on the Kindle. The Kindle, though, has saved my budget AND enabled me to live in a house that isn't completely over-run by books or at least only partially so --
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:
Good lord, what kind of question is this? I think I had a crush on Dickon the rosy-cheeked moor boy in The Secret Garden. A bit later, though, and I would have gone for the main character in The English Patient -- what's his name, again?
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
I finally read a Don Delillo novel about a million years after I should have. It was Falling Man, and it blew me right out to sea. I had thought until I picked it up in the store that I would have to die never having read a DeLillo. It was a weird kind of blockage. I'm glad I broke through the intimidation and read his perfectly crafted sentences. Given how much I've read, I was also late to Updike, and when I read the Rabbit series in my forties, I felt incredible pleasure -- the writing, the vulgarity -- even the misanthropy -- appealed to me.
Hidden Gem Book:
Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty
Important Moment in your Reading Life:
Every moment of reading has been important, from the Big Red Book in Mrs. Semel's first grade class to the stack on my bedside table right this instant
Remainder by Tom McCarthy -- sort of strange and creepy and interminable, really
Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:
Trash and popular fiction; anything by Dan Brown because he brings me
Longest Book You've Read:
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope when I was pregnant with Sophie. God, it was good. I was depressed when I finished it, so I cheered myself up by clomping down the six flights of stairs in my walk-up apartment in my big brown and beige checked flannel maternity dress, to the Haagen Daz on the corner where I ordered a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and nuts every single day before hauling my nine month plus two weeks extra pregnant self back up.
Major book hangover because of:
anything by Cormac McCarthy. Those books are dark. Oh, and I felt like I needed to take a shower after reading Gillian Flynn's trash novel Gone Girl. Generally, "easy" reads that are wildly popular give me hangovers because I'm so depressed that they're so successful. Go ahead. Confirm that I'm a snob.
Number of Bookcases You Own:
One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (just one, though? How about The Brothers Karamazov? Or Half Magic? To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway --
Preferred Place To Read:
In my bed.
Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:
So hope for a great sea-change/On the far side of revenge./Believe that a further shore/Is reachable from here./Believe in miracles/And cures and healing wells from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney
That I tried to read War and Peace multiple times. I also regret all those horrible French books I read in college -- in French.
Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series):
I read the first Harry Potter and enjoyed it, but I admit to not really caring about reading the rest of them. Do I need to finish them?
Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
I'm always disappointed by new releases of contemporary authors I love the first time around, but I am looking forward to the new Jayne Ann Philips and to anything that Lorrie Moore decides to write --
Worst Bookish Habit:
I'd rather read than talk to you.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
The Great Fires by Jack Gilbert
Your latest book purchase:
Quiet Dell: A Novel by Jayne Ann Phillips
ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante