Monday, April 23, 2012

Bookish Meme 2: Reading Habits & History

Image copyrighted by Credit for the original set of questions goes to Janga of Just Janga. I've changed/deleted some of the questions that were already covered in my March Bookish Meme post.

What were your favorite childhood books?

There are so many to choose from, but basically, anything by Enid Blyton, a British children's author from the 1940s. My first book by her was Merry Mister Meddle, a book about a little man who always got into trouble. My first foray into mysteries was via her The Mysterious Bundle, a book featuring a group of children called the Five Find Outers who live in a small village and are smarter than the local constable. Her farm books, such as Mistletoe Farm and her boarding school books, such as the St. Clare ones will be ones I won't ever forget

What are you reading right now?

The Devil's Delilah, a traditional Regency by Loretta Chase
Charlotte Web, a children's tale by E.B. White

Have your reading habits been affected by the Internet?

Oh, absolutely. Most of my discoveries about authors have been due to chats on romance blogs and boards and on Twitter. Sometimes, the recommendations are just for a book, and I get hooked on to the writing so much that I buy the author's entire backlist. Sometimes, it's a particular book that comes highly recommended by trusted sources that goes on my keeper shelves and that I return to over and over again

What is your reading comfort zone?

I mostly read historical romance fiction and historical fiction. I also read a limited number of contemporary and western romance fiction novels. Lately, I have been challenging myself to read books by male authors, more nonfiction, and non-romance fiction

What makes a book a keeper for you?

I have to love the characters, first. If the book is set in medieval times or Georgian-Regency times, I'm already half-way to liking it. A plot that's different from the norm, even while it works with the basics of the norm. And oh, the writing. I don't like Hemmingway-style brevity, nor Annie Proulx-style choppiness, but neither do I like Woodiwiss-style purple prose—overly lyrical and chock-full of metaphors are tiresome. I go for being able to paint an original picture with precisely chosen colors. And of course, if the book is by an author whose other books I have loved, I'm predisposed to liking the current book, too

What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Characters, story, writing

How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Not often, it would seem

How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I rarely comment on books, and the ones I do so are ones I have liked. I go for my opinion, not for a fair and unbiased review

What is the most intimidating book you've ever read?

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I despised the protagonist, architect Roark. And yes, I finished the doorstopper

How often do you not finish a book you begin?

These days, less and less, and not because I'm dogged about slogging to the end, as I was in my salad days. In fact, I'm far more discriminating now. However, for the last couple years or so, I've only read books by auto-buy authors or those recommended by a select few friends and acquaintances. So my hit rate is much higher

What's the longest you've gone without reading?

Perhaps 2–3 days when I was sick. I've always read, whether it's fiction, nonfiction, or textbooks

What's the greatest number of books that you've read in a day?

Two romance fiction books

What's your favorite film adaptation of a novel?

By film adaptation, I mean a new take on the original book, a new film based solely on the original book. So Clueless based on Emma by Jane Austen is a shoe-in for me

Can you think of a book you didn't expect to like but did?

There are many such books, but a recent one that comes to mind is the one I read last year: Welcome to My World by Johnny Weir

What books have you read most often?

The St. Clare and Mallory Towers book series by Enid Blyton
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer
Devilish by Jo Beverley

What book do you have the most copies of?

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen is the only one. I don't have even two copies of any other books

What book have you tried but failed to finish most often?

I have always loved Tolstoy's short stories, but pray-god, not War and Peace. I want to like it, but I can't even get a quarter of the way through it