This book meme came from Callmemadam. Her answers made me laugh, and I realised I was already mentally filling in my own, so here they are:
1) What author do you own the most books by?
I’m not going to count, it’s either Dickens or Pratchett.
2) What book do you own the most copies of?
The Hunting of the Snark, I think – the annotated one, and then copies by different illustrators.
3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
When I first read them, I fear it would have been Francis Crawford in the Dorothy Dunnett “Lymond” series, but now I’m rather more grown up I must admit to being rather fond of Sam Vimes in the Discworld books.
5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
As an inveterate re-reader, it’s hard to say; I should think I Capture the Castle and The Little White Horse are neck and neck.
6) What was your favourite book when you were ten years old?
Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh. Still love it.
7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
There will be howls of protest at this, but for me, it’s The Book Thief by Marcus Zsusak. I know, everyone else loved it….
8 ) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Even allowing for not thinking too hard about this, I find that question almost impossible to answer – best in what sense? But if I must choose, maybe Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel, it was beautifully written, funny, dark and heat-rending and I am still thinking about it.
9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
It’s not an idea that appeals to me, because enjoying a book is such a personal thing, but perhaps Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies.
10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
I don’t seem to have an opinion on it.
11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – Terry Gilliam was supposed to be doing it but, like some of his other projects, it stalled. Pity.
12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
I think short stories make better movies, as a rule.
13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
By the time I’m awake I’ve forgotten what I was dreaming about.
14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
I had a very distressing year when I was broke and relying on the library – I read a lot of chick lit, which is mostly what it had to offer, and I got very depressed. Ghastly.
15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
I find Kant rather heavy going.
16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
Goodness, I don’t know…Cymbeline, perhaps?
17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I’m plumping for the Russians, but I used to like a bit of Balzac. Oh, and Molière.
18) Roth or Updike?
Updike, but I got tired of both.
19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
Well, not Milton, anyway – leaves me cold.
21) Austen or Eliot?
That would be T.S., would it? Oh well, Austen then…
22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
That’d be the other Eliot. Yes, I have tried, and I liked Middlemarch on television, but I just can’t get on with her.
23) What is your favourite novel?
It’s very hard to decide which Austen, but I think I’m going to go for Persuasion – Anne’s an awful doormat, but I’m very fond of her.
Christopher Fry, The Lady’s Not for Burning.
Almost anything by the aforesaid Eliot, or The Wreck of the Deutschland by Gerard Manley Hopkins (though it’s hard to pick a single poem by Hopkins).
There’s a collection by Umberto Eco called Travels in Hyperreality that I like, but he’s always readable.
27) Short story?
Many Moons by James Thurber.
28) Work of nonfiction?
A World Away by Maeve Gilmore, who was Mervyn Peake’s wife. A celebration of a marriage.
29) Who is your favourite writer?
30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
Probably Dan Brown, but I’ve never actually read him.
31) What is your desert island book?
The Ray Mears Outdoor Survival Handbook, I should think.
32) And … what are you reading right now?
Matter by Iain M. Banks. I’m about half way through and, though I don’t think it looks as though it’s going to be his best, I think he shows a return to form after The Algebraist, which I found rather a disappointment.