This survey was started by Jamie at the Perpetual Page Turner, but I found it through two of my absolute favourite bloggers, kindred spirits both, Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books and Cath at Read-Warbler. I shall returning from the Angela Thirkell Society AGM on Saturday, and there won't be much opportunity for blogging. So I'm scheduling this one to appear in my absence.
Author I've Read The Most Books From: I think this has to be Pratchett, there seem to be 39 Discworld books (read 38) plus the three Tiffany Aching books, plus half of Good Omens (he wrote it with Neil Gaiman), plus The Amazing Maurice, plus the graphic versions… followed by Angela Thirkell (30-odd) and Georgette Heyer. Oh no, I’ve just counted, Heyer wins hands down! Ask me again in ten years time and the winner might be Carola Dunn though.
Best Sequel Ever: Ooh, this one’s tough and it’s only B! I could think of lots of contenders, but then I decided it had to be something that I’ve gone back to more than once and loved as much as ever. In which case, I think it is Cathedral Wednesday by William Mayne. Closely followed by Lawrence Durrell’s Balthazar, third in the Alexandria Quartet, which I adored because it was in that book that I finally began to work out what was going on in this long roman à fleuve.
Currently Reading: Glimpses of the Moon by Edmund Crispin and Servants by Lucy Lethbridge.
Drink of Choice While Reading: Tea, I guess – but if I could make proper lattes at home, they would win.
E-Reader or Physical Book: I love books with my all my heart and soul, but e-reader is beginning to win the argument, not only because I can take an enormous library with me everywhere I go but because I often find holding books very painful now. If I can read on my tablet and save my hands for typing/drawing/sewing/whatever, then I’ll forgo the pleasure of “real” books.
Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School: No doubt at all, Francis Lymond of Crawford. He would have scared me out of my wits, but oh, irresistible… Lord Titus Groan, 77th Earl of Gormenghast, would have run him a very close second, but he wasn’t as well-read.
Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: So many books that I picked up in the wrong sort of mood and later discovered were wonderful. Perhaps the one I am gladdest I went back to is William Gibson’s Neuromancer. First time round I must have been reading with only a quarter of my brain working – how could I not have seen how superb it was?
Hidden Gem Book: Diary Without Dates by Enid Bagnold, which I found on Project Gutenberg. I’m happy to say it’s not just me who admires Bagnold’s writing – Persephone Books are about to reissue her novel The Squire later this month. Look out for a review here very soon.
Important Moment in Your Reading Life: Starting my blog: as I’ve said here before, I had started to feel very isolated because I had no-one to talk books with. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend browsing in the library and I simply wasn’t finding the books I wanted to read. Once I started blogging and sharing books with other people I discovered loads of authors I had missed out on during the years of child-rearing.
Just Finished: Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. Well, not quite finished actually, as I have to write a summary of Chapter 7 for a group read, so I’m re-reading bits.
Kind of Books I Won't Read: I can’t bear steamy romance, it makes me cringe.
Longest Book I've Read: Really not at all sure – OH used to joke that I gauged the readability of a book by whether you could use it as a doorstop – but Amazon tells me that Charles Palliser’s The Quincunx has 1248 pages, so that may be it. Good book and very useful in a gale.
Major Book Hangover Because: The number of out-of-print books I want to read that are too difficult/expensive to find. The ones I mind most about are those that are still in copyright in the UK so can’t be found on Project Gutenberg. The upside is the number of books I despaired of that are now being reprinted by Persephone, Greyladies, Girls Gone By , to name but a few.
Number of Bookcases I own: Hard to count because some are entire walls – 19 or 20, I suppose. But on most of them the books are double-stacked. Those of you who know me on LibraryThing, my library there really only represents the books in my room.
One Book I have Read Multiple Times: In my case it would almost be harder to name a book I haven’t read multiple times – as far as I’m concerned a good book always rewards re-reading. Which makes it hard to part with them.
Preferred Place to Read: Bed. If not in it, on it. Preferably with at least one dog.
Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book You've Read: I felt very stuck on this one – I guess I’ll find something perfect as soon is this post goes live, but I just couldn’t think of anything which quite meets the requirement. What I do remember, and maybe this is as good a reason to include it as any, is a fragment of poetry which thrilled me when I first read it, means something different to me depending on my mood when I encounter it, and conjures up the most vivid of pictures – in short, just sums of the wonder and mystery of poetry. It’s from Ash Wednesday, by T.S. Eliot: “Lady, three white leopards sat under a juniper tree in the cool of the day, having fed to satiety.”
Reading Regret: Not having discovered Angela Thirkell earlier.
Series You Started and Need To Finish (All the books are out in the series): The Hilary Tamar books by Sarah Caudwell. This is one of those situations where I own all four of the books but have only read the first because I can’t bear to use them all up.
Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books: The list goes on for ever (I’m a very loyal reader) so I’ll see if I can come up with three that I haven’t singled out before! Um… Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge. Pashazade by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (first of the Arabesk Trilogy). Appleby’s End by Michael Innes.
Unapologetic Fangirl For: Oh dear – Neil Gaiman. And Angela Thirkell.
Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: The third in Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, still on listed on Amazon UK as “Untitled Rothfuss 3 of 3” – but I’ve seen it elsewhere as The Doors of Stone. Its release date is given there as August 2015. Agony. If it doesn’t come out until then I will have to re-read the first two. Well, I'll probably do that anyway.
Worst Bookish Habit: Starting a new book before I’ve finished the last, and then not going back to the first.
X Marks The Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and pick the 27th Book: E.F. Benson, Lucia Rising.
Your Latest Book Purchase: The Bookshop by Deborah Meyler – because a fellow Thirkellite recommended it on FaceBook.
ZZZ-Snatcher Book- Book That Kept You Up WAY Too Late: Any book I’m enjoying, about once a fortnight – actually more likely to be something frivolous than a serious read. The last still-going-after-2am that I can remember was City of Dragons by Robin Hobb. I usually find her books pretty hard to put down.