Friday, 30 July 2010

The Literary Lollipop’s 55 Quirky Questions



Check out The Literary Lollipop whose posted these 55 fun, quirky questions. Just a little way to get to know each other.


1. Favourite childhood book: Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, since I was 9 years old.

2. What are you reading right now? The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa

3. What books do you have on request at the library? None at the moment as I have a big guilty stack of library books still waiting to be read that I ought to take back before I get more fines.

4. Bad book habit: Buying too many of the things.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Ugh loads… Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aiken, Captain Pamphile by Alexandre Dumas, Watchmen by Alan Moore which I feel guilty about. Uhm and a load more but can’t remember now.

6. Do you have an e-reader? No way. Not the way things are. We should stand up and support publishers and authors by NOT getting an E-Reader. I don’t want to give up print books.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? One book at a time. I like to give each book my full attention.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Not really, but they’ve changed since joining sites like Goodreads. My reading’s become a lot more active.

9.Least favourite book you read this year: Hmm, possibly Stardust by Neil Gaiman, but i still enjoyed it somewhat. I haven’t read a stinker this year.

10. Favourite book I’ve read this year: Any Human Heart by William Boyd. Simply beautiful.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I hate myself for this, but I don’t think always very often. I’m not sure. Hmm. I wouldn’t say I stick to one or two safe genes but I tend to stick with what I think I’ll like rather then read something I think I won’t. I rarely read non-fiction sadly.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? Not sure. A well written book? I don’t like post-modern literature or books with peculiar styles.

13. Can you read on the bus? I love reading on public transport. I’m tempted to just get a day ticket for the county and just read on the bus going all over.

14. Favourite place to read: In a cafe drinking a cuppa coffee.

15. What’s your policy on book lending? I don’t lend a book, I’ll give it. Saves the bother. If they don’t want it anymore they can give it away.

16. Do you dogear your books? NO!

17. Do you write notes in the margins of your books? No, wouldn’t mind doing so actually but I feel silly because who, other then myself am I writing it too and my handwriting is illegible so I’d never be able to read it later anyway.

18. Do you break/crack the spine of your books? Well, not on purpose but it happens. I’m not just going to sit there trying to read through a crack just in case a crease appears on the spine. Sometimes it depends on the book. Books from the US, I have noticed – their spines do not crease easily. UK editions though just about fall apart the moment you open the first page.

19. What is your favourite language to read? English seeing as reading in any other language would be impossible.

20. What makes you love a book? The characters mainly, I’ve got to love the characters. Without the characters there is nothing.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? Depends on the book and the person I’m recommending it to. If I read a book and find it ‘just ok’ but think someone I know might like it I’d still recommend it. I try not to recommend certain books to people if I don’t think it’ll be there thing. I do recommend some indiscriminately (I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith and Shogun by James Clavell) because they carried me away into a different world.

22. Favourite genre: Lately I’ve been really enjoying the historical fiction genre.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did): Non-fiction – on history, politics etc so I’m more worldly.

24. Favourite Biography: Samuel Pepys: An Unequal Self by Claire Tomalin. About the famoust 17th Century diarist who loved books, all sorts of culture, women, sex, politics…

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? (And, was it actually helpful?) No. I did try reading one once but it wasn’t very helpful.I’m afraid my brain just shuts off and thinks “you’re just a book filled with words" and I go read something else.

26. Favourite Cookbook: I don’t cook but I wish I did.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction): Hard. Not sure… probably my Harry Potter re-reads actually. I find HP so inspirational.

28. Favourite reading snack: tea and biscuits.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience: Uhm The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak. I don’t think I was ever destined to like it, but I was expecting something amazing and got nothing.

30. How often do you agree with the critics about about a book? Depends on the critic.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? Positive and Negative. They’re both the same, just different. There has to be balance and I review every book I read so if I read a dud I will review it and try to be fair. There are very few books I absolutely hate but if I read one any time soon, I’m not afraid to rip it to shreds. They’re just opinions. My opinion if I hate a book is merely my own I am not God, what I say doesn’t go it’s just how I feel about a book.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? French for Alexandre Dumas, Russian for Dostoyevsky and Japanese for Murakami. Hmm. But to just pick one – I suppose Japanese actually.

33. Most intimidating book I’ve read: Argh, not sure. I guess Bleak House, my first Charles Dickens and really the biggest classic book I ever read. Before reading that I hadn’t really read many classics.

34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin: War and Peace by Tolstoy is probably a rather generic answer and besides I don’t even own it. Hmm… I guess David Copperfield by Dickens. I had a bad experience reading The Tale of Two Cities which I couldn’t even finish I thought it was that bad – so been reticent to dive into another one of his again, despite loving the ones I read previously.

35. Favourite Poet: Uhm, not sure. I don’t like poets on a whole, but I do like their poetry. This one is a favourite of mine:

Revenge - Luis Enriqu Mejia Godoy

My personal revenge will be your children's
right to schooling and to flowers.
My personal revenge will be this song bursting for you with no more fears.
My personal revenge will be to make you see
the goodness in my people's eyes,
implacable in combat always
generous and firm in victory.

My personal revenge will be to greet you
'Good morning!' in streets with no beggars,
when instead of locking you inside
they say, 'Don't look so sad.'
When you, the torturer,
daren't lift your head,
My personal revenge will be to give you
these hands you once ill-treated
with all their tenderness intact.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out from the library at any given time? Hmm 5 sometimes.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread? Usually most of them. :(

38. Favourite fictional character: Cassandra Mortmain, I Capture the Castle.

39. Favourite fictional villain: Severus Snape, harry Potter.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation: Depends what I’m in the mood for at the time I guess. Probably nothing too hard to pack.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading: Hmm, well I didn’t go entirely without reading at all but I only read about 30 books in 2 years once which is pitiful. I was at uni and just wasn’t reading reguarly. I kinda… I hate to say this – forgot I loved it so, filled my time up with something else.

42. Name a book you could/would not finish: The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I hate metaphors.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? People who play their MP3 players SO EFFING LOUD I can hear them from the back of the bus when they’re sitting at the front. Every little noise. TURN IT THE EFF DOWN YOU SELFISH LITTLE ZOMBIE. *breathes deeply*

44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel: Oh, soo many. Uhm. I Capture the Castle made a really good film but I’m not sure if it is my favourite. It is one of the best I have seen though.Oh and Atonement.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation: Many of the Harry Potters. Some of the changes just didn’t make sense. I enjoyed the 6th movie but was pissed off by the fact they blew up The Burrow. What was the point in that? I understand cutting things out, but having to cut things out and then replacing them with something nonsensical like that, eh well! And there is so much they haven’t covered. Has Snape’s story ever been properly explained?

46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time: coughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughonecoughcoughcoughcoughcoughcoughhundredcoughcoughcoughcoughpoundcoughcoughcough

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? I don’t skim the writing really, I do have a quick check through to see if I fancy reading that kinda book at the moment if that counts.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? When, for whatever reading I get bored and my brain stops reading the words on the page. If I have to read the same page more then three times and it isn’t going in then I stop. I don’t mean, if I can’t understand it, but that it’s just too boring or pointless. If I don’t see the point in torturing myself and I find myself losing all interest in plot or characters.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized? Mine are stuffed, wedged and hammered into a bookcase. I did sort it into genre categories so for a good part I can find classics in one corner, crime in another but as I’ve got them all out so I could get to something at the back (3 rows of books per shelf) then they’ve all got a bit higglety pigglty now.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once they’ve been read? Depends. I like giving books away because I like the idea of sharing a book. Nowadays I try to only keep the books I think I’ll read them again, or if they’re a particularly pretty copy. Most crimes I usually give away as they’re quick disposable reads. Most of them are also second hand ones, those that I own.

51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding? War and Peace. So long, so long…

52. Name a book that made you angry: The Lovely Bones. Crap.

53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did: Uhm. Shogun by James Clavell and I ended up adoring it.

54. A book I expected to like but didn’t: The Tale of Two Cities. I didn’t think Dickens would fail me.

55. Favourite guilt-free guilty pleasure reading: Uhm not sure. I always read guilt-free.


  1. This is awesome! (You're hilarious, by the way!)

    I've heard so much about The Lovely Bones... I'm still not sure what to think of it. The movie, apparently, got mixed reviews as well.

    And, yes, Murakami is quite the writer. I just read Audition and I was... stunned to say the least. Very good but gruesome.

    Thanks for joining in!


  2. Fi...LOL! I love you! You are so awesome and ALWAYS crack me up! I love this list.

    I'm one of those that really like Lovely Bones. It wasn't the most fantastic thing ever, but I gave it 4/5 stars.

    We absolutely have to do a Clavell read-a-long...get to Tai-Pan so we can read Gai-Jin together! Shogun is one of the most awesome books I've ever read. :)



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