Time for one of these bookish posts, considering that I’ve done a creative and a thoughtful, and I’m going to do a reblog tomorrow and a link-up on Friday.
Apart from this picture, which is of my makeshift bookshelf under my bed (my ‘portable’ one, too), be prepared for lousy-webcam pics. I’m working on improving this.
Answer the following questions about books and then tag five other bloggers**. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.
You can read NevilleGirl’s post, which is where I first saw the tag.
I should say: this is my series bookcase, charged with keeping together the sacredness that are print book series. The sharp-eyed of you who can work through the shoddy photos will see Harry Potter, Jacqueline Wilson book after Jacqueline Wilson book, The Princess Diaries (minus book six, which I sadly lost when I was nine), Sophie Mackenzies, all the Hitchiker’s Guide books (including And Another Thing) and too many Rainbow Magic books than I’d like to admit, amongst others. Judging by this, I used to really like quick reads. Shame on you, Alex.
- Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
Not many books actually make me cry, and generally these sorts of things leap on me when I’m not looking/expecting them.
- Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
Mm, I’m going by this bookcase. One of the books I remember reading when I was a child was Harry Potter, but, after that, I moved onto contemporary in a pretty straight-genre way. I certainly didn’t read heavy fantasies like I do these days – any fantasies and they were at least urban/contemporary fantasy or with familiar settings.
Anyway, I certainly never read historical books – I made it clear from a young age that history as a school subject was as dull as black bricks – and yet the entire Lady Grace Mysteries series lies on this bookcase. Nowadays, I have a huge soft spot for historical mysteries (and, uh, have written a couple of my own).
- Find a book that you want to reread.
Although I don’t reread a lot (moving on, and all that), this bookcase does well for books that I’d reread. When I am a free person, I’d like to spend time rereading all of the Series of Unfortunate Events, cover to cover, with a mature writer’s eye to spot the references and quirky style. I envy Handler’s post-modernism.
That’ll make me cry, but more from sentiment than anything.
- Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn’t?
That question sounds rather harsh for my liking. I can work with it… I’ve pretty much DNF-ed The 13 Secrets, the last in the 13 Treasures trilogy, but I suspect I outgrew the stories surrounding a teen who can see bad faeries. Conversely, I always felt that the books were a weaker version of The Spiderwick Chronicles (which are not present…begging the dire question: where are they?). Sadly, I think I continued reading out of loyalty.
- If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
Considering that I have the complete works of Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Carroll in anthologies, I’d be rather stuck. I think probably the last, seeing as I’m partway through various stories. Besides, that hardback is illustrated and a glorious green pattern.
- Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?
In one way or another, every cover on this ‘case brings back fond memories. That’s one thing I love about print books – that one forms better memories of that moment when… because the brain is utilising more than one sensory input. On Kindle, reading is scanning a computer screen, and, as such, can be less memorable.
For the question in point, I’ll choose Armed and Magical, the second of the Raine Benares series (another series I need to get back on top of reading – especially after how awesome the Nelson agency is – but the books in print are more difficult to get hold of in the UK) about a half-elven woman with the gift of finding who gets bound to a stone that sucks souls. I remember sitting in my father’s garden on a hammock reading in the sun. Classical English memory gunk.
- Find a book that has inspired you the most.
The collection of four Christie plays there proves that mysteries can be done onstage and still have the simplicity and complexity that one adores in her works. I only acquired and read the collection two years ago (I remember because I was studying Theatre Studies at the time anyway, which sent me into the bookshops in search of set text plays), but, as I started out writing stage scripts, I admired Christie’s ability to balance setting and stage direction with the dialogue. I mean, as much as I love Priestly’s stage directions that are almost descriptive prose in themselves, I understand that no modern actor or director really wants to be faced with a block of text describing the exact way to behave. (I could/should write a whole post on this topic).
- Do you have any autographed books?
Three books in Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Mysteries Series, The Secrets of Vesuvius, The Sirens of Surrentum, and The Slave-Girl From Jerusalem, which I treasure, since she was an inspiration to twelve-year-old me when she came to our school. (Though I’ve still not read the final book in the series – I keep forgetting to buy it, and time passes…)
I can’t find them at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I have a couple of other autographed books, whether in this ‘case of not. I met enough authors through school that some of the autographs are a tad arbitrary, yet… *shrugs*
- Find the book that you have owned the longest.
I’m going by personal ownership here, for I have a couple of secondhand books in this bookcase, in particular translations of Ovid and Virgil texts. But the ones I’ve owned/have been in my possession the longest are probably the Roald Dahl books. I can’t list them all, but we’ve got The Twits, George’s Marvellous Medicine and both Charlie and the… books.
I forgot he wrote so prolifically and in such a quick-read way. I think Esio Trot was always a favourite to read through. Nobody questions the concepts and settings Dahl creates. Nobody raises a single eyebrow at the validity and realism. They just are.
10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?
I went to school with Julie Hearn’s niece, and whilst I didn’t know Julie so personally, I got an arc of Hazel through the school. I’d enjoyed another of her books, The Merrybegot, because of its almost magical realism feel (it’s set around the time of witch-hunting), but Hazel is much more traditional pre-war historical – sent to live on her grandfather’s Caribbean plantation with slaves of colour, Hazel discovers things about her family’s past that will change her perception of the future.
And I thought it was a clever plot, if a little slow to build. You see, another historical that took me by surprise.
*An interesting collection and that most pertaining to my life and tastes at the moment. This also begs the interesting question of whether we are able to surmise what a person is like by their bookcase.
**I suspect that everybody I would tag has already done the tag (I am rather late to the scene), but if you haven’t, feel free to do the tag and link back here. 🙂