Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Book Quiz!!!

SamuraiFrog did a quiz about books. So I will too. Because I'm all about...umm...hmmm, what the heck am I all about, anyway....

1. Your favorite book:

This is always the question, innit? The Lord of the Rings (JRRT), The Lions of Al-Rassan (Guy Gavriel Kay), Cosmos (Sagan), and...I'll just stop there, or we'll never get to the next question.

2. Your least favorite book: Back when I actually used to insist on finishing books that I thought sucked, I found some real stinkers. Nowadays, if a book isn't doing it for me, I just stop reading it partway in. Life's just too short. But, as noted, I did waste a chunk of my life on some crappy books. Representative titles? The Celestine Prophecy (I knew that my "New Age" phase was definitively over when I read this and couldn't stop rolling my eyes), The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand was a morally stunted, facile non-thinker who couldn't even take her own advice), and Twilight (and yes, I wanted to like this one, since I thought that a good teen romance combined with a good vampire story would kick lots of ass, so imagine my consternation when I realized that the book is neither one of those things).

3. A book that completely surprised you (bad or good):

I remain stunned at how bad the last two volumes of A Song of Ice and Fire were. And there was a graphic novel that I checked out of the library pretty much because the title sounded intriguing, called Alice in Sunderland (by Bryan Talbot), which absolutely floored me with how good it is.

Oh, and A Tale of Two Cities. When I read this, my plan was to read it one chapter a week, so as to simulate the original reading experience the novel's readers had (because it was serialized in magazines of the day). This lasted until Chapter Five or so, when I just had to keep reading, the book was so good.

4. A book that reminds you of home:

Maybe the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander or the Gothic YA novels of John Bellairs? Both entered my life via my mother's standard punishment method of handing me a book when I'd screwed up with the admonition that I was not allowed to watch any teevee at all until I finished it.

5. A non-fiction book that you actually enjoyed:

Um, what's with the wording of this question? It sounds like, "Holy crap, nonfiction doesn't have to suck!" I wonder if this was originally one of those Tumblr quizzes that often read like they were written for fifteen-year-olds. Nothing wrong with that, but this question makes me think this quiz is aimed at high-school kids who likely haven't read any nonfiction other than their textbooks.

Anyway, I read tons on nonfiction, so I could go on all day, here. Anything by Carl Sagan or Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Barbara Tuchman, for history. Bill Bryson.

6. A book that makes you cry: Lots of them have at various times.

There are a number of moments in Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry that reduce me to tears every time I re-read the trilogy.

7. A book that's hard to read:

I increasingly view my life as a death-struggle between myself and The Brothers Karamazov What is it with me and that damned book?!

8. An unpopular book you believe should be a bestseller:

Mine, dammit! (Although it's stretching the definition of "unpopular", since it doesn't really exist yet. Hmmmm.)

9. A book you've read more than once:

Here's another question that makes me thing this quiz was aimed at younger readers, because the wording seems vaguely surprised at the idea of re-reading. I re-read a lot of books.

10. The first novel you remember reading:

Gosh, that's going back quite a ways. Maybe The Mouse and the Motorcycle? I honestly don't recall what the first proper "novel" I read might have been.

11. The book that made you fall in love with reading:

Ye Gods, I don't know. I honestly have zero idea. Maybe one of the Curious George books. I always loved the Alphabet one.

12. A book so emotionally draining you couldn't complete it or had to set it aside for a bit:

I don't know that I've ever found a book that emotionally draining.

13. Favorite childhood book:

I mention some of them above, don't I? I can't name just one. So many of the books I read as a kid make up the person I am now.

14. Book that should be on a high school or college required reading list:

Gosh, I don't know. I think the lists are probably pretty good already. Although I've always been really resentful that my own high school reading life didn't include a word of Mark Twain, but I had to read Ordinary People. What the hell was that?!

15. Favorite book dealing with foreign culture:

Great travel writing is a favorite genre of mine, such as the books of Paul Theroux. Bill Bryson wrote an amazing book about Australia.

16. Favorite book turned movie:

The Lord of the Rings.

17. Book turned movie and completely desecrated:

I never go into movies adapted from books to be faithful adaptations of the book; as long as the movie gets the basic moral thrust of the novel's story right, that's pretty good. I could name some of the James Bond movies, many of which bear no similarity to their books other than the titles, but I really do approach movies and books as different things.

18. A book you can't find on shelves anymore that you love:

Hmmmm. I generally know how to find what I want to read. No idea.

19. A book that changed your mind about a particular subject (non-fiction):

Macbeth changed my mind about Shakespeare being boring.

20. A book you would recommend to an ignorant/racist/close-minded person:

I wouldn't bother. If a person whose views I find repugnant actually asked me for reading material that reflects my views, by definition, they aren't closed-minded.

21. A guilty pleasure book:

I don't feel guilty about pleasure. I own a book, it's because I either like it or I haven't read it yet. Neither of these things embarrasses me.

22. Favorite series:

Harry Potter. Or the John Bellairs Johnny Dixon-and-Professor Childermass series. Or James Bond! Or....

23. Favorite romance novel:

Hmmmmm...I don't read romance as a genre, but I do like romance to figure in novels I read, for whatever reason. Pure love story? Richard Bach's The Bridge Across Forever.

24. A book you later found out the author lied about:

Like that guy who went on Oprah and then made tons of money and later admitted making it all up? Never read anything like that, to my knowledge. I remember being somewhat disappointed to learn that relatively little of John D. Fitzgerald's Great Brain books were really based on his youth...and then being disappointed again to learn that his Papa Married a Mormon was, likewise, not based all that closely on his family's early years.

25. Favorite autobiographical/biographical book:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King.

26. A book you wish would be written:

Princesses In SPACE!!! III, which I haven't written yet.

27. A book you would write if you had all the resources:

I have all the resources. I'm working on it.

28. A book you wish you never read:

I'd like to say that even by reading her I learned something about myself or became better able to discuss my own thought processes or some such rot, but ultimately, reading Ayn Rand was a giant frakking waste of time.

29. An author that you completely avoid/hate/won't read:

Orson Scott Card, a moral midget whose books can live on all the shelves but mine.

30. An author that you will read whatever they put out:

Guy Gavriel Kay, Christopher Moore, Bill Bryson, and quite a few more!

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