Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

55 Book-Related Questions

To get me back in the swing of things after a long book blogging break, I thought I'd answer these bookish questions I found from 2 weeks ago (ugh...this is my attempt at playing catch up) @ Sarah Says.  Here goes...

1. Favorite childhood book?
Curious George, especially Curious George Goes to the Hospital.  I used to plunk myself down by the CG books in my school library and go to town :D

2. What are you reading right now?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and My Life by Bill Clinton (plugging away occasionally for 8+ months).

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None.  I haven't used the library in some time since my town nearly cut it in half :/

4. Bad book habit?
Creasing the spines of paperbacks.  I don't mean to (really!) but it happens naturally as I read and sometimes they're really deep.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
See #3.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Nope.  I'm not too interested in getting one, either.  I don't have anything against them, per se, but I think nothing tops the real deal.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Usually one at a time is all I can handle but sometimes I dip into something else if my current read isn't catching on.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Just my reading pace & the number of books!

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Rabbit, Run by John Updike.  I finished it and liked the prose style but I found the characters very empty and the plot was almost nonexistent.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
I've been very fortunate to have read lots of amazing books so far in 2011.  If I had to choose, I would say Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It's the most important book I've read and every book lover should read it.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Only if someone has highly recommended a book to me that is otherwise not something I would normally pick out myself.  It would have to be a really convincing recommendation ;)

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
I'm very open to most genres, fiction & nonfiction.  I love reading literary fiction, modern classics, some bone-dry classics (ha ha), biography, autobiography, even sci-fi, mystery & popular fiction if the book is right for me.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Yes and I love to!

14. Favorite place to read?
Curled up in bed or on the couch.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I've never been asked but after a friend borrowed a DVD from me & didn't return it for a year (!), I'm a bit hesitant to do so unless I know the person very well and live near that person.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
No, I don't like the beat-up look it leaves behind.  I bookmark my spot.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Only if I'm reading the book for work or a course.

18. Not even with text books?
See #17.  Yes, I did highlight, underline or jot in the margins religiously during university.  I had to if I wanted to get anywhere with the readings!

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
I'm only fluent in English.

20. What makes you love a book?
When it's irresistible, when the story makes me think/feel/laugh/cry, when the characters feel like friends or closely relate to myself.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
When I'm asked or it comes up in conversation, I immediately think to the newest A or A+ book I've read.

22. Favorite genre?
Literary fiction.  That's a broad one, but it represents most fiction that is somewhere between populist and classic.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Science fiction.  I love the imagination that oozes out of this genre but I often think to read it last.

24. Favorite biography?
I love Kiss Me Like a Stranger by Gene Wilder, Me by Katharine Hepburn, and Never Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda.  Those would be considered memoirs or autobiographies, but they count, right? :)

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
I used to read Chicken Soup books in my teens but lately I feel they're mostly money-grabbers.  Not too interested.

26. Favorite cookbook?
The recipes off the box :D  I love my grandma's old recipes and Company's Coming.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen inspires youth and exuberance in the human spirit.  I also really liked A Twist of Lemmon by Chris Lemmon, which spoke eloquently about the parent-child relationship (especially father-son).

28. Favorite reading snack?
I don't normally eat while reading but anything "chocolatey" is an added bonus :)

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Probably Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.  Should have known that not liking The Corrections would foretell my dislike of Freedom.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don't pay much attention to book critics, but I definitely do book bloggers :)  About 95% of the time I agree with the blogger's review of a book.  Sometimes you might feel differently but it's amazing how many people think similarly about a book (either positively or negatively).

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don't have a problem with giving them.  I'm fair but firm about my opinion and I don't badmouth anyone.  I also tend to keep my C, D & DNF posts short & to the point.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
French would be glorious!  I'd love to read all the romantic writers in their original language.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
In a good way:  The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks.  It was outside my comfort zone but I really enjoyed it.  In a bad way:  The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Anything by James Joyce.  Yikes!

35. Favorite poet?
Poe, Keats, Shakespeare, Percy Shelley.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
See #3.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
I rarely did.  I would renew them to the max before that happened!  I think I might have had to return one once or twice but not often.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Is it even possible to pick just one?  Here's a top 10: Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables), Christopher (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Morag Gunn (The Diviners), Lizbeth Salander (Millennium trilogy), prot (K-PAX), Hassan (The Kite Runner), McMurphy (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Leah (The Poisonwood Bible), Duncan Garp (The World According to Garp), Judith (Wild Geese).

39. Favorite fictional villain?
That's another tough one to single out just one favourite.  My top 10 would be:  Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs), Mr. Hyde (Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Jim Rennie (Under the Dome), August Rosenbluth (Water for Elephants), the Warden ("The Shawshank Redemption" from Different Seasons), Annie Wilkes (Misery), Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Percy Wetmore (The Green Mile), the cult of Gilead (The Handmaid's Tale), Jack (The Lord of the Flies), Nathan Price (The Poisonwood Bible).

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Anything I'm itching to read at the time from my TBR shelf.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Maybe a week or a few days.  It depends on how busy work & life get :)

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Unfortunately this happens from time to time.  The most recent was Slaughterhouse-Five, which I may pick up again some day.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Usually background noise or the TV if I'm sneaking in some reading during TV commercials (of course, I mute the sound).

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
The Shawshank Redemption, though technically that was a short story.  If you want to be from a specific novel, I would say The Green Mile, ironically both written by Stephen King.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
I found the Roman Polanski version of Macbeth very gruesome and unwatchable.  The Great Gatsby was a pretty dull movie.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
Probably between $100-$200, usually a birthday cheque ;)

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Very rarely.  I sometimes read the last sentence of the book (and to be honest, it's never been a big spoiler) but other than that, unless it's nonfiction and I'm mainly interested in a particular topic from the book, I read it from page 1, word 1 on :)

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Boring or nonexistent story, dull, uninteresting characters, not relating to a single character (especially if the preceding two points exist), having no clue what is going on with it & not wanting to find out

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, I shelve my books by like authors and genres on my bookshelf, and keep my TBR books on a separate shelf & my nightstand.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I keep all my favourites, any I liked & might like to reread or refer to another time.  Any "meh" or disliked books are given away, boxed for a future garage sale, or donated to amity.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
I feel like I'm avoiding any book or author that is particularly intimidating, such as James Joyce.  Ulysses seems daunting to me.  Also, the major Russian works--War & Peace, Crime & Punishment, Anna Karenina (which I have a copy of but haven't started yet).

52. Name a book that made you angry.
I can't think of a book that made me angry in its entirety, but I have read parts of books that anger me, such as (spoilers ahead--highlight betwen the brackets to read) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Mikael pretty much abandoning Lizbeth at the end) or how Amir treats Hassan in The Kite Runner or how Mrs. Bennet demeans her unmarried daughters in Pride & Prejudice.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.  I was a bit afraid that it would be too dark & depressing but it was quirky, often delightful, and full of fascinating family lore.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Julie & Julia by Julie Powell.  I thought the movie was sweet and lots of fun, but the book was flat, not at all funny, and took itself too seriously.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
People magazine every week :D


  1. I enjoyed reading your answers to this. I had fun doing it. The Green Mile is one of my very favorite film adaptations too!

  2. Welcome back! Have you seen the Water for Elephants movie yet or are you planning to at all? I really enjoyed the book too so I might catch it this weekend :) Oh and Kite Runner made me slightly angry too.

  3. Wow! This was an ambitious undertaking. It was very interesting to read your answers. Fahrenheit 451 is a great book! I also agree with The Green Mile - great adaptation, however there have also been some terrible Stephen King adaptations. Can't wait for Bag of Bones to come out soon...

  4. Nice to see you back. I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451 when I first read it and each and every time I reread it, find something else wonderful about.

    I have been fascinated with sci fi/dystopian stuff lately. Not sure why but I don't seem to ever tire of it. I will say though, that much of it these days tends to fall into literary fiction, too. That might be why the lines are a bit blurred for me and I can go either way with them.

  5. In RE to #31, I should really try keeping my "meh" and worse reviews shorter. I often end up trying to rationalize or come up with so many explanations as to why the book wasn't working for me. I probably just leave my readers confused. Good peepes for sticking with me :o)

    Thanks for doing the survey! Loved learning more about your bookish habits!

  6. Thanks for all your comments!

    Jillian~ Yes, I'd really like to see the Water for Elephants movie. It probably won't live up to the book but hopefully it will still be good :)

  7. Great answers! I love the villains you picked. I wasn't expecting to love Middlesex either, but it's so good. I hope you end up liking Rebecca, I was a big fan.