Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Back when everybody was raving about The DaVinci Code, I found myself resenting being told that I simply must read it, so I never did. Now that the bloom is off the rose, of course, and it's been made into a film starring Tom Hank's mullet, I feel vindicated.
For the record, I have also never watched Titanic.
If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
The first person I would invite would be Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones' Diary). Who wouldn't want to drink too much red wine with the delightfully cuddly and self-effacing Ms Jones? We might even go lingerie shopping after a we polish off a couple of bottles and are brave enough to think beyond the granny panties.
Next I would insist that Dag from Generation X join us on some adventures, perhaps a little civil disobedience, a bit of tagging or maybe some automobile expressionism. We would then hit a pub and talk about how shitty the world is.
And for the final person to invite along, I am torn between Nomi Nickel (A Complicated Kindness) or Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter). Nomi would be a good fit, being a fellow rebel and she is wicked funny, but we would need to find her some fake ID to get into the bar. Neville, on the other hand, is ever so brave and would protect us from thugs and evil wizards. Plus he rocks the argyle sweater vest. Oh, I guess he would need fake ID as well.
You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
I am pretty sure I have already read the most boring novel on the planet. Once my neighbour gushingly lent me The Bridges of Madison County,and I actually thought I was going to die of boredom. Or purple prose fever. So I am ready to go whenever the time comes.
Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?
Middlemarch by George Eliot. I know it's cited as one of the most important novels of the Victorian era, and that it has been referenced by the Smiths and everything (in How Soon is Now), but it's too damned long.
As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?
I realized not long ago that I never in fact actually completed Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, despite listing it as one of my favourite books on my profile. In my defense, I will tell you that I have read 415 of its 478 pages, so I have read more of it than I have not.
You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why? (if you feel like you'd have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP.
For this non-reading VIP, I would recommend a book which is a fast and easy read and which would quickly grab his/her attention. Two books which would fit these criteria are Douglas Coupland's Microserfs (which is a seminal slice of pop culture angst) and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (because it is the only book I have ever read told from an autistic's viewpoint, and autism is fascinating).
A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
My first choice would have been one of the languages of India, (with the bonus prize being able to understand all those Bollywood epics) until I realized that there are about a gazillion official languages in India. So I'll go with Japanese. But I still won't read any manga.
A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
I already do this to a certain degree, reading the first paragraph of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House every Hallowe'en and the chapter about Geoffrey and Una Alconbury's New Year's Turkey Curry Buffet in Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary every Christmas. I see no reason why I should not expand this practice to include an entire book once per year. Perhaps I will reread Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting every Robbie Burns Day.
I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?
Besides confirming that I am likely the world's pokiest reader, I now have a new appreciation for and curiosity about graphic novels, which is something I never thought I would ever say. I've also branched out beyond my usual steady diet of novels into more works of non-fiction.
That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
I have long fantasized about having an actual library in the house, with floor to ceiling bookshelves - sturdy shelves that don't sag beneath the weight of all those books - and a sliding ladder that runs around the perimeter of the room. The room would of course also house a couple of deep leather club chairs and a fireplace.
So now it's your turn. In keeping in line with John's fine example, I am going to tag Karen, Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein, Beth, and Phlegmfatale. But if you don't play along, unlike John, I will continue to read your stinkin' blogs. It's just that every time I do, I will shake my head sadly and mutter that I am not mad, just disappointed.