Book meme

This one’s been going around and though I was crossing my fingers and hoping I’d be overlooked, literacy chic has tagged me.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Irrationally? Me? I’m always rational.

While I can’t think of a book I’m currently cringing from, I know I did cringe at both Life of Pi and Reading Lolita in Tehran and when I actually got around to reading them, enjoyed them immensely. I tend to be leery of books on the bestseller rack unless I already know the author, even when they are strongly recommended by friends I trust.

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?

I hate this kind of question. I like my characters to stay neatly within the covers of their books, thank you very much! Though I do like it when characters from one book show up in another,
I’ve never had a burning desire to see any character outside the confines of a story.

That said, I suppose I’ll play along and say it would be fun to see Jack Aubrey and Elizabeth Bennett exchanging pleasantries at a ball. (Or can you imagine Sir Walter Elliot’s reaction to Jack and Stephen? Priceless!) I’ve always felt that there is a thin veil indeed between Austen and O’Brien and it would be fun to see it pulled away and the various characters intermingling. What would Fanny Price or Anne Elliot talk about with Sophia or Diana?

That’s either too many characters or too few, I think. Oh well.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): 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 realize it�s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Portrait of a Lady or really almost anything by Henry James.

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?

I can’t think of anything. I tend to be pretty honest about what I haven’t read. I suppose the closest I come is in discussions of theology and Church teaching. I haven’t read many of the actual documents of Vatican II for example or many papal encyclicals. I tend to have gathered my information about such things from secondary sources, especially from my husband; but in discussions I might well come off sounding like I’ve read them.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review about it/go to �reread� it that you haven�t?

Again, I can’t think of an example. I’m more likely to encounter the reverse situation, getting partway into a book and realizing I’ve already read it.

You�re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some 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 and personalize the VIP)

I’m stuck on this one. Can’t think of a good answer without a more specific scenario and I just don’t feel like deciding on a particular VIP.

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?

I can’t choose so I’m going to cheat and say Greek, both Homeric and Biblical as well as Hebrew. I can narrow the field; but I can’t make up my mind among those choices.

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?

As far as I can see there are three choices that I could live with and remain sane: the Bible, Shakespeare or The Lord of the Rings. I hate to be a copycat, though, and wonder if the third one would have come to me has literacy chic not said it first. I suspect it would, hope it would, but can’t be sure.
Oh and I suppose I could probably stand to re-read the Chronicles of Narnia at a pretty high frequency as well. I don’t do it every year, but I do re-read them pretty often.

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)?

I’m pretty sure I’d never have picked up In this House of Brede or Kristin Lavransdatter had it not been for bloggers. But so many books have been added to my wishlist because of the blogs I read. It’s essentially changed the way I approach books. I used to never know how to find new, good books to read. I used to fixate on an author and read everything they’d written, I used to browse library shelves in desperation. Now I’ve got more books in my to-be-read pile than I know what to do with. And don’t even talk to me about my Amazon and Book Mooch wish lists. As far as new topics, I don’t think there’s a single book about homeschooling that I haven’t picked up as the result of an online review. It wasn’t blogs that led me to seeking out such books, but blogs definitely have provided the actual reading lists.

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.

Floor to ceiling bookshelves are stuffed with everything I’ve ever wanted to read. Lots of leather bindings, sure. Plenty of first editions, why not? Every book in a series has matching covers. But the most important thing is all those hard to find volumes. A complete Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary is a must. Lots of current atlases and reference books. Books for people of all ages from the smallest babies to the oldest grandmothers. Lots of picture books with the most beautiful artwork. And plenty of copies of the most favorite picture books because you know how babies and toddlers chew through the favorites. All the lovely art books with full color plates I’ve drooled over and not been able to afford. Books in their original languages as well as the best translations. I could go on all day; but I think you get the drift. There would never be an end to stocking such a library because there will never be an end to the publishing of good books. So that fairy is going to be working hard for the rest of my life and my children’s and grand children’s lives too while we’re at it.

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