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A Book Meme

A book meme, borrowed from selenak.

Give me a letter and I will hold forth on one of the following topics:

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
B. Best Sequel Ever
C. Currently Reading
D. Drink of Choice While Reading
E. E-Reader or Physical Books
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
H. Hidden Gem Book
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life
J. Just Finished
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
L. Longest Book You’ve Read
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of
N. Number of Bookcases You Own
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times
P. Preferred Place to Read
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feelings
R. Reading Regret
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For
W. Worst Bookish Habit
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
"That which yields is not always weak." -- Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Dart Words to live by!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:36 pm (UTC)
Exactly! That's one of the big points in Hand of Isis. People assume Charmian is a pushover because she's a feminine woman who is a mother and who absolutely takes a female gender role. But Charmian is anything but weak. Her best line is "Love will make us strong." Not being "tough" doesn't mean weakness.
Aug. 12th, 2014 01:26 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. I can only think of two or three Hugo or Nebula winners I like -- generally my taste in books is apparently the exact opposite of what wins awards, and so a Hugo or Nebula is a reverse endorsement to me! But I'm very glad I gave Doomsday Book a chance, as I enjoyed it very much.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)
That's the worst one to ask me, because I have an absolute policy of never trashing any colleague on this blog! I will not say anything unkind about any living author for several reasons. First, many books I've regretted were by authors I otherwise liked who simply disappointed me or jumped the shark. Trashing their book publicly is mean. Second, trashing books by living authors angers their fans, some of whom are also my readers. Third, since some of my book regrets are the books of those much more famous than I am, it smacks of jealousy and pettiness to criticize them. Certainly when I see someone barely known trashing someone whose books I love, it makes me lose respect for the person trashing, not for the person trashed. Fourth, it is unkind. The world needs more kindness, not more wank. So I will have to stick to authors long dead.

I regret any number of books in the western canon that I read in school. Right up there at the top of the list would be House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Just erg. With a side of erg. I thought I hated the Scarlet Letter, but House of Seven Gables was worse. In that vein, I would also like back the hours I spent reading Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I know it's very fashionable to show how smart/progressive/hip you are by trashing other people's work, but I think that's a bad idea even when you vehemently disagree with their ideas. When I disagree with someone (and there is one author I am thinking of who I detest so much I have literally thrown his books in the trash), I think it is far more effective to try to write something better. If it is indeed a war for people's souls, for the who we want to be as a society, for what kind of actions we praise and what we reject, then the battlefield is in the minds of readers -- the vast numbers of readers who are never going to read wanky blogs.

Write something better. And if I can't, I will die trying quite literally, trying to write something better to my dying day. But actually I have more faith in myself than that. I believe that I can make the case for the things I believe in through my work. I believe I can win a fair fight.
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Oh and the Scarlet Letter! When I read it as a teenager I kept thinking, "Why in the world does Hester put up with this shit? I would never do that. I would pack up my child and go to Maryland or Virginia or one of the other non Puritan colonies, claim to be a respectable widow, and start life over." Which of course is what my ancestor did when she was in similar circumstances!
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2014 02:55 pm (UTC)
Me too. And that was the same problem I had with Return of the Native. Why have this utterly miserable life when you could literally walk twenty miles to Portsmouth and have a completely different life? Why are these people so passive? Get out and fix your life rather than whine about it for 400 pages! That would be a story worth reading.
Aug. 12th, 2014 03:14 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2014 03:26 pm (UTC)
The Persian Boy by Mary Renault! I love the first book of her Alexander trilogy, Fire From Heaven, but the second one is even better. It's one of my favorite books of all time. If I could have written one book in the world, it would be The Persian Boy.
Aug. 12th, 2014 04:28 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2014 04:35 pm (UTC)
The character I absolutely wanted to date in high school was Commander Cain from the original Battlestar Galactica. Fifty to my fifteen, red haired, abrasive, military genius, carrying a marshal's baton with an eagle on the end. Oh yeah. When I was fifteen I wanted to be Elza. Only maybe in space.
Aug. 12th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
I admit you made me check to see whether Battlestar Galactica had been a book series first.

red haired, abrasive, military genius, carrying a marshal's baton with an eagle on the end
Basically the WLTM of all high school girls!
Aug. 12th, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh yes! When I was fifteen I couldn't imagine being attracted to anyone under thirty, and over forty was better. I joked that I was born to be a second wife, only of course no one that age could possibly date me at fifteen if they'd wanted to. I wanted nothing more with all my heart than to get out of school and get out in the world where there were actual adults doing actual adult things. I suppose that's why I don't like YA -- when I was that age I could think of nothing worse to read about than other high school students, and now that I'm pushing fifty I can't imagine wanting to go back!
Aug. 12th, 2014 05:30 pm (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)
I like both for different things. For reading fiction I'm fine with the e reader and I'm buying more and more fiction that way because it's cheaper and therefore I can actually afford to buy it! But for nonfiction I prefer a paper book because of several things. First, I need to flip back and forth between print and maps or photos, and preferably have both at the same time. I can't do that on an ereader. Also many nonfiction books that have been scanned are at such poor resolution that the maps and diagrams are useless. Also, I need to flip back and forth and find things, refer to things in previous chapters, and find things by "feel." I can't do that in an ebook. So I much prefer paper for nonfiction.
Aug. 12th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
I, please.
Aug. 13th, 2014 12:05 pm (UTC)
I think I replied to me instead of to you, but it's there!
Aug. 13th, 2014 12:04 pm (UTC)
Two of the most important moments of my reading life happened when I was in sixth grade. We were supposed to read a book (middle grades of course) every two weeks and write a one page book report on it. This was supposed to be our independent reading project, and we had to read a book at or above the grade level we had most recently tested at. (Which was to prevent lazy sixth graders from reading Dr. Seuss and calling it a book report.) The only thing was that our school library didn't actually have anything at the 10th grade level that I was reading at! So I got special permission to go to the high school library and pick a book there. This was incredibly exciting, in my opinion. I wandered around the high school library and at last settled on a book -- The Two Towers. I hadn't read the Fellowship of the Ring, and I think it was out and not on the shelf, so I started with the second book. And of course fell in love. Books change lives.

A couple of months later my dad gave me a book, not for the book report, but just to read. It was a battered $.25 1960 copy of The Last of the Wine by Mary Renault. He'd had it for twenty five years at that point. He said I might learn something. And I did. I learned that heroism, courage, fortitude, and keeping faith weren't confined to fantasy worlds. They had existed here, in our world, in the past. Life did not have to be a Judy Blume book. Life did not have to be about high school and popularity and having the right clothes and hair. One could choose to behave with honor even if one didn't live in Middle Earth. One could look to the bigger picture, follow the highest ideals, and expect that of one's friends and lovers. The Fellowship wasn't out of reach. You just had to require it. And then try to live up to it. You too could be in one of the Great Stories, the ones that "really matter, though the people of them come and go when their parts are ended."
Aug. 14th, 2014 08:08 am (UTC)
I love The Last of the Wine so much. It's a truly great book. Hooray for your dad for having the confidence in you to let you read it at that age.

Wow, I would think the Two Towers would be majorly confusing for someone who hadn't read the first book. (Who's this Gandalf guy showing up partway through, and why does everyone trust him?) Were you traumatized by the ending, and did you manage to get Return of the King fairly soon after that?
Aug. 15th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC)
My dad was extraordinary. And because The Last of the Wine was the first thing I ever read about being gay, it was profoundly important.

I was confused! But also entranced. I'd see the terrible cartoon Lord of the Rings the year before, so I had some idea who these characters were, which helped! I did get The Return of the King immediately after, and then went back and read The Fellowship of the Ring. I'd also already read The Hobbit, so I wasn't as lost as I might have been!
Aug. 13th, 2014 02:07 pm (UTC)
Aug. 13th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I read it first when my daughter was a tiny preemie baby, and it helped me get through a very difficult time. But more than that, I love so much about it -- the world building, the characters, and of course its view of sex and sexuality. It is truly a masterful book.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )