Hmmm, Let Me See…

A homework assignment from the lovely Eva, who created these thought provoking questions.   

 Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?   The DaVinci Code.  Books that receive such huge amounts of media attention immediately put me off, particularly those that spawn all sorts of controversy. 

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?  Wouldn’t it be fun to gather characters from several eras and plan a girls weekend?  Perhaps the Dashwood sisters and Bridget Jones?

(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 realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? Moby Dick.  I was forced to read it once, and felt dead as a stone the entire time.

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 am still loathe to admit this (being a devout Anglophile when it comes to literature), but I’ve never managed to make it to the end of Wuthering Heights (please don’t tell).

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’m still not quite sure I finished Oliver Twist.  I know I was supposed to have for ninth grade English, but I have a slight suspicion I may have cheated and read the Cliff notes.

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)  When I read Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath for the first time, I remember thinking that any member of the glitterati should read it.  It is such a devasting portrait of poverty.

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?  Instant, perfect reading comprehension?  Russian, of course, so as to read Anna Karenina in it’s original language.

A mischievious 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?  There are a number of books I re-read regularly, old favorites if you will.  Gail Godwin’s Father Melancholy’s Daughter, Mary Gordon’s Of Men and Angels, and the entire Church of England series by Susan Howatch.   If I must pick only one…To Kill a Mockingbird.  Perfect writing, perfect truths.

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’ve just dipped a toe into the waters of book blogging, but decided to plunge into this year’s Short Story Challenge as a way of expanding my reading horizons a bit. 

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.   You know, just having all my books in one room would be somewhat of a dream come true, as they’re now scattered among several rooms of the house, and in horribly unorganized fashion.  Certainly floor to ceiling bookshelves would be required, preferably built in.  A bright, airy room would be my choice, with a bay window overlooking the sea, where I could stretch out, bolstered with lots of pillows.  Naturally, I would need at least two large armchairs, wide enough to contain at least one dog, with an ottoman at my feet for the other.  A tea service would be nice – an electric kettle with an assortment of teas in a smart wooden chest, and I certainly wouldn’t be averse to a small wine refrigerator for those days when afternoon reading stretches into evening.  The books themselves- oh, I’m not fussy about those.  Hardcovers, well worn used editions, trade paperbacks – I delight in the variety of size and shape.  One last thing…there would be no timepiece of any sort allowed.  The library should be a place where time stands still.

And the final portion of this assignment is to tag four others…so, hmmm, let me see:

Gautami, Toryssa, Jeane, and Iliana~you’re it!

*And, for extra credit, if you leave a comment letting Eva know you’ve done the meme with a link to the post, she will give you some link love via a big list of who’s participated. Additionally, if you link back to her original post, she will enter you in a drawing to win The House at Riverton.  If you’re an American, this is especially exciting since it isn’t going to published until April. ;) To be in the drawing, you must have posted the meme (and commented) by February 5th, which is when she is holding the drawing.

And now that my homework is done, I can go back to playing reading.

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9 thoughts on “Hmmm, Let Me See…

  1. This is the first time I’ve been tagged! I’ll put my replies ASAP (promise). I couldn’t touch Da Vinci Code, either. I love Grapes of Wrath. And Moby Dick was such a slog it took me four months to get through it!

  2. I read Da Vinci code and I loved it because of the spiritual truths I was taught… and not by the author. 🙂

    I look forward to reading the books on your “reread” list… I hadn’t read any of them.

  3. Thanks Becca, for tagging me! I never thought a day would come when I would thank someone for that!

    However, this is a good meme. I will do it as soon as possible. I already have great answers in my HEAD!

  4. I loved your answers! A girls’ weekend would be a lot of fun. Like Lianne, I’m intrigued by some of your rereads-the only one I’ve read is To Kill a Mockingbird.

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  6. Ooh Bridget Jones for a girls’ weekend would be fun! The stories we’d have to share later. Ha,ha. I never finished Wuthering Heights either – I’m hoping to read that this year as part as one of my challenge reads! Thank you for the tag. I’ll need to think of my answers but I’ll post them soon.

  7. “Books that receive such huge amounts of media attention immediately put me off, particularly those that spawn all sorts of controversy.”

    As irrational as that may be for book lovers, I feel exactly the same way. As long as I’ve read and liked a book *before* it became a runaway bestseller then I am fine, but just let people start screaming ‘Da Vinci Code’ or ‘Harry Potter’ or any John Grisham novel in the 80’s and 90’s and I would just turn away. I guess I see those kind of books as one that casual readers glom on to rather than something discerning book lovers want to read. Like I said, it is probably irrational, and maybe a bit snobbish, but that is the way I act towards those type of books.

  8. I read “The Da Vinci Code” years ago, and I doubt if you’re missing a whole lot if you never read it. It was okay. Didn’t Susan Howatch write “God is an Englishman” or have I got her mixed up with someone else? I totally agree with you about “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Everyone should read that book.

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