February 23, 2008

Eva's Reading Meme

I'm finally getting around to Eva's Reading Meme that Heather tagged me for back in January!

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

I don't know if there are any that I am purposely avoiding, but there are a few that I've been holding off on -- Water for Elephants, The Madonnas of Leningrad, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I've heard such good things about these books, but I'm afraid they might be over-hyped at this point. I still plan to read them. Just not sure when.

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?

Oh, this was a tough question! I'll go with a dinner party with Odd Thomas (from Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series), Maggie (the ACLU attorney from Jodi Picoult's upcoming release, Change of Heart) and Agnes (from Mary Doria Russell's upcoming release, Dreamers of the Day). There's no particular reason why I chose this combination of characters. I simply like all three and think it'd be an entertaining evening to sit around and chat with them.

By the way,
I thought my husband's answers were rather interesting. He'd choose Ishmael (from Moby Dick), Yossarian (from Catch-22), and Count Dracula (from...well, you know).

(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?

Ugh. Moby Dick.

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?

Hmmm, I don't think I've ever claimed to have read something I haven't. But there may be a guilty pleasure or two that I'd deny ever having read. :)

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?

Pretty sure this hasn't happened either.

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 of personalise the VIP.)

Although it might be a little difficult for a non-reader to get interested in (at least initially), I'd suggest The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's my all-time favorite book and one that I feel everyone should read.

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?

Oh, probably French since that's what I took in high school. I still remember bits and pieces, but certainly not enough to read an entire book!

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?

Oh, this is so tough! There are so many great books that I'd love to read again, but every year?? Well, since I don't want to use The Book Thief again, I'll go with Beach Music by Pat Conroy. No, wait! The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

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 started reading more science fiction (thanks to Carl's challenges) and nonfiction (thanks to Joy's challenge).

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.

Well, it would have to have lots of comfortable chairs and couches so I could invite all my book-loving friends over to chat about their recent reads. It needs to have lots of windows to let in the sunshine and a large stone fireplace against one wall for those cold winter days. The shelves would be constructed of natural wood with plenty of extra space for plants and photographs. I would prefer to have only trade paperbacks since I don't really care for mass markets and hardcovers. I'd have one section of the room for all the books I've read (and wish to keep) and another section for all those waiting to be read. I'd also have a special bookcase for books that have been signed.

And now, let’s say everyone has to tag four people. I tag…

I'm pretty sure everyone in my blogroll has already participated in this meme, but if not, please feel free to do so!


  1. This is such a fun little meme. I'm right there with you on Moby Dick!!

  2. Poor Herman Melville! lol He got pummeled on this meme. :)

  3. Stephanie - My husband just finished reading an annotated copy of Moby Dick. I picked it up, thumbed through it, and for a very brief moment thought, Hey, this wouldn't be too terrible, especially with all the footnotes. Then I got a grip and gave it back to him! Phew. That was a close one! ;)

    Eva - Great meme!! Yep, poor Melville. ;)

  4. Ooh, I loved The Shell Seekers, too. Still haven't picked up The Book Thief, which, probably like you not picking up Snow Flower or Water for Elephants, is due to the fear that it may not measure up to all the great reviews I've seen. Snow Flower wasn't the best book to read when one is recovering from foot surgery (all the description of foot binding, etc.), but it was a fascinating look at relationships: friend to friend, husband and wife, mother and daughter, rich and poor. For that aspect, I enjoyed it very much. And, Water for Elephants has a happy ending which is always a huge relief!

  5. I chose Japanese but French would definitely be my second choice. Can't we have 2 languages?!
    Oh and a fireplace in the library is essential!

  6. Bellezza - I hope you aren't disappointed with The Book Thief when you do finally read it. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy Snow Flower and Water for Elephants. I just don't feel an overwhelming urge to read them quite yet. Glad to know there's a happy ending in there, though!

    Nat - If we could have two languages, I'd go with French and Spanish, only because I already know a bit of each.


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