So many bloggers I follow did this tag and had such interesting questions, I answered in the comments and then as I found more questions, I decided I’d might as well put all my answers here.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I feel like my favorites don’t necessarily have a “genre” always. I’m more drawn to authors, meaning, if I like an author, I will try all their works, but that doesn’t mean I will like any other author in the same genre. I do like many mystery authors though, but I wouldn’t say, I’d read any mystery book simply because it’s mysteries.
What was the best book you read for the first time last year?
I listened to the audiobook All Creatures Great and Small narrated by Christopher Timothy, best decision ever. I’m still not sold on audiobooks overall, but this is the type of book and narrator that brings out the work far better than merely reading it would. I’m currently on the 3rd of the series.
Do you remember when you first began to read? What drew you to it?
I apparently struggled to read, but my parents read aloud to us. I remember my dad reading the American girls books. Also, Mom used the 5 in A Row homeschooling curriculum which focuses on the Charlotte Mason method, using books to learn, so we had lots of lovely illustrated books.
How do you arrange your books? By color? By title? By author? By series? By something else altogether?
I keep my Barnes and Noble leather and Penguin clothbound editions separate and try to group them by color. Everything else has been divided between nonfiction and fiction, then fiction by author. But I’m going to be redoing my room plus have some newer paper backs and hardbacks that I might keep separate because they are pretty.
New books or used books?
New or like new, yet then I’m afraid to touch them, and might just end up reading a library version instead.
What tends to send you into a reading slump?
A lack of interest to try anything in my current library horde because I don’t know if I’ll like it or not. A determination to plow through a book I’m not enjoying but have disinclination to read. It’s better for me to put such a book down for a time and pick up another. Occasionally, an addiction to another form of entertainment. Usually that seems to come during the reading slump, but sometimes it’s before.
What tends to pull you out of a reading slump?
A easy read or an old favorite, this year thus far it’s been majorly Georgette Heyer, M.M. Kaye, and Mary Stewart
What’s the first book you can remember reading?
I, apparently, struggled to read. I can’t remember a first. I do remember getting the American girl books, and for some reason, I thought Kirsten was read to me, but I managed Felicity on my own? Or maybe I’m dreaming, those were advanced for someone who couldn’t really read.
First person or third person POV?
3rd all the way. First person only rarely.
What’s the longest series you’ve ever read? (It can be in terms of page numbers, amount of books in the series, or any other method of calculating.)
I’m pretty sure it’s Harry Potter, I feel I looked up word counts of books and that came up on top.
What book world would you least like to enter?
Well, the Hunger Games seems kind of cliche, but yeah, any dystopia (I loathe that genre overall).
Do you own any autographed-by-the-author books?
A book about regency times, it’s packed away and I can’t find it easily on Goodreads, so I don’t have the title.
What is your favorite place at which to buy books?
Currently, Barnes and Noble, ordering I mean, I usually buy giftcards at a huge discount (discount #1) and then wait for a discount from my membership card (discount #1).
Who is your favorite sibling duo/trio/etc in literature?
The Penderwicks are all I can think of from a quite scan of my Goodreads favorite books, I’m sure I have others though.
What’s one genre you used to avoid, but now love?
I’m not sure I really have this, classics is too broad, I didn’t read many classics as a teen, well, I didn’t read much as a teen as I struggled with it, but I don’t uniformly love all classics. And I can’t really think of any genre that I love that I hated. I’m more likely to be surprised by liking one book out of the genre. For example, I don’t tend to enjoy biographies because of the tone and the not so great historical accuracy (of perspectives, of comparison, of relative importance etc.), but I seriously enjoyed Tolkien’s bio, but that one book doesn’t convert me to the genre, but to the author.
Have you ever liked a movie adaptation better than the book? Which book? Why?
Eva mentioned this in one of her posts, I pretty sure everyone who has ever read the book and watched the movie prefer the movie for Alcott’s The Inheritance. I think sometimes I enjoy versions of Emma (movie or webseries) to book, because I can’t stand Emma herself, and the while not written in first person (I’m opposite to you on that, I can struggle with first person a lot) it is effectively written in her point of view, which is an obnoxious one.
Name one thing about your favorite genre that you absolutely can’t stand. Something you wish you could change.
That there aren’t enough well-written books in it? I always feel that I’m running out of authors I can respect whose books I can also enjoy.
When was the last time you shipped a non-canon book couple?
I don’t think I usually do, because 1) I generally read books where the author fits the characters together well 2) Most of the books I read don’t have true love triangles. Most rivals are either a bad guy or a boring guy, etc. 3) If I don’t like the way the book is going, I won’t finish it, and 4) I don’t really care to put couples who wouldn’t work in the actual story world together. I’m more likely to not like a couple or not like how one character ends up being bad, than actually having another couple in mind.
Jo and Laurie are the main couple I can think of, because it SHOULD be canon. I feel like there may be some smaller side characters couples I’d like together (like Luna and Dean), but nobody I’m really crying about.
How often do you write ‘rant reviews’? Or do you prefer to keep quiet if you didn’t like a book?
I’m better at criticism than elucidating why I like something, so yes to the ranting.
Thoughts on Charles Dickens? Love him, hate him, in-between him?
In-between. I loved much about his writing and conception, but the VERBOSITY, my stars, it’s hard to get through the books. Also, I do prefer a bit more character development, and his females are usually the worst in that department, they often lean toward only one characteristic. I haven’t read him in awhile though (because of all. the. words.).
Paperback covers: glossy or matte?
Matte, more elegant.
What was your favorite series as a child?
I had lots, but I’m going to go with Little House. I was definitely in a “Pioneer” phase, loved the books, sewed many sunbonnets from the sewing book, played “Pioneer,” played the Oregon Trail over and over.
What classic book do you feel most obligated to read?
Well, I have started War and Peace on Serial Reader ages ago, so I really want to finish it.
If you could run away with any fictional character, who would it be?
The first that popped into my mind was Martin from Faery Rebels trilogy and the Swift duology. I don’t know though, I think a Rosemary Sutcliff hero would be lovely, escaping would be the accurate term for that escapade though.
What is your true opinion of Agatha Christie?
She’s WAY overrated from an artistic standpoint. But I do like her books (not all) for an escapist read. I think I’m often disappointed though, or at least lately.
What’s the last book you read that made you see red?
I’ll TBR any book that makes me see red. The last I can think of was Prairie Fires an alleged biography about Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’d already read Pioneer Girl so found the information about Laura redundant. But that wasn’t the main issue, the tone was absolutely condescending and demeaning to everyone, Laura, the reader, etc. And I can’t stand when non-historians touch history, this is usually the result.
What book would you most like to see turned into an ACCURATE movie?
I’m always afraid of my favorites being touched, also, I don’t think movies can accurately bring out what I love if I love the good-writing. I think a good series of Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries would be awesome. Plenty of the wit is verbal in those, so not too much would be lost.
If you could recommend any book, what would it be?
Well the Faery Rebels (middle-grade blends the ancient celtic faeries, the origin of Tolkien’s elves, not Disney fairies in modern Britain) trilogy and the connected Swift Nomad duology by RJ Anderson, they do not get enough love. I was lent them by and acquaintance (only the first two are available in the US) and the bought them on Amazon.uk.
Continuing on from earlier this year in children’s lighter classics that I didn’t read as a child.
Knight’s Castle by Edward Eager. I read Half-Magic ages ago but forgot everything about it. This is fun, I’m reading more of the series, but it’s not the most thrilling middle-grade lit for adults.
All-of-a-Kind Family, All-Of-A-Kind Family Downtown, More All-of-a-Kind Family, All-of-a-Kind Family Uptown by Sydney Taylor. These are okay, not the most interesting in tone and description, rather didactic, definitely a lower reading level than middle grade. I ended up DNF-ing the last book, a juvenile tone and writing style doesn’t work with adult life.
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright. This is far closer to the sweet spot for excellent children’s literature, and I think I want to get more of these for vacation reading.
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. This is below middle-grade, definitely want future kids to read or to read aloud with them but just not inspiring enough/high enough grade level for an adult although I’d still like to try Ramona Quimby because I’ve heard those are more popular.
What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge. I saw a gorgeously illustrated set of this series on a British Instagrammer’s page, it turns out they are American but for some reason I got the impression that they were less popular here, the reprint has a note from a British lady. I guess I thought that was odd, it feels like its usually the other way around usually? Also this kinda has that classic American North moralizing (the Northern authors moralize; the Southern authors write about crazy, and I mean CRAZY, people; and the Midwest authors manage to make everything banal, despairing, and demoralizing in my little, ironically, exposure to the grown-up American Classic scene) without the charm of better authors (think Alcott). At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to read more, but those covers! Maybe the others are better?
The Changeling, The Truce Of The Games, Shifting Sands by Rosemary Sutcliff. And now for the taste of genius. I’ve exhausted most of the best novels of Sutcliff and had been getting some of her less inspiring reads. But these short stories that are part of an older children’s collection, are the true Sutcliff storytelling magic. I think that she wrote more of these (they are published by or part of Antelope books and feature woodcut illustrations, I believe), but I’ve had to get them a few at a time through interlibrary loans.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. This, thanks to my more capable reading abilities plus age, is much shorter than my memory of it. Also, Puritan stereotypes are still annoying as heck. This is sheer historical ignorance, for example black was a GOOD color, a wealthy color for Puritans. Per David Hackett Fisher in my beloved Albion’s Seed Puritans were far more egalitarian (second to the Quakers who were the most) in gender roles and economics than the two Southern cultures (he divides early developing U.S. into four basic cultures coming from four in England) which would’ve have been more similar to Kit’s, I’d imagine, and she’s just used to being on the top too. So, a lot of this story is just nonsense. A lot of this just feels like modern projecting based on some dramatic events without any understanding of the overall times. Nat’s still awesome though.
My Escapist Reads
False Colours, Arabella by Georgette Heyer. These were both 3 stars for me, the first featured identical twins as hero and side character, one normal, one a rake. The second featured a girl with a brain . . . and a rake for a hero. Well you, know, that’s her favorite “hero.” I decided to take a break to keep any other Heyers in reserve.
So then, I started on Mary Stewart and MM Kaye and found another therapeutic reads, of course I’ve mostly exhausted Kaye as she didn’t write very many.
Death in Cyprus by MM Kaye and The Moon-Spinners and This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart which I read in that order and fairly close together (followed up by Death in Zanzibar), and I kind of started blending the author’s styles a bit, they are both British, suspense for the former, mystery for the latter; have a lot of similarity in the hero-types; and hilariously, were each set on an Island in the the eastern Mediterrean starting with a “c”: Cyprus (no, really?), Crete, and Corfu, respectively. I greatly enjoyed all three. I’m so glad I started both authors like this and read these books in this order, it just fit so well, and I highly recommended anyone new to these authors to do this.
The Ivy Tree (My least favorite Stewart, I preferred the villain, I kept hoping against hope he wasn’t the villain, I hate the inclusion of infidelity, that was the love story, also, just not a great love story, period, rather sickening.)
Wildfire at Midnight (Not super crazy about this one, also has a bit freaky stuff, again, cheaters. And the women are just supposed to ignore and forgive the not-truly-repentant cheaters to “keep” them. NO.)
Nine Coaches Waiting (I think my expectations were too high as I adore the first two I read, and this is the most famous and didn’t match those first two in tone for me.)
My Brother Michael (I really enjoyed parts, but kind of felt choppy in quality, also, be careful with this one, I feel like trigger warnings are needed, there is a psychopath here and some sexual stuff, one part is pretty awful, not rape although I thought for a bit it was implied in different episode which without the first I wouldn’t have thought at all, but then Simon and Camilla were too calm in their response, but it doesn’t stretch to the imagination that the villain would; anyhow, this is darker than the others.)
Madam Will You Talk? (This one was thrilling, for more overall evenly intriguing but still doesn’t come close to my original favs.)
Thunder on the Right (Eh, far more buildup than delivery.)
The Wind off the Small Isles (This was an enjoyable short story.)
All by Mary Stewart. A lot of my liking of these novels involves her evocative settings, so if I didn’t like the settings/her descriptions just didn’t match the atmosphere of previous ones, that fact was also mixed with any dislike of the story.
Death in Zanzibar, Death in Kashmir by MM Kaye. The former is up there with Death in Cyprus, the latter is enjoyable. I DNFed Death in Kenya. I think there is two that I have ordered/will order via interlibrary loan.
True Grit by Charles Portis. Eh.
Shane by Jack. Eh, but in the hands of a better author could’ve been awesome.
I’m going to keep trying, albeit slowly, on Westerns, though.
Arthur by Stephen R Lawhead. I have Pendragon (the 4th book), but I think I’m done with this series for now. I felt so lost and felt that the author was as well.
Outer Order Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin. This isn’t really a book, rather a collection of organizational/personal environment ideas. I felt it “spoke my language,” others may not feel so. I think motivational/self-help books are VERY specific to each person, I mean within the exact same topic, if one author doesn’t work for you, find another.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H Pink. Eh, considerably overstretched the “scientific” aspect, if you could even call it that; books like this and The Happiness Advantage (I DNF’ed for this reason, the lack of new concepts, and the tone) tend to stick “scientific” in quite too often and, I think, not very accurately. Sorry, not every scholarly study, undertaking, etc. is scientific. Also, protesting too much.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. Overall, great basic money advice. As with everything can be tailored to personal situation (something I didn’t realize in my foolish youth with his first book). Don’t agree about no credit cards, nor about super specific budgets all the time, ain’t gonna happen for this girl. But all the way there for the emergency fund!!!
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. He speaks my language, and I find him hilarious. He also writes more for my age and situation. I want to get the newer copy of this book for myself. I agree with more of what he had to say/the way he said it than Ramsey although, truly, the overall advice isn’t wildly different (no helpful financial advice is at bare bones). But I found Sethi’s breakdown extremely helpful to me.
I thought this was really creative/fun/easy topic. I don’t pay too much attention to specific publication dates, more to decades/centuries/eras, so I was curious to see what would come up for me. I exported my Goodreads library and cutting down out extra columns, I managed to look at the years 2018-2009 on publication dates for books I’d rated 4 or 5 stars. I aimed for fiction when I could, but a few years I only had nonfiction. If there were two, and I thought that I preferred one over the other, I picked that. If there were two, and I thought both were equally deserving, I put both. I’m pretty sure I’ve featured most of the fiction on TTT multiple times, but what can I say, I love my favorites, and I’m quite picky. But, somebody PLEASE give Faerie Rebels and the Swift duo more attention.
- 2018 Book Girl: A Journey Through the Treasures and Transforming Power of a Reading Life by Sarah Clarkson
- 2017 The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse
- 2016 The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd (a standalone middle-grade novel, my favorite of hers, Appalachian magic, like the first, which I love; I usually think magic belongs in Old World settings, but there are specific areas/cultures where it fits in the New World, and Appalachia is one)
- 2015 The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall (book four of The Penderwicks)
- 2014 Nomad by R.J. Anderson (the second book of Swift duo, was supposed to be trilogy, but that hasn’t come and might not come, mourning)
- 2013 Death by Living by N.D. Wilson
- 2012 Swift by R.J. Anderson (book one of Swift, a continuation of the world from Faerie Rebels)
- 2011 Entwined by Heather Dixon (a slight eery yet lovely retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale) and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall (book three in a charming middle-grade series about four sisters)
- 2010 The Chesnut King by N.D. Wilson (the third book in The 100 Cupboards trilogy, a wonderful middle-grade fantasy trilogy)
- 2009 Knife and Rebel by R.J. Anderson (books one and two of the Faerie Rebels series, an awesome fantasy series that straddles the line between middle grade and teen like Harry Potter)
I love being able to look at my book reading and movie watching data. I also like having lists for shopping. And I have all my reading and movie watching information spread all over, so I’m trying to streamline my to-read, have-read, to-watch, and have-watched lists. I had had bookmark folders, bullet journal lists, Goodreads lists, library lists, and Amazon lists. I’ve recently managed to eliminate the bookmark folders; I was just lazily bookmarking instead of putting books and movies on my serious lists. I’ve also streamlined my Goodreads and bullet journal lists.
I use Goodreads to track what I have read, and I recently re-organized my shelves to be able to understand the data better. I emptied my to-read list (not useful and mostly forgotten) and I don’t really use my currently reading list (pointless, in my opinion). I’ve also transferred my to re-read list to my reading notebook (I need to use that more!), and I’m starting to count my re-reads on Goodreads (yay for this option!). I have to pace my re-reads and am a moody reader, but do you have a “literary medicine cabinet”?
I put all the books that I can on my lists in my library account. For the books unavailable at my library, I have handwritten and Amazon inter-library loan lists. These combined lists are too huge to realistically be left to inter-library loans, so perhaps I will force myself to use my Kindle app or will eventually be able to buy or borrow from other people. I almost constantly have many library books on hand and am trying to keep my fiction book collection low for now because of space and my re-reading and pickiness choices. How do you choose?
I have movie to-watch lists in my bullet journal, and I’ve put some on a basic movie list in my library account. But movies are less likely to be in either of the library systems I use plus I think I just prefer my paper lists right now. I did digitize movies that I have watched already with Letterboxd. I’m still getting used to it, and I cannot customize as much as on Goodreads, but my main need (movies watched by month for blog posts) is answered.~~~~~~~~~~~~I find many fiction books through the blogs I read, and I find some through catalogs, searching, word of mouth, and common knowledge. I usually search for nonfiction by looking on Pulitzer History, Francis Parkman, and Bancroft Prize Winner lists, looking on Amazon, and sometimes looking on suggested reading lists. With the later two options, I often try to look up the credentials of the author. I’d prefer to read the work of a serious historian on history, an economist on economics, etc., not the work of a journalist, politician or some other amateur on the subject. Occasionally I will find authors mentioned or will read articles they’ve written which leads me to their works.For movies I collect my lists through blog suggestions and the occasional search as well. I’m not a film buff and would prefer to keep my book reading pace far faster than my movie watching pace. I do think reading (when reading well) is a far better occupation than movie watching. And I’m afraid as a country we don’t take this seriously enough.~~~~~~~~~~~~I’ve added a new reading challenge page. Check out the Travel the World in Books challenge.Also, for fun, “If Literature’s Biggest Romantics Could Text.”
I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I’ve made bold the titles I’ve read.
How many have you read?
Mary Stuart by Schiller
Merchant of Venice
Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Beaux’ Stratagem by George Farquhar
The Rivals by Richard Sheridan
Punch or The London Charivari
The Rambler created by Samuel Johnson
~“Discourse of Sallets”
Essay by John Evelyn
~“North Wind and the Sun”
Fable from Aesop’s Fables (Little Women also mentioned these more generally)
~“Steadfast Tin Soldier”
Fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson
~“The House that Jack Built”
~The Parent’s Assistant
A collection of children’s stories by Maria Edgeworth
I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.I haven’t read any of these or I don’t remember if I have. I may have read “Bonnie Dundee,” I certainly plan to after reading the Sutcliff novel of the same name.
How many have you read?“A Dream of Fair Women” Tennyson“Bonnie Dundee” Scott“Come Ye Disconsolate” by Thomas More and Thomas Hastings“Do You Know the Country” by Goethe in Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship“Endymion” Keats“Evelyn Hope” Robert Browning“Judas Maccabeas” Handel (an oratorio)“Lakes of Killarney” by Lady (Sydney) Morgan (I couldn’t find any information about this, perhaps the author featured this ballad in a book)“Land O’ the Leal” by Richard Burns“Little Jenny Wren”“Nothing to Wear” (Flora McFlimsey is mentioned)“The Rainy Day” Longfellow
Since many of these novels are well-known, I’ve only included the author on lesser-known titles. I cannot vouch for these works; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references. I’ve made bold the titles I’ve read.
How many have you read?
~A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott (I read this ages ago, at least I think I read it in full; it isn’t as scandalous as implied by many, just for her audience at the time; I have, however come across her “Jo March is rebuked by Professor Bhaer writings” which are scandalous)
~Corinne by Madame de Staël
~Dombey and Son
~Evelina by Frances Burney (this is the least sappy of the three Burney novels I’ve read and the one I have hitherto decide to keep; the other two I’ve read are Camilla and Cecilia)
~Heir of Redclyffe
~Mable on a Midsummer Day by Mary Howitt
~Odyssey (Telemachus is specifically mentioned)
~Old Man and the Sea
~Patronage by Maria Edgeworth
~Pilgrim’s Progress (Dad read this aloud to us, but I’m not counting that)
~Rasselas by Samuel Johnston
~Tailor Retailored or Sartur Resartus by Thomas Carlyle
~The Flirtations of Captain Cavendish (probably Cavendish, or the Patrician at Sea by William Johnson Neale according to this blog)
~The Life of Samuel Johnson James Boswell
~The Wide, Wide World by Susan Warner under the pseudonym Elizabeth Wetherell
~Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughs
~Uncle Tom’s Cabin
~Undine and Sintram stories by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
~Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
When we grew up reading Little Women I always enjoyed the literary references even when I didn’t understand the background of most of them because I just thought it was fun to be able to do reference with such ease. Now, I recognize more of there references plus I have a copy of Little Women that has footnotes (these are addictive, and now I want that for the rest of the trilogy) for each reference, and I compiled a massive reading list from them. I love reading lists. I cannot really follow them religiously but there is just somethings so addictive and alluring about them.
Little Women features literary references of all sorts: quotes, mention of an author, mention of a work, vague allusion. I organized by type of work and then included a list of authors mentioned by name (their works may or may not also have been referenced in the book) which I’m including here for day one. I only included first names of the obscure authors.
I compiled my lists awhile back, so I hope that they are complete and accurate enough. I’ve used bold on the authors I’ve read, and I make a sorry showing today! I cannot vouch for these authors; I just thought a list would be fun to compile of these references.
How many of these authors have you read?
Columella, Lucius Junius
Raymond, Richard John
Sherwood, Mrs. Mary Martha