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First Book Meme of This New Blog…

December 4, 2010

I haven’t done any memes in ages, but book memes are my favorites. I found this one on Melanie B’s blog.

1. Favorite childhood book?
Wow – I have the same one as Melanie here. I read A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett many times and never got tired of it.

2. What are you reading right now?
I’m in the middle of too many books as usual. One dual-memoir from two soldiers of Band of Brothers fame (can’t remember the title right now and I’ve managed to misplace the book), Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain, still plodding slowly through Christ Our Joy: The Theological Vision of Pope Benedict XVI by Msgr. Murphy (awesome book, read it mostly at adoration)

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Nothing – I’m not very good about making requests – already have too many books at home. 😉

4. Bad book habit?
Starting and not finishing too many books.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing at the moment. It’s either feast (generally huge stacks of picture books at a time) or famine with the library.We returned everything before our Thanksgiving trip and haven’t gotten back to the library since.


6. Do you have an e-reader?
No, but I’m tempted by the lower-priced Kindles (my oldest sister and my mom are huge fans). I’ll never give up the real books, but the convenience and light-weight are temptations (I often don’t get through big heavy books because they are too heavy for my wrists).

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?
Several. But too many start bogging me down.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
A little. I hear about books through the blogs and sometimes wanting to write about them helps me be more disciplined in plugging through them. But that’s really more a matter of having started reviewing books for Love2learn many years ago than the blogs per se. Sometimes having too many books sent to me for review can bog me down.

9. Least favorite book you read this year?
If I don’t like something, I generally don’t finish it, so I can’t really answer the question. 😉

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Probably The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. But I read a LOT of books I liked this year, including several by Pope John Paul II and one I really liked by Hans Urs Von Balthasar.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Reading is often out of my comfort zone – it’s harder for me than you might think. I’m very distractable and sometimes just plain lazy.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
I don’t know. I like a wide variety of books.

13. Can you read on the bus?
Yes, but I’m seldom on a bus.

14. Favorite place to read?
Under a tree in the summer in a comfortable adirondack chair.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I have so many books that I tend to lend out freely, but easily lose track of who has what. There are some books I don’t lend out because I like to have them around for reference or whatever. And it depends on what I’m hoping to have the kids read that year.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Seldom.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
I mark up my books like crazy. Underlining, margins, etc. It helps me process/digest the books better as well as more easily pick back up where I left off. Naturally, this is my tendency for heavier non-fiction and things like spiritual reading. I don’t really write in fiction books.

18. Not even with text books?
I don’t tend to mark up textbooks because they’re so expensive and the kids are going to use them later. Most of my non-fiction marked-up books are less expensive paperbacks. I will mark typos or errors in a textbook, however.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
Humph. Definitely English!!!

20. What makes you love a book?
Who knows? Great ideas, an insight into truth, poetic language, soaring prose, irresistible characters, wit, gripping plot. Some combination of those or else something that I just can’t think of right now. (I stole Melanie’s answer for this one because it’s absolutely perfect and better than I could have said it.)

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
For online – applicability to a wide audience. In person, something that I think that particularly person will like. I always have a bit of a tough time writing online recommendations for things that need qualifications since everyone has different sensitivities.

22. Favorite genre?
Hard to say, but I think perhaps memoirs.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Lately I haven’t done much in the way of kids’ chapter books for read-alouds. I’d really like to remedy that. But fortunately John is great about it – he’s very consistent about reading to the kids at bedtime.

24. Favorite biography?
Wow. That’s a tough question because it’s such a favorite category with me. Two favorites I read this year were Pope John Paul II’s Gift and Mystery and Rise Let Us Be On Our Way.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Yes, but it’s definitely not a favorite category.

26. Favorite cookbook?
Probably La Leche League’s Whole Foods for the Whole Family. But  I have to admit that I rarely use cookbooks. Also, some of my previous favorites are kind of off the shelf for me personally because of my gluten problem (like Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day and Confections of a Closet Master-Baker).

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?
I would have to say, because of the frequency with which I think about or try to apply the ideas from it, The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander. I also really loved Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen.

28. Favorite reading snack?
Nuts. Preferably macadamia.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I tend to work hard to avoid hype because it tends to rub me the wrong way.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Pretty often. But it’s hard to say, because I do enough reading between the lines to generally have a sense ahead of time from the various comments (and who’s commenting on it) if I’m going to like a book or not. Two books I particularly enjoyed this year that were recommendations from the blogosophere (at least I think they were this year!) were both recommended by my friend Melissa Wiley: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the Percy Jackson Series.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don’t like writing negative reviews, but I will if I feel that it will be useful/constructive. I work a LOT harder on the negative reviews than on the positive ones – I’m paranoid about being fair.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
Probably Latin. I can dabble a bit, but certainly not read a whole book. What I’ve learned in Latin has helped me decode other languages a bit too. When I was working on cataloging our pastor’s library, he had books in maybe 5 or 6 languages and I was able to figure out where all of them belonged, even though I didn’t know the languages. (By the way, although I don’t know any Greek beyond it, I can read the Greek alphabet well enough to identify book titles too – but that’s pretty slow for me.)

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
I don’t know. The only thing like this I can think of that intimidated me, but I plugged through anyway, was learning how to use the 4 volume Liturgy of the Hours.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross – though much less so than I used to be. 😉

35. Favorite poet?
Probably Shakespeare. I also really like G.K. Chesterton and Emily Dickinson. On the whole I’m a bit of a poetry dunce.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
Feast or famine – it’s usually 30 or none.

37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Very often.

38. Favorite fictional character?
Not sure exactly. It might be Sam Gamgee.

39. Favorite fictional villain?
I don’t know.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
A variety of what I’m working on – gotta have several books – preferrably light-weight. I like to bring along a Liturgy of the Hours book too, but I don’t always get to it.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
I don’t know. Maybe a week? At least as far as books go, there’s always some sort of reading going on.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
I don’t know. There are books I don’t finish initially that I do get back to later. For some reason I got stuck right towards the end of Thomas Dubay’s Authenticity and just decided that I was done. I don’t remember exactly why.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Everything.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Pride and Prejudice miniseries (stolen from Melanie again)

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
This one’s easy – Percy Jackson by a long shot! Sec0nd place, Caddie Woodlawn.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I don’t know. It was probably the college bookstore and thus too long ago to remember.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I don’t.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Boredom or distraction. It happens quite a lot, actually.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, our books are generally pretty well organized, except for the ones under the kids beds, stacked up on our bathroom bookshelf  and strewn about the car (or otherwise misplaced).

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
It depends on whether or not I expect someone else in the family will want to read it.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Probably. I keep meaning to read St. Therese’s Autobiography – it’s kind of been nagging me for years. One of these days!

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Not Lost Forever: The Story of My Survival by Carmina Salcido

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
I can’t think of one, because I generally expect to like books before I read them.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Can’t think of one at the moment.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Nicholas Sparks – not a favorite necessarily, but pleasant light reading occasionally.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 5, 2010 10:36 am

    Funny! A Little Princess was one of my very favorite books as a child, too.

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