Friday, August 20, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Meme of Reading Questions

btt button

I got this from Lorette‘s blog and couldn’t resist adopting it for all of you.

Ooh, how delightful! One of those long questionnaire things. I haven't done one of these in a while, so this will prove quite a challenge to complete.

1. Favorite childhood book?
Hmm... I'd have to go with my much-loved copy of Maria Elena Paterno's The Girl who Fell From the Sky and Other Classic Philippine Legends. I was always a lover of fairy tales and dramatic legends with vengeful gods and some rather dim-witted (as I liked to observe back then) people. I loved Albert Gamos's illustrations; it was impossible to tire of inspecting every nook and cranny of his drawings. I miss it; I have no idea where it went.

2. What are you reading right now?
Uh, technically Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott but right now, I'm in the mood for some lighthearted fiction (preferably of the romantic variety). My shelf currently contains a lot of heavy reads (a.k.a. eating disorders, disfigurement, date rape). The lightest I have is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare and it's gotten great reviews, so I've started that. Sure, it deals with accusations of witchcraft but apparently there's a sprinkling of romance, so I'm clinging to that. :D

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
I have lots of books on request; 14 of them in fact. Lemme go check my account. -is back- This is going to take a while. Aurelie: a fairy tale by Heather Tomlinson, Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, The Changeover: a supernatural romance by Margaret Mahy, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCollough, The Season by Sarah Maclean, Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, Soulless by Gail Carriger (which I've just recently finished, the precise reason why I'm in an amorous mood), The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne (put on hold long before reading Soulless), Stolen by Lucy Christopher (particularly eager for this one), Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn (been longing to read one of her books, specifically because of the numerous accolades she's received).

In short, mainly YA, mainly romantic, some fantasy, some adult. But boy, do I love them books.

4. Bad book habit?
Hmm... I'm particularly iffy (a.k.a. scrupulously careful) when it comes to books. I make sure to scream at my sister whenever she mishandles any one of them. I do have a bad library habit of borrowing more than I know I can read. I treat libraries like they're bookstores, seriously.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Ahaha, and now I can demonstrate my bad library habit. I currently have 49 books out, 1 short of maxing out my card. I don't think anyone wants to know the whole lot of them but rest assured that almost all of them are YA, most of them heavy, spanning a whole lot of genres (sub genres?). I have a few adult books as I was feeling a bit naughty at the time (hmm) AND I quite enjoy reading them.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
Sadly, no. Unless Adobe Reader counts?

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I actually prefer to read one book at a time, as my memory muddles terribly and I confuse plotlines, storylines, and even character names. I prefer not to get too irritated at myself. Ah, but Living Dead Girl is so ingrained in my mind that I can hardly forget it, so it is merely the exception to the rule.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I've actually only been blogging for just about a month now so it's hard to tell if there's been a significant change. I suppose you could say I try harder now to read as many newly released books as I can find in my local library.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Hard to say... I always find something good in every book I read but I really disliked the message Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick was sending, along with Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. Biggest. Letdown. Ever. I didn't like Uninvited by Amanda Marrone all that much either.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Huh. That is equally hard to say. Probably Ice by Sarah Beth Durst (made me feel those this-is-why-I-read tingles), Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (absolutely hilarious, unpredictable, and just delicious) and Goblin Fruit from Laini Taylor's Lips Touch: Three Times (oh, wanting beautiful boys, teenage turmoil, just one taste!). All were summer reads (since I can't remember what I read before that).

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I suppose not very frequently. I usually like to play it safe with YA fantasies; very rarely do I venture into adult territory (the page count! Especially that Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell book -shudder- and Stephen King's Under the Dome. Holy mama). I'm trying to branch out though; I do have some adult books on my shelf. One at a time, one at a time.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
YA, fantasy, romance, humour. Give me an urban fantasy tossed with hints of faerie a la Holly Black and I'm in heaven. I try the occasional vampire/werewolf book, but only if reviews are highly enthusiastic. I enjoy realistic YA too, but I insist on humour; even if the outlook is bleak, a hardy seed will grow with the teensiest bit of sun, you know?

13. Can you read on the bus?
Oh, yeah, definitely! I've yet to miss my stop and I'm looking for a book that will do just that.

14. Favorite place to read?
My bedroom, when it's quiet and I have a blanket to curl up under. It helps if I have some saltwater taffy on hand.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
Give it back to me in the same condition as it was when I lent it to you. I get quite irritated when a nice book has been reduced to the state of kindling.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Good heavens, no! Dear God, are you mad?

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Absolutely not! That is the very highest blasphemy I have heard (or read) from anyone.

18. Not even with text books?
Only when I am extremely bored (and that is nearly every single school day). I do erase it though. Sometimes.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. Sadly, it takes me quite a bit of time to plow through Tagalog and French (though both languages take me approximately the same time to read).

20. What makes you love a book?
Humour, strong characterization, delightful dialogue, a most wonderful plot, and if you want to throw the kitchen sink into the mix, a sense of the absurd.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it makes me sigh at the end, frantically flipping the pages to reread my favourite passages, sigh over beautifully sketched scenes, then I would highly recommend a book. If it addresses an important issue and the execution is brilliant, then even better. If the language is just delectable, then you're a shoo-in.

22. Favorite genre?
Fantasy, hands down. Romance comes in second.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Hmm... I suppose you could say suspense/horror? Or the classics, because I'm saving those for when I'm ripe and wise.

Favorite biography?
Ahem, only biography I've ever read--Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman. Charles Darwin is, surprisingly, a fascinating man. And his relationship with his wife along with his family dynamics make for interesting reading.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Er, how would you define a self-help book? Hmm.. I read a book on dating once (even though the possibility of going on one is obviously another one of my fantasies). It was hilarious and made me want to go on a date just to test it out.

26. Favorite cookbook?
I remember enjoying a children's cookbook once; could not, for the life of me, remember the title, only that it described chocolate chip cookies and fried doughnuts to exquisite, marvelous and photographed detail.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Mostly Happy by Pam Bustin. Had to read it for my school book club and her journey is pretty impressive. Actually, the most inspirational book I've read this year was the last book I held in my hands--The Glass Slipper, by Eleanor Farjeon. I just admired the way Cinderella stuck to her optimism and did not let anything bring her down. She just found happiness, something to be happy about in even the most dire of situations.

28. Favorite reading snack?

Ah, I would have to say cheese puffs (though the stains they leave are remarkably vibrant) and saltwater taffy (though it does get pretty messy--yet deliciously so).

So incredibly long that responses after this note are 10 days late. Woops.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Hum, well, it wasn't hype as much as my own expectations--and well, I suppose the hype surrounding the Simon Romantic Comedies line. I've been thoroughly satisfied with them in the past but my most recent read from the line was a bit lacklustre. But I guess that's just me, so I won't directly mention it.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Surprisingly frequently--especially with things like pacing and the lack of satisfaction. Of course, by critics, I mean Amazon reviewers. :D

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Very reluctant; I really don't feel comfortable bashing a book but I'm working on it. Well, not the bashing, more like the reluctance. I'm generally a positive person, so my reviews reflect that but again, I'm working on it.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Ancient Greek or Latin. Yes, definitely. I want to read the works of Homer in the original language. Along with the other classics.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Hum, I haven't really been reading any intimidating books that I know of, but perhaps How to Write and Speak English Better, which was some sort of subscription gift from Reader's Digest (must clarify with grandparents) when I was 6 or 7ish. That tome was heavy--though it helped that it had comics! Didn't really finish (more like skimmed).

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Anything Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Thackeray. And Mitchell--Gone With The Wind is just huge. And well, I don't know if my analytical skills are developed enough for me to begin those books anyway, so...

35. Favorite Poet?
I really like Ellen Hopkins' novels in verse. I consider her a poet (and a skillful one at that). So I suppose she is currently my favourite poet.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
This will sound ridiculous but I usually have it maxed out. As soon as I return a batch, I have to get a new one to replenish the stock. My account just feels so empty without the full 50 materials checked out.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
Too often--not enough time and usually too much homework. I shouldn't have an excuse this summer, but really, this has been the busiest family wise so I'm usually tired. Why am I making excuses for myself again?

38. Favorite fictional character?
I love spunky Ella from Ella Enchanted, and Cassie from Ice. Right now, I'm loving Sarah Agnes Prine from These is my Words. Oh, and let's not forget the eponymous Frederica of Georgette Heyer fame!

39. Favorite fictional villain?
The one that comes to mind is Lord Henry Wotton from The Picture of Dorian Gray. He's not treated as a formal villain but the way he seduces Dorian is hypnotic and quite subversive that I just think of him as one anyway. Or am I out of my depth here?

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Ella Enchanted, the latest fairytale retelling (hey, I don't discriminate!) and most likely a book with some sort of romance in it. The books I bring on vacation are usually library books, so they vary according to my current addiction/phase. We'll see.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Probably four months--back in the Philippines, where my only sources of books were bookstores (which I treated like reference libraries).

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Alas! I am going to get stabbed but Emma by Jane Austen was something I just could not finish. I got to about page 70; I know I should've kept on going but my goodness, Emma was shaping up to be a huge pain in the you-know-what with her haughty attitude and, from what I recall, her selfishness and I just couldn't take it anymore. I was probably not in the right mood, as Austen's writing sparkled as usual; it's just Emma got on my nerves constantly. I'm definitely going to reread it in the future.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Music, because then I just have to get up and dance (like a lunatic) to it. I'm serious.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Hum, film adaptation? Well, I adored the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, which was filmed (albeit shown on television, which is probably not what you meant by that question, eh?).

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The most recent one is Twilight. I mean, Bella completely lacked personality (which, upon perusal of the original novel, is not too far from the truth), Edward was...not as smoldering as he was in the books and Jasper looked constipated all of the time. I read the books back when I was an impressionable seventh grader and I just loved them. But once I viewed the film adaptation, the sparkle (pun unintended) was gone.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I think it was 25$ for the hardcover of Breaking Dawn (bought on the release date, because I was hardcore like that).

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Just a quick look at the summary, a little riffling of the pages, a furtive glance at some words here and there and then I'm all set to read it. And that's for every book.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
An annoying protagonist, not very realistic decisions/chain of events, the slowest pacing in the universe and the prospect of overdue fines. *shudder*

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yessiree! Got them all lined up in a row according to due date on my bookshelf (at least the last time I checked).

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Keep books! Unless I feel the need to spread the word to a reluctant reader. Otherwise, I'm a packrat.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Classics. I haven't been in a classics sort of mood lately. And The Handmaid's Tale, which is going to make up my Novel Studies units in the upcoming year. Urgh, school.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph (what I'm currently reading) because of the MC's mom. Seriously, what a self-centred mother. I just can't stand it.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Landing by John Ibbitson. I just--There was something about it that I thought was well-done. Plenty of layers of themes and it just gets to you like bam. So glad I was part of the White Pine Book Club at my school.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
At First Sight by Catherine Hapka. I was expecting something light, romantic and gorgeously fluffy but I didn't quite get what I wished for.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Fairytale retellings. Seriously, anything with fairytale elements in it, throw it at me. I will love you for it.