My thanks to the Orangutan Librarian for the following questions …
What book has been on your shelf the longest?
Nothing has been there that long for, having travelled across three continents and downsized dramatically over the past 10 years, not much has survived. The oldest are Centennial and Chesapeake – both by James Michener – great big lumps of books about America, telling the tales of one place across the generations. Both are falling apart now after so many re-reads.
What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?
I’m currently reading a non-fiction book on the subject of depression. My previous was a light-weight read from Jodi Taylor – Doing Time – a new spin off from a much enjoyed history/time travel series. The next one? Something off my wintry reading list if I didn’t finish it last month (which seems highly likely).
The Goldfinch. Despite it’s Pulitzer Prize winning status and my being a huge fan of Donna Tartt’s other books, this one left me feeling really rather meh. I had a real problem with the action sequences in the later stages in particular. Tartt’s forte is detailed descriptions, which simply doesn’t translate well to action sequences; they ended up feeling turgid instead of exciting.
What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
I used to think I should read more classics – Dickens in particular – but I’ve decided life is too short, and there’s not nearly enough time to read all the books I actively want to read, so why bother with should? If I like the idea of a book – I’ll read it.
Pretty much as above. I’m now in my early sixties and don’t see myself retiring anytime soon, having just started a new career as a Life Coach. I’ve not saved a book, since one of the later Harry Potters came out, when I waited to start it until I’d have the opportunity to read it straight through without a break. But I only had to wait a couple of days …
Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?
Wait till the end, of course. Why on earth would I want to know the ending before reading the story?
Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
Not interesting, even occasionally verging on the pretentious. When they’re the equivalent of an Academy Award speech where you give airtime to people whose work would otherwise remain in the dark, I guess there’s some merit.
Which book character would you switch places with?
I can’t say I’ve ever had that thought. If pressed to make a choice – perhaps Jo March.
Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (place, time, person?)
Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness – one of Alexandra Fuller’s memoirs of her life in Southern Africa. I’ve not lived in that part of Africa, but there was much about her depiction of family dynamics which resonated strongly with my own experience.
Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.
The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood. I was given this by a man fairly early on in our relationship. He had Aspergers and believed it was important I understand fully what I was taking on, to ensure that I had the necessary support in place. He was a smart guy. The relationship didn’t survive, but it wasn’t due to his Aspergers.
Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?
The same book as in the previous question. I gave my copy to a dear friend who was just embarking on a relationship with a man who clearly had Aspergers. Unlike the man I’d been dating, he was still very much in denial. Their relationship is still going strong, I’m delighted to say.
Which book has been with you most places?
Only my Kindle …
Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?
Nope. There was only one book I hated reading in school and I’ve no intention of wasting my time trying it again for it was dull, dull, dull.
Used or brand new?
A mix. My previous preference was for brand new, for my dream was to live in a house filled to the brim with overflowing bookshelves. That dream has been considerably downsized, so much is now purchased on kindle and only gets upgraded to paper/hardback if I know I’ll want to keep to re-read it. I buy a fair number of used books nowadays – especially professional reference books.
Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
Yes – two. At the height of the noise about Da Vinci Code, I took a copy on holiday. Unknown to me, my other half took Angels and Demons on the same holiday. I ran out of books to read and, in rural Italy, finding anything not in Italian proved an impossibility. So I read both. At least I can say I’m not commenting negatively on something I’ve not read, unlike Fifty Shades …
Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?
Nope. But I do love the film of To Kill A Mockingbird as much as the book.
Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?
Every single cookbook I’ve ever read 😉 although I’ve a preference for those which tell a story, not just provide you with recipes; I particularly love Nigel Slater’s books for that reason. I’m especially delighted with a recent purchase which has taken me back to my childhood in India – Dishoom: From Bombay with Love. We stumbled upon one of their London restaurants while looking for somewhere to eat a late breakfast on the morning of my daughter’s wedding; it proved to be a fabulous way to start the day.
Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
There are people I engage with on Goodreads whose opinions I value highly. But, until recently, there was no one in real life. After reconnecting with someone from schooldays, I was delighted to discover we share a love for many of the same books. So, Sarah is the one person whose book advice I do now take.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Zombies are very much not my thing, nor is horror of any kind, but this outstanding read was selected by another member at my old book club. One of the many reasons I advocate finding a good one, if you can.
This one was just for fun, so do pick a question – any question – and share your response with me! You can pick more than one to answer if you like …
© Debra Carey, 2020