Eva’s Reading Meme! at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

23rd January, 2008
Eva’s Reading Meme!
— Love @ 21:35 Comments (7)
Filed under: Memes

Eva over at A Striped Armchair posted this meme yesterday and since I really liked the questions, I figured now was as good a time as any to post my first meme in this blog. I suspect I will now find myself on a slippery slope and include more of them in the future, but you never know, eh? (Not that I mind memes. I just don’t quite see when I’ll have time for a lot of them, with all the other things I’m meant to be doing/want to do. Moderation is probably key in this, as in so many other cases. Too bad I suck at moderation! ;))

Enough of my blabbering and onto the questions:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
I don’t even know the proper titles of the books, but they make up The Millenium trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. Absolutely everyone and their mother has read them, and loved them, it sometimes seems and I just get more and more reluctant to read it. Not that I ever really planned to anyway, but every time I hear someone say how brilliant it was, I become even more convinced I don’t want to read it. Since I’m currently in a bit of an anti-Swedish phase, I can pretend that that’s the reason, but I know it’s not really.

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?
Mr Darcy is a given, I’m afraid! I’m not more original than that I am completely and utterly in love with him and I think he’d be utterly fascinating to spend time around. The second character would probably have to be a certain Horatio Hornblower, from somewhere in the middle of his career. I can never get over the fact that he sees himself in such a completely different light than everyone around him, and I think it’d be interesting to be in his presence and know how he sees himself. Third and final character I’d choose is Lord Peter Wimsey, for no better reason than that he is made of win! The social event would have to be a ball, I think. An early 19th century ball. Darcy, Hornblower and myself would be completely ill at ease with the social situation, and Lord Peter Wimsey might be a bit out of his time, but I think he’d hold up well enough comparatively. I’ve always wanted to go to a proper Regency-era ball, but if I am to be honest with myself, I am such crap at social gatherings I’d probably not enjoy myself the way you were supposed to at those things. So what better company to keep than others who do not feel comfortable (plus one snarky little devil)? We could hide away in a corner and discuss Things. Of course, I’d probably not be able to get away with that if being seen as a proper young lady, but hey! Regency drag would look pretty cool too!

(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?
I imagine, if the one book I read by him is anything to go by, that I would pick one by DH Lawrence. I read Women in Love a couple of years back and I swear I was bored to tears during most of it. What made it the most annoying, though, was that there were hints of it getting interesting every now and then. So I’d read and read and read, and it would be boring, boring, boring, then for about a paragraph or two (sometimes even a couple of pages), I’d be enjoying myself, and then it was back to being boring, boring, boring again. I finished the book, though, because a part of me was hoping there would be more of the interesting stuff, but also because I thought it was on the BBC Top 100 list. It was neither of those things, of course.

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?
I honestly can’t think of one. I can think of a couple I’ve mostly skimmed through, or never quite got ’round to finishing, and sometimes I try to divert attention from that fact, but none of those are books I’ve never been anywhere near.

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?
I think I might not have read Dickens’s David Copperfield, even though I usually say I have. There was a period when I read a couple of his books and watched a couple of screen adaption at the same time, but I can’t say for sure that I really read Copperfield, as opposed to just watching it. I’ll probably never find out, either. I should just read it now to make sure that I really have done it.

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)
Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s got humour and witches and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff (probably technically more important to the actual plot). What’s not to like?

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?
French. I used to be so much better at French than I am at the moment (I got lazy and stopped practicing, which obviously was not good for me), and I have a couple of French books in my TBR pile, but with the state my French is currently in, I don’t know that I’ll ever get to read them. But since I could probably do it again if I just had a little discipline, a better choise for my fairy wish might be Russian. I think that would just be incredibly neat. I know there’s not much chance of me ever reading the Russian classics in original, which I’d love to, unless there is fairy intervention. ;)

A mischievious 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?
I’ll go with Eva’s answer to this question: Pride and Prejudice. I read it about once every other year as it is, so making it once a year instead would not require a great deal of effort, plus I rather think I’d enjoy it. P&P was the first book I read in English (and I do mean first. Not first one that wasn’t one of those abridged, easy-to-read versions), it was the first whole book I finished in French (I had read one or two of those basic, French-for-non-Frenchies books first though) and it remains the only book I’ve read in three different languages.

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)?
Quite simply put: reading challenges. I discovered the existence of such through a book blogging community on Livejournal and it really got me hooked. The reason I even started a book blog again (I’d had a couple before, but they all died when my domains expired or I got out of the habit of updating regularly) was so that I would have a place to post about reading challenges. I think it’ll be interesting to see what participating in all of them will do to my reading habits. I know that when I started keeping track of all the books I read, I spurred myself on to read more than I did previously (the first six months of keeping track, I read thirty-five books. The following year I read one hundred and fifty-six).

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.
I would love to have a room where the walls are completely covered, floor to ceiling, with book cases. There would be spaces for the doors, of course, but even over the doorways there would be bookshelves, so that no space was wasted. I’d like a couple of huge windows, deep-set in the walls, so that one could sit curled up in the window with a good book. There’d be at least one of those little ladders on wheels to make for easier access to the books up high, and a couple of huge and comfy armchairs with good reading lighting by them. The type of books found in the room doesn’t really matter. Anything and everything, really. Just as long as there are books enough that one can pick and choose according to one’s current mood. I can’t say I’d be terribly disappointed if a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard managed to find its way onto a shelf, though…

Technically, I’m now supposed to tag four people, but I’m not sure I even have that many regular readers. I’ll tag three, and that’s the best I can do (if they honour the tag is another matter entirely ;)).

And Eva had another little thing to say about the meme:

[I]f you leave a comment letting me know you’ve done the meme with a link to the post, I’ll give you some link love via a big list on this post of who’s participated. If in that post, you link back to this one, I’ll also enter you in a drawing to win my ARC of The House at Riverton (see my review below). If you’re an American, this is especially exciting since it isn’t going to published until April. ;) To be in the drawing, you must have posted the meme (and commented here) by February 5th, which is when I’m holding the drawing.

  1. T.Y. wrote:

    oooh, Mr. Darcy! Good choice. If I were to meet Mr. Darcy I may have to spend weeks in preparation so I can live up to Elizabeth Bennet’s verbally sparring abilities.

  2. Eva wrote:

    You’d have a ton of fun at your ball! Yumminess. :) Your library sounds delightful as well-I didn’t even think about good reading light, lol. I love Good Omens as well.

    Reading challenges are very addictive!

  3. My Very Own Reading Meme… « A Striped Armchair wrote:

    […] Other People’s Answers! Ted (Bookeywookey) Lisa (Books.Lists.Life.) Love (Straytalk) TY (The Lit Connection) Posted in Meme, […]

  4. Love wrote:

    T.Y.: I am certain I would make a fool of myself in front of all three of them, but no amount of preparation would make it any different — I make a fool of myself in front of everyone! ;)

    Eva: Good reading light is essential! Mostly because I’m half-blind (well, not quite) and I’d really hate for my eye sight to get even worse. And reading challenges are really addictive indeed! They’re fun participating in and they’re fun to start.

  5. Tea » a meme wrote:

    […] Love tagged me for a meme, and I can’t say no to memes! Here are her answers, if you are curious. And here are […]

  6. Framed wrote:

    I love the idea of a regency ball. And Good Omens is a great recommendation. I loved that book.

  7. Love wrote:

    Framed: I’ve wanted to go to a regency ball ever since I was eleven. A friend and I used to try to come up with our own steps to the country dances, since we didn’t have access to the proper ones. Success was not always ours, though. ;)

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