Memes archive at Stray Talk
an archive of my forays into fact and fiction

Archive: Memes

27th June, 2008
Another meme
— Love @ 17:00 Comments (2)
Filed under: Memes

I’m way behind on my reviews and I think at this point it’s probably just easier to give up and face that I won’t get around to writing about all the books I’ve read this month. At least I haven’t read very much this week—only about half a book—as I’ve simply not had time. I spent the last three days in London, and boy, do I love that city! We had good weather too, which is always nice. Actually, all the times I’ve been in London, I don’t think I’ve been rained on more than three times.

Anyway, I came back with a sunburn (I forgot the sun block, being a bit of an idiot and all), a few new books, English snacks, Jelly Belly jelly beans and some new clothes. A good trip, in other words!

While I was away, Eva tagged me for a meme.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago I was on summer holidays. A friend and I house-sat my aunt’s house while she and her partner were away on vacation. We looked after the chickens, read a bunch of books, went for swims in the lake and generally had a good time.

Five Snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world:
1. McCoy’s salt and malt vinegar crisps
2. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Dublin Mudslide especially. Yum!
3. mini mozzarella pizza
4. chocolate-covered coffee beans
5. cheesecake, Swedish style (but only Vrigstad’s), with whipped cream and jam

Five Snacks I Enjoy in the Real World
1. slices of fresh pineapple
2. dried apricots (but only the dark kind), dates and figs
3. apple slices with peanut butter
4. frozen green peas
5. ice lollies

Five Jobs I Have Had
1. instruction manual folder
2. manual labourer (mostly digging and painting)
3. pharmacist

Three of My Habits
1. I’m obsessive about recording what I read. I write it down in an Excel spreadsheet, a notebook and this blog, as well as in a wall calendar.
2. Every morning, before going to work, I check my e-mail, Livejournal friends list and the feeds I subscribe to.
3. I scratch at my scalp. I can’t seem to stop, and as a consequence I almost always have one or two scabs I keep picking at. Disgusting, but true.

Five Things I Would Do if I Was a Billionaire
1. Donate to charities.
2. Give presents to family and friends.
3. Buy a house.
4. Pay off my study loans.
5. Quit work and spend most of my time travelling and/or reading.

Five Places I’ve Lived
1. Umeå, Sweden
2. Eskilstuna, Sweden
3. Flahult, Sweden
4. Bordeaux, France
5. Lund, Sweden

Five People I Want to Know Better: (i.e.: the tags!)
T Y, Kim L, Banquo, Stephanie and Iliana (but only if you want to, of course).

20th June, 2008
Two memes
— Love @ 19:00 Comments (1)
Filed under: Memes

I have been tagged for two memes.

The first one is from T Y and seems to be about books in general.

*A book that made you laugh: Apocalypso by Robert Rankin. The Most Amazing Man Who Ever Lived by same.

*A book that made you cry: Fool’s Fate by Robin Hobb. About three quarters of the way to the end the pages in my copy start showing signs of water damage. That’s all I’m sayin’. ;)

*A book that scared you: Cujo by Stephen King

*A book that disgusted you: Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley

*A book you loved in elementary school: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (though I’ve later realised that the one I read was a highly edited version)

*A book you loved in middle/junior high school: Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. Emily’s Quest, by same.

*A book you loved in high school: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson.

*A book you loved in college: As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. Mélusine by Sarah Monette

*A book that challenged your identity: Faghag by Linda Leopold (maybe. Or it confirmed it. I don’t know)

*A series that you love: the Farseer/Tawny Man trilogies by Robin Hobb. The Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries by Dorothy L Sayers

*Your favourite horror book: Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist

*Your favourite science fiction book: Making History by Stephen Fry. A Strong and Sudden Thaw by RW Day (I’d classify it as fantasy myself, but the cover says it’s sci-fi, so I guess I’ll have to trust it).

*Your favourite fantasy book: either The Golden Fool or Fool’s Fate, both my Robin Hobb

*Your favourite mystery book: Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers

*Your favourite (auto)biography: A Liar’s Autobiography by Graham Chapman

*Your favourite “coming of age” book: Duktig pojke by Inger Edelfeldt. Leave Myself Behind by Bart Yates.

*Your favourite classic: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

*Your favourite romantic novel: A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

*My favourite book (non-fiction): The Complete Jack the Ripper by Donald Rumbelow

*My favourite short story(ies): I hardly ever read short stories, so I’m afraid I can’t think of a favourite.

The second meme is from Word Lily and is Read-a-thon related.

If I had 24 hours to read, be my goals would be:
To read as much as I possibly could and see how many books I might be able to finish in that time.

This is what I am going to have to do to get 24 hours of reading:
I haven’t decided yet if I will stay up the full 24 hours, as my time zone makes it a little tricky, especially coupled with the fact that the Euro 2008 final is played on the evening of the 29th and I go back to work on the 30th. But to keep myself up for as many of those 24 hours as possible, I expect I shall load up with caffeine and snacks, and maybe go for a short walk now and then to get fresh air.

If someone asked me for recommendations of “can’t put down” books for the read-a-thon, I would recommend:
It’s so hard to recommend books to others, I always find, because I’m never sure they’ll like a book as much as I did. However, a couple of “can’t put down” books for me, personally, are Mélusine by Sarah Monette, Now & Then by William Corlett, Leave Myself Behind by Bart Yates and A Strong and Sudden Thaw by RW Day (the latter which I’m going to write a review on in a tick).

If you participated in the October 2007 read-a-thon:
I didn’t, so the last two questions don’t apply to me. I wish I’d known of it when it took place, though, because I would have loved to participate in that one too.

For you, what was your favorite part of the October read-a-thon and why?
How many hours/ books/ pages were you able to read in the Read-a-thon?:

I won’t be tagging anyone, because I figure most people participating in the Read-a-thon have already done that meme. Also, I’m lazy. So anyone who wants to do either of these memes, but haven’t been tagged by anyone, can consider themselves tagged by me. ;)

27th April, 2008
An apology and a meme
— Love @ 07:48 Comments (0)
Filed under: Contests, Memes

I’m sorry I haven’t tallied the scores for the quotation contest yet (I expect to do it later today). First my internet was down (I hate when that happens), then I sort of got so caught up in watching old episodes of Scrubs that I forgot everything else.

As there were only two entrants, counting up the points isn’t going to be terribly hard. Basically, if you entered, you’re going to win a gift card, but it still remains to be seen which one goes to who.

Obviously, I will also post all the quotes again, but this time with title and author so you can see who wrote what and so on. I have a nagging suspicion it was a little too hard. Damn me for liking so many books relatively few other people have read and enjoyed (though there were some proper classics in there as well, actually).

And now, a book meme!

Bold the ones you’ve read, underline the ones you read for school and put in italics the ones you started but haven’t finished

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife (got about three pages in and decided I couldn’t stand the writing style. My friend whose taste in books is often the exact opposite of mine loved it, so I should’ve known)
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex (I got it from the library along with a bunch of other stuff and didn’t have time to finish it before I had to return it. One day, though. One day)
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel (it wasn’t terribly good, though)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo (I’ve started on this so many times, but I’ve never read the whole thing through. I need to do so soon!)
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons (never!)
The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise)
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Because I love numbers: there are one hundred and six books on the list. I have read twenty-seven and started, but not finished, seventeen of them.

20th March, 2008
Bad news
— Love @ 17:52 Comments (3)
Filed under: Memes

(I removed the test that was here because it really messed up the layout. Sadly enough. Basically, I was apparently 91 % book nerd.)

I got some bad news this morning, so I don’t know if I’ll get much reading or blogging done in the next few days. But I’ll be back eventually, you can count on that.

6th March, 2008
Meme: Six Word Memoir
— Love @ 22:17 Comments (4)
Filed under: Memes

I was tagged for a meme by Kim L and it’s the first time in my book blogging life I’ve been properly tagged, so now I feel all special (even though I probably shouldn’t ;D). The idea was to write your own memoir, using no more (or less) than six words.

At first I thought that it sounded terribly hard and couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I would pick. Then Elvis jumped up on the bed and suddenly it wasn’t so tricky any more.

Voluntary solitude with cats and books.

And here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4 .Tag five more blogs with links

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

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.