Monday, May 22, 2006

Meme a la Bookslut

Reading memories:

20 Years Ago: (age 5) I was beginning to learn to read and it was not easy going. It's the perfect irony, I suppose, that while I now devour books like the choicest drug, I had a hard time learning to read. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a nutty perfectionist and I got SO ANNOYED learning to read. I didn't wanna do it unless I did it perfectly. That said, at the age of five I enjoyed Sesame Street books and She-Ra Princess of Power the most. No highbrow stuff at that age, thankyouverymuch.

10 Years Ago: (age 15) I was a total whore for anything horror. I was addicted to L.J. Smith's adolescent paranormal books (The Vampire Diaries...still a favorite) and Stephen King. I remember ripping through Salem's Lot and The Shining in the waiting room of a hospital when my grandfather was admitted. I also read Rose Madder in record time that year on vacation.

5 Years Ago: (age 20) I went through a long dry spell in high school and the beginnings of college. I read sometimes, but not voraciously like I do now. However, what changed all that was picking up Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast--expats gone wild as I like to call it. It was gorgeous and wonderful and got me reading again.

3 Years ago: (age 22) I was back in full swing after the dry spell. Looking back in my book journal I see that I was reading The Handmaid's Tale (Atwood); The Cheese Monkeys, still one of the funniest books I've ever read (Chip Kidd); Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason...another one of the funniest books ever (Helen Fielding); and Who Cooked the Last Supper? A Women's History of the of the best women's studies EVER (Rosalind Miles).

Last Year: (age 24)Was a great reading year. I hadn't yet started grad school and I was working, but I still had plenty of time to read. I think I read 58 books total, and some of the best were:
The Interpreter of Maladies (Jhumpa Lahiri)
The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman)
gods in Alabama..not a typo (Joshilyn Jackson)
The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
The Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood)
Silas Marner (George Elliot)

This Month: (age 28) Has sucked! I've been busy, so I've only read the PostSecret book, which was good, but not terribly substantial.

Booking some more

3 Favorite Reading Locations: on my stomach on my bed, on the loveseat in our sunroom, the kitchen table

3 Reading habits: I'm anal about condition of my books. I don't mind bent spines or anything, but if a cover is bent I'm likely to freak.

3 Things that distract me: TV, people talking at or around me, music. I could've just said "noise" and saved myself some time. I used to be able to block ANYTHING out, but in my old age I find that I can't do it anymore.

3 Characters I’d love to be: Estella from Great Expectations (who's surprised?), Dina from The Red Tent, Joan from Pope Joan

3 Three Characters I despise: the asshole father from Pope Joan, Jacob from The Red Tent, and Lord Asriel from His Dark Materials

3 Favorite Book Beverages: Diet green tea with citrus, vanilla-caramel coffee, caramel/chocolate chai tea

3 Favorite bookmarks: I have a huge collection of beautiful bookmarks, and I cherish them so much that I don't use them for fear of messing them up. So, I stick to store receipts and sticky notes.

3 Dead Writers I’d love to meet: Willa Cather, Flannery O'Connor, Zora Neale Hurston

3 Alive Writers I’d love to meet: Siri Hustvedt, Joyce Carol Oates, Dan Clowes


  1. I'm gonna guess that you're studying literature in one of the fine schools of Texas. If so, congratulations/condolences from a fellow grad student.

    Your love of books is quite refreshing, especially in a day and age where people tend to revere time more than wisdom, which demands a lot of time.

    I've read a few of the books you mentioned in this and subsequent entries, but I'm more inclined to buy what Barnes & Noble (I'm sneering as I write this) refers to as non-fiction. I'm fortunate in that many of the writers that I respect and admire are still living. I've actually been able to meet a few, and correspond with others.

    Perhaps it might be a good idea to Joyce Carol Oates. She might write back.

    It was good to hear from you over at my blog. We're not exactly literary, but you're welcome to come back anytime.

  2. Oops, I menat to write that it might be a good idea to drop a line to Joyce Carol Oates. Unfortunately, they don't let you edit comments on blogger.

  3. Andi, have you ever read the comic Fables? If I remember correctly, you're into retelling of fairy tales, no? I've been getting caught up on this comic and it's wonderful!

    Check it out if you haven't, I think you'd like it. It's a part of the DC Vertigo line, so there lots of swearing and comic book sex.

  4. I met Joyce Carol Oates at a reading last year. She had a great sense of humor, and was so kind when I asked her to sign my copy of Beasts.

    I just started What I Loved by Hustvedt. I'm only about 20 pages in, and I'm hooked!

  5. Good list Andi.

    Diet Green Tea?? That's just too good for you that it may be bad.

  6. Loved reading this. I loved She-Ra too! How cool!

    I still haven't found any LJ Smith's books. Keeping my eyes open though.

    And wow, I've known you over 3 years, cause I remember you reading The Cheese Monkeys. I didn't love it as much as you though.

  7. Oh yeah, HOUSE tonight!!! shriek!!!

  8. X.Dell, Not sure about the "fine school" part, but I'm certainly a TX graduate student. :) While I do enjoy non-fiction, I find that fiction is my true loooove. As for corresponding with authors, I've had some luck in that department. I've corresponded with Anita Diamant (The Red Tent), Donna Woolfolk Cross (Pope Joan), and Joshilyn Jackson (gods in Alabama). They were all very nice, and it's always a rush to hear from someone I admire. Maybe I'll try Oates one day! I never thought of it. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Heatherina, I'm such a fan of Fables! I'm actually doing part of my thesis over it! Yay!

    Jessie, I'm SO GLAD you're reading What I Loved. I think you'll adore it...especially given the fact that you enjoy Oates. Hustvedt is very Oatesian.

    LOL, Dipper. At least it tastes good!

    Heather, time flies when we're havin' fun and reading, huh? I can't believe it's been three years. Although, I think I met you right after I started book grouping (2001), so it may be more like 5 years. Wow! OH, and I wore my House vs. God shirt Sunday! I love it!

    Sam, yes! You must!

  10. Wow. 5 years. Time sure does fly. And woo hoo for the House shirt!!! You need to post a pic!

  11. Good idea! I'll try get a pic up later this week. :)

  12. Random Sam reading trivia: I don't use bookmarks. I don't (heaven forbid) dog-ear my books. I just close the book when I'm done, and find my place when I pick it up again. My Chicken does the same thing. We're weird like that I suppose.

  13. Wow, Sam! That takes gumption! I don't think I could expend the brain power to get back to exactly where I was.

  14. Hmmm...very interesting, and it's actually not too far from my own reading experiences. I might steal this, as I've had nothing to really blog about.

  15. Last year you were 24 and this year you are 28? That must be the new math I've been hearing so much about lately.

  16. I'm stealing this, lovey. And I agree with x. dell. Your love of books IS refreshing, like Massengill for the mind.

  17. Denaroo, I do believe that's the finest compliment you've ever given me.


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