Friday, January 25, 2008

Eva's Reading Meme

It's another somewhat uninspired day in the Andi and B. household. I don't have to be at work until noon, so I'm lounging around in my jammies (see a pattern here?) eating Cheerios and watching "Once Bitten" on Encore Mystery. I haven't seen this movie in years and had forgotten just how bad it is.

Anyway, I have lots of practical things on the brain today like new car insurance coverage, picking up touch-up paint for my beloved Accord from Honda this morning on the way to work, and cleaning the house. Need to. Don't want to. I also need to get pants tailored, book myself a haircut, and I would really love to be reading.

SO, I'm going to take advantage of Eva's Reading Meme! Great questions! Thanks for coming up with them, Eva!

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See. I actually own it now after finding it on the clearance shelves at Half-Price Books on my trip to TX. It's a short novel, everyone raves about it, but it just bugs me. The title bugs me, the cover bugs me. I will read it eventually, but it might take a leap of reading faith.

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? I'd probably bring my favorite literary villainesses to life and let them scratch each other's faces off. I'm thinking Estella from Great Expectations, Zenia from The Robber Bride, and who could be my third? Hmm, I'm drawing a blank. Maybe I'd throw in one sane character and Snow White from Bill Willingham's Fables could keep me company while Estella and Zenia kill each other.

(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? The Odyssey...again. Because I'm quite sure my lot would be to read the most boring book in the world just one more time. I've already read it three times, and I hope I never have to go back!

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? Mrs. Dalloway. I know SO MUCH about the plot from hearing others discuss it that I feel like I've read it.

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? Jane Eyre and The Age of Innocence. I haven't read the final 30 pages of either one. I really need to rectify that.

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) The Great Gatsby could be a nice companion for most celebs I can think of. They need a good dose of the American Dream's dark side. Maybe then they wouldn't screw their lives up quite so badly.

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? Russian. I tend to have a very hard time with Russian translations, and I can only hope the original writing is much better and more pleasant to read.

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? The Lord of the Rings! I absolutely love it and need to re-read it. The sheer size has kept me from re-reading it so far, but I just know I will one day. Once a year would be heavenly.

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)? I don't know that book blogging has pushed my boundaries necessarily, but I do find an intense satisfaction in the book blogging community from being able to talk about ANY genre I might enjoy and know that there's someone out there who's lovin' it too. Whether it's an off-the-wall indie or sf or graphic novels or YA. Someone will want to talk about it.

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 definitely want a library of pristine trade paperbacks. They're gorgeous, they're comfortable to hold, they travel well. As for the decor, I would want a large, airy room with lots of windows. Any book lover wants floor-to-ceiling shelves with a one of those nifty sliding ladders. I would also like a large aquarium built into the wall because watching fish is incredibly relaxing. As far as seating goes, I think I'd really like an overstuffed chaise lounge that I could curl up in or stretch out in for those marathon reading days. The walls would be peppered with gorgeous art, I'd love a view of the mountains, and a maid to come in and replace all my books to their proper places.

And now, let’s say everyone has to tag four people. I tag…
Heather F.
Amanda A.

Have fun, ladies!


  1. Oh, I so hear you on Snow Flower! I have it on my shelves and find myself annoyed by it's very existence, even though EVERY ONE I know who has read it, loves it.

  2. LOL! I was going to have a librarian come to mine to put them back but I went with a tracking system for my books instead. Great minds think alike! Mine's up too.

  3. Oh, fun questions! I'll try to get to them this weekend.
    I didn't love Snow Flower.. but I didn't hate it either. It's worth reading for the foot-binding chapter. Makes you really thankful you didn't live in China at that time! ;)
    I've got The Great Gatsby on my Reading Dangerously list. Time I finally read it.

  4. The Great Gatsby would be a very good idea! I'm with Tanabata on Snow Flower, so maybe it's not quite so irrational! I was hesitant to read it as well. :)

  5. Those were great answers. I liked Snow Flower just ok. And, I am with you on wanting an overstuffed chaise for the library. That would be a must! I actually found one at Ikea that I really like - we just have nowhere to put it :)

  6. I've read Snow Flower, as well as her latest, Peony in Love, and have mixed feelings about both. While I enjoy the way she writes, the story lines are somewhat dark and static. And yes, the footbinding descriptions are horribly compellins.

    I just discovered Lisa See has written a mystery series set in contemporary China, and I purchased the first volume which looks quite promising.

  7. LOL, Courtney! I'm glad I'm not the only one. I don't know what it is about it that bugs!

    Chris, can't wait to read your answers!

    Nat, I'm looking forward to giving it a try. HOpefully sooner than later, but I always say that. lol I hope you love Gatsby as much as I do!! It's my most frequently re-read book! (up to five times I think)

    LOL, Eva. Y'all are making me feel much better about my irrational dislike.

    Iliana, I hear ya. I'm going to try to squeeze one into my office when I get one set up. I might end up with a regular chair and an ottoman, though. The chaise I have in mind is huge. lol

    Ravenous, I noticed Peony in Love at the college library the other day. If I like Snow Flower at least I know where to get more of her stuff for cheap! ;)

  8. I didn't love Show Flower. In fact, I now avoid reading Wild Swan and 3 Daughters because I don't think I can face another depressing Chinese novel. But a mystery by See does sound interesting.

  9. I just posted mine!

    I've never really wanted to read Snow Flower either. Has a lovely cover, but something just repels me.

    You sure you don't want to be meet the Big Bad Wolf instead of Snow White??

    You haven't finished Jane Eyre??? What am I going to do with you???

    I am going to read The Lord of the Rings this year. I AM going to read The Lord of the Rings this year. I AM GOING to read The Lord of the Rings this year. Do you think if I say it enough it will come true?

    I said lots of windows and floor to ceiling shelves, but I just it possible to have both?

  10. OOh I put LOTR as well for my book to read every year. I think it gets better with each revisit.

  11. Maybe you should add Lydia Gwilt to your trio of villainesses. I'm sure she could take them both on! :)


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