A to Z Survey

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Excluding children’s picture books (sorry Mo Willems), it’s Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, because of the 28 books in the Alice series. But if we could go back in time and count all the Baby-sitters Club books I read before Goodreads, I think Ann M. Martin would top the list.

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Best sequel ever:

Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore. It’s the third book in the Graceling Realm series, but the second book was about different characters than the first book, so this one is more like a sequel to the first. I wanted to reread it immediately when I finished, and I still need to do that!

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Currently reading:

Rashomon, by Ryunosuke Akatagawa; Four Plays, by Wallace Shawn; and Nights at the Circus, by Angela Carter. (I’ve actually finished Four Plays now but I’m just going to leave it here.)

Drink of choice while reading:

The primary requirement is that it be hot: sake, green tea, hot chocolate, a latte, or just hot water with lemon and honey.

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E-reader or physical book?

Physical book. To date, I have only read one book on an e-reader (Divergent, by Veronica Roth, on my sister’s Kindle, and that’s because she lent it to me and demanded I read it).

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:

Leaving aside the fact that I went on exactly one date in high school . . . I would have swooned to pieces over Moriyama from Othello, by Satomi Ikezawa. He’s cute, he’s a musician, he’s kind. Teenage me is already pining.

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Glad you gave this book a chance:

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski, which I wouldn’t have wanted to read if I’d known anything about it in advance. I’m not really into boy-and-his-dog type stories, but describing this book that way would be a huge undersell; it was absolutely gorgeous and I’m glad a friend convinced me to read it.

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Hidden gem book:

The Hope Chest, by Karen Schwabach. It’s a middle grade historical novel about two American girls who join the suffrage movement of 1920, with great characters and (obviously) a fantastic setting. It only has 184 ratings on Goodreads and 38 on LibraryThing, which is SUCH a shame.

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Important moment in your reading life:

When I finally started listening to audiobooks in my mid-twenties. I never had before that, because I’m a very visual person and it’s hard for me to concentrate when I’m not looking at the words. I also just really prefer a physical book in my hand. But we lived with my in-laws for a little while after I got married, and my mother-in-law was listening to the Mrs. Pollifax books by Dorothy Gilman. This is funny because I’m also not that into mysteries as a rule, but I just really enjoyed listening to them, and I made an important personal discovery: audiobooks let you continue reading even when you’re doing things that would usually prevent you from reading. Like driving, or laundry, or anything around the house. It’s still a challenge for me to concentrate sometimes, but I’ve read 80 books this way now (according to my Goodreads shelf), including some that I think are probably really, really best listened to. This was a major shift for me.

Just finished:

What You Really Really Want, by Jaclyn Friedman

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Kinds of books you won’t read:

Westerns and romance; that’s pretty much it. I don’t mind romance in books, but if the romance is the sole point of a book, I’m not going to be into it.

Longest book you’ve read:

According to Goodreads, Lord of Chaos, by Robert Jordan, at 1011 pages.

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Major book hangover because of:

I have it every time I finish the Harry Potter series again . . . Usually when I’ve finished a fantasy series, because you get so drawn into a different world that it’s hard to come back out.

Number of bookcases you own:

Three full-size (one’s a built-in, so we technically just rent it), one half-size cubby-type thing, and various shelves around the apartment.

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One book you have read multiple times:

Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy

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Preferred place to read:

Outside, if the weather is beautiful. Inside, anywhere quiet with a comfortable chair and a view of outside, preferably trees.

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Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“We carry the lives we’ve imagined as we carry the lives we have, and sometimes a reckoning comes of all the lives we have lost.”

H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald

Reading regret:

That I didn’t keep track of anything I read before 2010, when I discovered Goodreads. I feel like I’m missing thousands of books from those 25 years of my life, which is probably a gross exaggeration, but also I know for a fact that I often read more than one book a day in elementary school and junior high, so maybe it’s not that exaggerated.

Series you started and need to finish (all books are out in series):

Sabriel; Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn; The Dresden Files; Discworld . . . I need to read The Return of the King to finish Lord of the Rings . . And these are just ones I actually intend to finish, not the ones I got bored with (Maze Runner, Mortal Instruments, maybe The Lunar Chronicles) or that were too rapey (Song of Ice and Fire).

Three of your all-time favorite books:

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver. A Personal Matter, by Kenzaburo Oe. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison.

Unapologetic fangirl for:

Rat Queens.

Very excited for this release more than all the others:

Hannah Kent’s new book, coming out in October! I’ve been waiting since reading Burial Rites in 2014.

Worst bookish habit:

I’m not sure. Is it taking home eleventy thousand books from the library and then feeling stressed while they sit on my TBR shelf as I try to read everything? Or not being able to give up a book until I’m a few hundred pages in, even though I’m really not enjoying it?

X Marks the Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

On the color-coded shelf, Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D., by Brian Michael Bendis; on the shelf in my bedroom, Longbourn, by Jo Baker. The 27th book on the other shelf in my room actually belongs to Significant Other, so I didn’t count it.

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Your latest book purchase:

Out, by Natsuo Kirino, which I was surprised and thrilled to come across at my favorite used bookstore. (You can see it in the picture on the shelf behind Spider-Woman; it’s the one with the eye.)

ZZZ-snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late):

High School Debut, by Kazune Kawahara, the whole series. I loved these, and manga goes so quickly that it’s hard to put down when you really need to go to bed.

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I feel like Zezee’s blog always has good book tags; that’s where I saw this one, which was apparently created by Jamie, the Perpetual Page-Turner. I like it much better than the one where you’re supposed to find a book from your personal collection for each letter of the alphabet. I tried that one and got bogged down trying to choose between several favorites for most of the letters, then having nothing for Q. Note to self: purchase The Queen of the Tearling, which I love anyway, so that future book tags may not be so difficult.

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