I’m going to do this one because It looks easy. I’m supposed to be working, but blogging is so much more productive, don’t you think?
What was the last book you bought?
The World of Henry Orient by Nora Johnson. My review is here.
Name a book you have read MORE than once:
Oh jeez, I’ve reread so many! Probably the most reread is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I revisited them every year from age 11 or 12 until my mid 20’s.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Again, there are quite a few. One that really sticks out in my mind is Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It made me actually begin to see all people as having value. I was never very bigoted, but the novel opened my eyes to the ongoing struggle of African Americans and all minorities to gain a sense of identity in our intolerant society. (Note to self: blog about novels that change perceptions).
How do you choose a book; e.g., by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews:
I don’t believe I ever choose by covers because the aesthetics of a book can be totally deceptive. I choose by reading critiques from other bloggers or newspaper reviews. I have feeds to The Guardian and The New York Times Book Review, and I occasionally look at reviews from The Christian Science Monitor and The Los Angeles Times.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I prefer fiction 99% of the time.
What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Beautiful writing. If the author can’t put a decent sentence together, then the best plot ever imagined is going to have no significance at all. I often keep reading novels with sucky/ridiculous plots if the writing sings to me.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book):
Oh man, another really difficult one! Here’s a short list:
Eeyore (I know it’s dumb, but Eeyore and I are simpatico)
(Note to self: blog about favorite characters)
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
The Wordy Shipmates — Sarah Vowell
Ghost Road Blues — Jonathan Maberry
Harvard Yard — William Martin
I also have several kindle books waiting for me, and a bunch piled on the top of my couch, which is where I read most of the time.
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, and I’m still reading it. For some inexplicable reason, I’m having trouble getting through it, even though it’s very interesting.
Have you ever given up on a book halfway in?
All the time. The most recent I can remember is Brideshead Revisited. I was enjoying it, and then, all of a sudden, I totally lost interest. What’s up with that? I have a rule that I try to stick to now: if I’m fifty pages in and not liking the book, I’ll quit reading it. Life’s too short to waste time on mediocre or terrible books!