Saturday, 31 May 2014

A to Z survey

I saw this survey on Jen K's blog, and she apparently got it from Perpetual Page Turner. I like a good survey/list/meme on occasion, and this forces me to examine some of my reading choices, which is never bad.

Author you've read the most books from:
See, I thought this was going to be Agatha Christie, because in my early teens, I devoured absolutely everything they had by her in translation at my local library, and also read quite a few of the books in English. But according to Goodreads, it's actually Terry Pratchett. Which shouldn't really surprise me, as I think there are very few of his books that I haven't read now. I've also read a whole lot of J.D. Robb. By the time I've caught up with the In Death books, I may have passed Pratchett. We shall see.

Best sequel ever:
 Days of Blood and Starlight comes to mind, as does The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson also deserves a mention.

Currently reading:
Skin Game by Jim Butcher. It's amazing. I am also re-reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon in anticipation of her new book finally coming out.

Drink of choice while reading:
Coca Cola, or now that I'm trying to lose weight and cut pretty much all refined sugar out of my diet, Coke Zero. Or water. Very occasionally, in the winter, hot chocolate.

E-reader or physical book?
Nowadays, almost exclusively e-reader. I love physical books, I really do, but my reader is just so convenient, and remembers my place, and I can carry hundreds of books with me at all time. It's so much lighter to fit in my handbag, and more convenient to read on public transport, even when it's crowded and I have to stand up. Plus, the state of my bookshelves is now such that I pretty much have to get rid of a book to fit new ones on, and I don't like doing that. E-books don't take up shelf space.

Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school:
I was really not the sort of person who boys noticed when I was in high school and I was way too caught up in my books to pay any attention to boys either. I didn't get a boyfriend until I got to University, and I ended up marrying him, so really, dating has never been a priority for me. Still, I have a massive list of fictional characters I've had and still have crushes on. In high school, I first discovered Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books, so obviously fell madly in love with Jamie Fraser. Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars must surely be any teenage girl's dream boyfriend. Joscelin from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel books is another fictional man who makes me weak at the knees, but all of these guys are clearly way out of my league.

Glad you gave this book a chance:
Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson were both books I avoided for a long time, as I heard they had sci-fi elements. Written in Red by Anne Bishop put me off because I thought the cover looked naff, but ended up being one of the best books I read last year.

Hidden Gem book:
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery and the Empire trilogy by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts.

Important moment in your reading life:
Discovering Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Before that, I didn't really read comics or graphic novels. Joining the Cannonball Read and starting my blog back in 2009. Because of this review project, I read so much more now, force myself to think critically about the books I read and have made so many online friends.

Just finished:
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

Kinds of books you won't read:
I don't tend to read straight-up horror much, and it's rare that I like hard sci-fi. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, unless you count the occasional comedian biography. I find pretty much all chick lit I've read tedious, and what I think of as "boy books" - hard boiled action thrillers and such things rarely hold my attention. Which is ironic, because they get a lot less scorn thrown at them in general than romance.

Longest book you've ever read:
The Fiery Cross, which I'm currently re-reading, clocks in at about 1440 pages, depending on what edition you look at. The next book in the series, A Breath of Snow and Ashes is not much shorter. Pretty sure that's the the longest books I've ever read. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is a close third. George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss, who I thought might have the record, appear to have nothing on Ms. Gabaldon.

Major book hangover because of:
Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran and Changes by Jim Butcher are probably the last books I read that this applies to.

Number of bookcases you own:
Nine, although two are shockingly used to store mostly CDs and DVDs (I really should go through my DVD collection and get rid of some, so I have more space for books). Five of them are almost floor to ceiling, and about as full as they can get without me starting to shelve the books double. I also have a smaller one still at my Mum's house, that she keeps nagging me to come get, but we don't have any more space in this apartment. We should clearly get a bigger place, with more space for bookcases.

One book you have read multiple times:
Only one, really? OK, then. According to Goodreads, the book I've read the most times is The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, which doesn't really surprise me, as as a teenager, I think I read this book about once a year. I think the book I've actually read the most times is The Witches by Roald Dahl, which I've seriously read something like 20 times, in three different languages (Swedish, Norwegian and English). I loved that book as a kid.

Preferred place to read:
At home, usually curled up on the sofa. My mum has a really nice armchair that I love to use when I visit her.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
I so rarely actually remember quotes from books, but this one stuck with me: "Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put together unless and until all living humans read the book". from John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I feel that way about so many books.

Reading regret:
That with very few exceptions, I don't seem to be able to get into science fiction. There are so many people out there who love the genre, and unless it's pretty much just urban fantasy in space, I just don't seem to like it.

Series you started and need to finish (all the book are out in the series):
The Raine Bernares books by Lisa Shearin. I liked the first two, and just got side-tracked. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. I actually OWN all the books, in physical book copies, and still haven't got round to reading them.

Three of your all-time favourite books:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Unapologetic fangirl for:
Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Seanan McGuire, Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, Sherry Thomas, Jim Butcher, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Diana Gabaldon, Laini Taylor. I love a lot of authors obsessively.

Very excited for this release more than all the others:
Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I would quite possibly maim people for an ARC of this book. I got her previous two as ARCs through NetGalley, but sadly have not been lucky enough to score a copy this time.

Worst bookish habit:
Buying books and then totally forgetting about them. This has gotten worse since I started buying e-books. Then I don't even have a physical copy, but have to remember that the e-book file is stored on my computer and/or e-reader somewhere.

X marks the spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:
Haunted by Kelley Armstrong

Your latest book purchase:
Bitch in a bonnet: Reclaiming Jane Austen from the Stiffs, the Snobs, the Simps and the Saps, volume 1 by Robert Rodi. It was on sale on Amazon, and came recommended by Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

Zzz-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):
The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley. I nearly fell asleep on top of my e-reader in the end, and my husband forced me to turn the light off and go to sleep.

If any of my readers decides to do this (I know you're out there), please leave me a comment so I can check out your answers. 


  1. I loved The Thornbirds! And I decided to go to the gym this afternoon, so I took Written in Red with me to read while I was on the bike. I'm only going to let myself read that one at the gym, though, at least for the next few days, so that 1) I'll go the gym and 2) I'll actually get some of the things I need to do done. All your top three could have easily been on my list (although I'd probably go Persuasion over Pride and Prejudice). Agatha Christie probably could have been a most read author for me as well, but I read all her stuff back when I was in Germany almost twenty years ago, and have no idea which title I've actually read so Goodreads definitely wouldn't have helped me narrow down numbers for her.

    1. I should find a book that I'm only allowed to read at the gym too, I need something to motivate me to exercise more. I'm trying to cut out as much sugar as possible, and be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. My inner lazy person keeps resisting. I think I'm going to try to do the June Ab Challenge that I've seen several other Pajibans sign up for. That's at least one step in the right direction.