55 questions & a string of answers

Sunday, January 05, 2014

via pinterest
This little (ha) questionnaire has been tossed about a few of my favorite blogs lately, and I thought I'd give it a whirl. It's rather long, I should warn you - 55 questions - but I tried to keep my answers short and to the point, so as not to bore those of you brave enough to read all the way through. Enjoy.

1.  Your favourite book as a child?
The Little House books, or any Nancy Drew mystery I could get my hands on. I read about 5 a week...

2.  What are you reading right now?
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy Sayers. Never one at once, I tell you!

3.  What books do you have on request at the library?
None at the moment. But it won't stay this way for long...

4.  Bad book habit.
I start too many at once; sub-category: I get too many out of the library at once.

5.  What do you currently have checked out from your library?
C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce & Out of the Silent Planet, along with a dusty old book of Deitrich Bonhauffer's, with a title I can't remember.

6.  Do you have an e-reader?

7.  Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or do you tend to read several at once?
Several at once, though once I get into a book I tend to neglect the others until I've finished said book.

8.  Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not that I was aware of...although I've certainly gotten many more book recommendations.

9.  What was your least favourite book this year?
Probably A Raisin in the Sun. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable with reading screenplays.

10.  What was your FAVOURITE book this year?
To Kill A Mockingbird must surely be on this list, but I read so many other splendid books that I cannot possibly narrow it down to one. The Eagle of the Ninth, The Grand Sophy, and The Fellowship of the Ring must also be on the list.

11.  How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Considering the fact that I don't have much of a "comfort-zone", not very often.

12.  What is your reading comfort zone?
I'll read practically anything, as I eluded to in the previous question, but biographies, how-to books, very wide and awkward books and ugly books usually keep me at arm's length. They say don't judge a book by its cover but I've never been able to abide by that principle very well.

13.  Can you read in the car?
Yep - if it's quiet.

14.  Where is your favourite place to read?
Bed, of course! I would say outside, but I tend to get distracted.

15.  What is your policy on book-lending?
I'll lend a book to you, but if you loose it you better have an escape plan.

16.  Do you ever dog-ear in books?
Yes - especially if I don't have a pen at hand for underlining.

17.  Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Some books - non-fiction and theology more than anything.

18.  What about text books?
Momma wouldn't be very happy about that now would she?

19.  What is your favourite language to read in?
If I knew enough French to make reading in it a logical feat, I would still probably say English, simply because I understand it so much better.

20.  What makes you love a book?
I love coloured description, vivid characters, and a good, rolicking plot.

21.  What would inspire you to recommend a book?
If I love a book, I will recommend it to anyone and everyone the end.

22.  What is your favourite genre?
Does 'Classics' count as a genre?

23.  What is a genre you rarely read but wish that you did?
Probably theology. I tend to forget it exists until someone stuffs a book under my nose and tells me to read it.

24.  Favourite biography?
Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober.

25.  Have you ever read a self-help book?
I read Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird, but not for the sake of helping myself. I wanted to get a taste of Lamott's writing style more than anything, and it did turn out to be pretty good.

26.  Favourite cookbook?
Well this one is pretty darn fantastic.

27.  What is the most inspirational book you have read this year?
The Eagle of the Ninth was inspiriting writing-wise, but for overall life I think Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton takes the prize.

28.  Favourite reading snack?
Chocolate, nuts, or dried cranberries. I have a very crumbly eating style.

29.  Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
If by this you mean I disagreed with the general concensus on a book, Divergent by Veronica Roth would probably fall there. Most people I talked to loved that book (which should have been a tell-tale sign) and I just have a calm sort of affection for it. It was not the masterpiece it was worked up to be, and I should have known that would be the case with a popular-YA-dystopian-fiction.

30.  How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I'm not in the habit of reading critics' reviews of books, though I will read a few generally held opinions on Goodreads from time to time. If people I trust/respect like a book, I'll probably pick it up.

31.  How do you feel about giving negative reviews?
Perhaps I'm too fearless for my own good, or too arrogant, but I get into my head that the world ought to know how much I disliked a book if I really did dislike it. I try to put things nicely and not fly off in an all-fire rage, though. Nobody likes an angry reviewer, and that's the truth.

32.  If you could read a foreign language, which would you choose?
French, simply because I know the most of it besides English. It would be neat to know Greek or Hebrew, however, to read the Bible in its original text.

33.  What was the most intimidating book you've ever read?
Les Miserables. And I haven't even finished it...

34.  What is the most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin?
Books don't generally scare me...maybe the rest of The Lord of the Rings? They are rather wordy.

35.  Who is your favourite poet?
Robert Frost is a first-rate fellow. Just read this...

"I turned to speak to God
About the world's despair
But to make bad matters worse
I found God wasn't there

God turned to speak to me
(Don't anybody laugh)
God found I wasn't there
At least not over half."
-Not All There by Robert Frost

36.  On average, how many books do you have checked out of the library at any given time?
About 6 or so. Probably more.

37.  How often do you return books to the library unread?
Too often. And it's a bloody business trying to get them back...

38.  Who are your favourite fictional characters?
Thank you for that plural. I don't think I could get it down to one if I tried for hours. Let's see...Henry V (Henry V), Scout Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird), Charles Rivenhall (The Grand Sophy), Eustace Clarence Scrubb (The Chronicles of Narnia), and Peregrin Took and Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings).

39.  Who is your favourite fictional villain?
I love to hate Fagan in Oliver Twist. Don't ask why.

40.  What are the books you are most likely to take on vacation?
Anything easy to read and perhaps a bit sappy. Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen, basically.

41.  What is the longest you have gone without reading?
Probably longer than I would like, but I really have no idea.

42.  Name a book that you could not or would not finish.
Wicked. I'm sure the Broadway show is great but the book is a horror.

43.  What distracts you easily when you're reading?
Anything can have the potential to distract me, unless the book is enthralling (or I'm nearing the end). I'm very easily preoccupied.

44.  What is your favourite film adaptation of a novel?
Oo, I love Kenneth Branaugh's version of Henry V, though that's not a novel but a play. I'll say To Kill A Mockingbird (which keeps showing up in these questions!) because Gregory Peck is fantastic.

45.  What is the most disappointing film adaptation?
Jenny already took the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice, so I'll bash Ella Enchanted. The book was alright but the movie...ugh.

46.  What is the most money you have spent in a bookstore at one go?
Not much. I wait for birthdays and Christmas to ask for books (and then in abundancy) and in the meantime use the library. As a student with no real job, it's very hard to walk into a book store without cringing at prices.

47.  How often do you skim a book before reading it?  
Once or twice maybe, but I hate to ruin the end. I usually just flip to the first page and begin.

48.  What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?
It takes a lot to stop me, as I don't like leaving things unfinished, but a large amount of inappropriate material (be that unneccesary amounts of foul words or unseemly behavior blatantly displayed) will always raise the red flag. Also a plot/characters that I can't connect with...but even then I usually finish the book anyways (and take out my dispair on Goodreads. XD)

49.  Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes, very: I can't stand a messy bookshelf. But I don't organize by genre or author or title - very loosely perhaps by topic...oh, and I put my favorite books together. So they'll be in good company, you know.

50.  Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you're done with them?
Why. Would. Anyone. Give. Away. A. Book? Even the worst of literature makes a great blazing fire. XD

51.  Are there any books you've been avoiding?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I can't make up my mind whether it will be worth my time to see what the hype is about or not.

52.  Name a book that made you angry.
The Murder of Rodger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. The resolve was terrible.

53.  A book you didn't expect to like, but did?
Actually, To Kill A Mockingbird again. Daddy got the book for us when I was about six, putting it up and saying it would be good when we were older. I didn't look at it again until Elizabeth read it for school two years ago and loved it. I don't know what exactly looked so undesirable about the book to me beforehand, but now I've read it, it's one of my favorites (as you can probably tell).

54.  How about a book you expected to like, but didn't?
Northanger Abbey. After reading a few of Austen's better loved classics, I decided to give this one a try. It is supposed to be a Austen-ized horror but it's really just very strange. I can't remember if I even finished it or just looked up the ending on SparkNotes.

55.  Favourite guilt-free pleasure reading?
Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood. They're always fun and fast reads, with good morals and dynamic characters.


  1. I seriously think Jane Austen's brother wrote the end of Northanger Abbey so he could publish it after her death. It is so incredibly rushed and convenient, like she wasn't sure how to end it but realized she needed to okay get together marry happy ending great we're done phew!

    Based on a sketchy knowledge of the book and movie, I suggest not bothering with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. If it's half as graphic, or even has half the content, that the movie apparently does, it could be retitled "Why Some People Choose to Home School." I looked up the movie when it came out, thinking, "Oh, Emma Watson! Yay!" And then: "Oh. Ohhh. Ha...ha...no."

    1. Mm, thanks for the advice! I actually was looking into the book this afternoon (we were at the library) and I think that little flip-through was enough to tell me it wouldn't be a very pleasurable book. Aside from inappropriacies it's also flat-out wierd... O_o

      If only every movie Emma Watson was in was good. I haven't seen any of her movies but I've got quite a sweet taste of her character from Pinterest and conversations with friends. And since it's very rare to find an actress I like these days, when I do find a nice one I'm afraid I stalk them down. ;P

  2. I am like you,I read more than one book at a time. I've a friend who thinks I'm insane for it, but I find it hard to read just one.

    C.S. Lewis! Wonderful writer.

    I've read so many blogs that the authors have talked about To Kill a Mocking Bird. I really need to find it this summer and read it.

    Oh, learning Greek and Hebrew and reading the Bible it the originial text would be so wonderful I think.

    1. I don't see how anyone can just read one book at a time - how on earth would you ever finish them all? ;)
      To Kill A Mockingbird is an excellent book. Scrounge up a copy however you will because it's worth it.

  3. Hi Bree!
    Let me tell you I have read your blog for quite some time and I really enjoy it- the way you write is just..ohhh, can't explain it but I love your style of writing. I have watched Pride and Prejudice 2005 version and I love it- much to my friends dismay- but I must confess I've never read the book before so if I ever get around to reading it I will probably hate the movie. I agree with you on Ella Enchanted-its one of my favorite fantasy books- I watched the trailer of the film version and lets just say when I thought of an actress playing Ella. Anne Hathaway was the last one to come to mind.
    Anyway I really love your blog and your sister Lizzy's - I actually found out about Tales of Goldstone Wood through y'all and am now enjoying Veiled Rose because of your book reviews.

    1. I'm so glad you like my writing style, Morgan! It's really very helpful to get some encouragement along the way as a writer, because I'm afraid we too often get down about the work we are putting out. (Just like artists. :P)
      I have to say, the book Pride and Prejudice will entirely change your opinion of the movies (and, I hope, will lend you more to the 1995 version for it's accuracy). I have nothing wrong with the 2005 one as a movie on it's own, however...it's just not Pride and Prejudice to me. ;)

  4. The 1995 version was not the 1st version of P&P that I saw. Usually, I tend to be loyal to the first version I see, but, in this case, the 1995 was so well done that it immediately became my favorite.


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