1. Favorite childhood book?
It was a set called "The Children's Classics," bound in deep, rich, shiny cordovan leather and embossed with the profiles of a young boy and girl, that came with our Encylopaedia Britannica. The set contained Black Beauty, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and many more. I read and re-read those books.
2. What are you reading right now?
Liar, Liar by K.J. Larsen.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None. Although I have a library card, I almost never have time to stop there.
4. Bad book habit?
5. What do you currently have
Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith; Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know, Hamilton Wright Mabie; Worth Dying For: A Reacher Novel, Lee Child; The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause, L. Frank Baum; The Reluctant Mage, Karen Miller; Hour of the Hunter, J.A. Jance; Diary of Samuel Pepys; The Mountain of Marvels, Aaron Shepard; and Decision Points, George W. Bush.
6. Do you have an e-reader?
My bosses gave me a Kindle for Christmas last year. I carry it with me everywhere. In fact, I love it so much that I bought one for my sister-in-law!
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
One book at a time. I'm a really fast reader, so it doesn't make sense for me to jump around too much.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not since starting a blog. My reading habits really slowed down, however, when I got a computer at home!
9. Least favorite book you read this year?
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It ranks right up there with The Bonfire of the Vanities, which I loathe and have never been able to force myself to finish. The Fitzgerald book has equally miserable characters.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Beatrice and Virgil by Yan Martel. It's a beautiful, terrible, immensely moving book.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
All the time!
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Cozies, mysteries, fiction and the occasional panty-dropper.
13. Can you read on the bus?
I can and do all the time.
14. Favorite place to read?
Everywhere and anywhere I have five or more minutes.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
I don't lend books any more. I'll give you a book if I'm done with it. If it's one of my all-time favorites that I read over and over again, I'll buy you one, but you can't have mine.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! That's sacrilegious!
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Again, no. But I do like the highlighter and notes features on my Kindle.
18. Not even with text books?
Ask me in January.
19. What is your favorite language to read in?
English. I can do a little Spanish and a little French, but not enough to do a whole book.
20. What makes you love a book?
Finely drawn characters. A great story line. The delicious details of time, place, and the five senses. Something that makes me stretch a bit. Being able to close my eyes and effortlessly envision the characters and the scenery.
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
I have to love the book myself, and know the reading tastes of the person I'm recommending the book to.
22. Favorite genre?
Who can pick?
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Business books. I really enjoyed Rembrandts in the Attic, Freakonomics and Digital Phoenix. I should raid my own company's library more often.
24. Favorite biography?
The Lyndon Johnson series by Robert Caro. Fascinating stuff.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
I'm Okay - You're Okay, and that was back in my hippy-dippy camp counselor days.
26. Favorite cookbook?
The Princess Mom's old Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?
Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiorty, by Tom Burrell (whom I also got to meet at the Chicago Book Fair).
28. Favorite reading snack?
Honey roasted cashews. Pistachios. Smokehouse almonds.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
I won't say "hype" so much as say I had an author believe her own hype so much her books became expensive and overrated retreads -- and that would be Janet Evanovich, who I no longer bother with.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don't read a lot of critics. I read a book because it interests me, not because of what someone whom I've never met recommends for or against.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews??
If the book is bad and I save someone else from wasting their time and money, I don't feel bad at all. If the book is a so-so book and is written by a blogger, I have a harder time with that because I want to love the book and do love the person. Still, I think you've got to be honest. I've read blogger-written books that I've loved, and I've read blogger-written books that just didn't do it for me.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Latin or Greek.
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character). Math and science are not my strengths. Still, Feynman makes it all approachable.
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
My next textbook.
35. Favorite poet?
John Donne. I love the way he uses secular language to describe religious themes and religious language to describe secular themes.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I don't. I do, however, usually have at least three or four books teed up on my Kindle besides the current read.
37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?
38. Favorite fictional character?
Piscine Molitor Patel.
39. Favorite fictional villain?
Tyrion Lannister, who is sometimes villain, sometimes not.
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
More light-hearted reading. I save the heavy stuff for home.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Two days... and it nearly killed me.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
See 9 above. I've tried three times and never could get through more than six chapters of Bonfires. I won't even bother to try again with Beautiful.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Nothing. I once let a chicken burn so badly it welded itself to the pot and the house was filled with smoke. Because I was reading, I didn't notice a thing. (Yes, The Princess Mom was pissed.)
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Not a single one. I'm always so disappointed with the film because it doesn't match my own imagined version. I read the book or see the movie, but never both. The only exception I'm going to make with this policy is the HBO miniseries of Game of Thrones.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Pat Conroy's Prince of Tides. Babs really stank that one up.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
What skim? I open and inhale.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Bad writing. Not one character or idea I identify with.
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
The Kindle does it for me. I've got a couple of series I like, and I keep them in order. Other than that, I keep organized by giving books away.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Give them away. There's not a chance in the world that I could afford to build the shelves to hold all of the books I've read. Besides, there's great pleasure in the giving and sharing!
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
No. (Other than textbooks. Which is about to change.)
52. Name a book that made you angry.
The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War, by James Bradley.
Also, The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created "Alice in Wonderland" (the writer is delusional and makes arguments in favor of a pedophile) and The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Life of Pi, because the cover art just didn't appeal and I felt it was over-hyped (and which turned out to be my favorite book ever) and The Poisonwood Bible, again because the cover art didn't grab me.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Moby Dick, or, the whale by Herman Melville. Gadzooks, what a miserable slog that was.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
The Vicki Lewis Thompson Nerd series. The Aunt Dimity series. Anything by Hester Browne. The Billy Boyle World War II series. Brad Thor. Lee Child. Karen Miller. Jaqueline Carey. My nemesis -- George R.R. Martin. Jonathan Kellerman (but not his wife Faye). Is that enough to start with?