The New York Times ‘By the Book’ Book Tag was created by Marie Berg on YouTube and I saw it done by Hilary on Songs Wrote My Story. Hilary was kind enough to tag anyone that wanted to do the tag; it sounded like fun so I thought I’d give it a go!
What book is on your nightstand now?
I have to be honest, when I went to type nightstand, I mistakenly wrote bookstand first. It’s much more accurate because there are about twenty different books on my nightstand at the moment and I don’t think I can fit all of them here. I selected these three because they’re closest to the top: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, and Heartless by Marissa Meyer.
What was the last truly great book you read?
I’ve got two for this question and for two different reasons: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson was a truly great book for an engaging, fast read that I gobbled up. The Search for Aveline by Stephanie Rabig and Angie Bee was a truly great book for a slow enjoyment that I took my time with because I didn’t want it to end.
If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
Terry Pratchett! He’s the creator of Discworld, a series of over 40 books that was began in 1983 and completed in 2014/15 (The Shepherd’s Crown was completed in 2014 and published posthumously in 2015).
As for what I’d ask him, I don’t think there’s anything in particular I’d want to know. I’d hope we could just chat about his work and from there I’m sure questions would pop up. I usually think of questions in the moment.
What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?
I read a pretty wide variety of books, so I don’t think there are any that would be too strange to find on my shelf. I think the biggest “surprises” would probably be the non-fiction books because I tend to read more fiction than anything else. Books like A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes or The Anatomy of Bibliomania by Holbrook Jackson are some examples of the non-fiction you’ll find on my shelves: even when it’s not fiction, it’s still book related!
How do you organize your personal library?
In theory it’s organized thus: all comic books or manga are organized alphabetically by title because with the manga I’m not 100% which is the proper last name, and with comic books I’m not sure whether to go by author or artist. All other books (fiction or non-fiction) are organized alphabetically by the author’s last name. Within a single author’s work, it’s organized chronologically by the publishing year (and all books within a series follow their first book, never separated).
I, however, ran out of bookshelf space ages ago, so there are actually teetering piles on tables all over the house that have no order to them, kind of like the mess being created in the gif above!
What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?
Oh, we’re being serious? That list is, how shall I put this, quite a bit longer than I’d care to admit. My Goodreads TBR shelf is standing at 1,192 books as of writing this. If I had to narrow it down, really had to make a choice or I’d never be able to read again, I guess I’d have to say the rest of the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde. I’ve had to books for ages, but I’ve never gotten around to catching up and my best friend is always asking about them.
Disappointed, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like, but didn’t?
I have a somewhat complicated relationship with this story. I was first introduced to it when the movie was released and I went to see it by myself. In 2005, I apparently had not hit my stride for British humor yet because I ended up hating it. Fast forward several years, I decided to give it another chance for some reason and I end up loving it. Thankfully, because it really is a lot of fun and Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent is a treasure.
I wanted to finally read the book last year and did so because a) my job allowed me to take advantage of my Audible subscription and b) Stephen Fry narrates the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy audiobook (did you know he was the voice of the Guide in the movie?).
I have to say that I was disappointed by the book. I enjoyed most of it, say 75% or so, but then things just got so bogged down and boring. I couldn’t believe this was the same story, regardless of being different mediums. Zaphod Beeblebrox really needs to be on film to be brought to life, I think, because on “page” he wasn’t as funny as he was in the film.
What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
I try to stay away from books in which there’s graphic violence toward animals. It’s simply not something I can stomach and I can’t imagine how the author could have written it. I don’t have any examples, thankfully, so let’s hope my record of avoiding that will keep going for awhile longer.
If you could require the President to read one book, what would it be?
Are you sure I can’t just lock in him a library for the next four years?
Well, if you’re sure, then I’d say A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. It’s the story of first generation Americans that bring up their children in poverty, always with the mindset that education and hard work will help you get ahead in life. There are setbacks and always the stark reality that there is never enough money for what they want much less what they need, oftentimes not even enough for food. I think reading about this experience might be eye opening for the person we’re talking about here.
What do you plan to read next?
Remember that Goodreads TBR I mentioned earlier? Yeah, it’s not getting too much smaller any time soon because there are so many interesting sounding books coming out soon! Some of the ones I’m looking forward to the most are: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, Perfect (Flawed #2) by Cecelia Ahern, and Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor.