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Val's BookBlog

Ten Bookish Questions (meme)

I think this was started about a month ago. Thanks Troy's Blog. Here we go.


  1. What book is on your nightstand now?


You mean books. No nightstand, but I have 10 or so books right next to my bed. I am shuffling through all of them. Some are books I’m re-reading. Some are waiting to be read. Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason. The Return of the King by Tolkien (I have started that book a few times already). Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Radical Sanity by Elizabeth Wurtzel. The Beach by Alex Garland. Much Ado About Nothing by....well, you know.


  1. What was the last truly great book that you read?


That’s a tough one because many pop into my head. If I had to narrow it down I will say Atonement by Ian McEwan. Oh, and Life after Life by Kate Atkinson.


  1. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?


William Shakespeare, duh. His plays read like poetry. It’s like he had metaphors just leaping off his fingertips. Certain English phrases were invented by him right? He helped expand the English language. I don’t think I would try to have a conversation with him. Instead I would go backstage during one of his rehearsals and watch him in his element.


  1. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?


In the last few years I have been reading more science fiction. I surprised myself with this.  


  1. How do you organize your personal library?


I really don’t. 


What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. Anything by Proust. A few classics I can’t think of right now.


I was scolded recently at a party for not reading The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I am not embarrassed not to have read that though. I have nothing against King, (I like him, in fact) but there are bigger books out there still unread.  


  1. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?


I couldn’t get into The Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline. Not a bad book, but I didn’t care enough to finish.


Back in college my roommates were raving about The Da Vinci Code. I kept hearing about the suspense and the amazing plot. I picked it up out of curiosity. It was horrible in every way. I usually don’t like slamming authors, but I can’t constitute Dan Brown as a real writer. They call it a hack.


  1. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?


I am not against any genre. If it is well written I will read it. I love Dickens and his stories of foundlings finding their way (Great Expectations, Oliver Twist). I love Gothic mysteries like Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. Tudor Historical Fiction.

It’s an eclectic mix.


If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?


They have time for that?


  1. What do you plan to read next?


I would like to read Annihilation, the first book of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. I have heard it's a mindscrew though, and I have to be in a certain mood for that type of thing.