Book Q+A

I admitted on Twitter the other day that my blogging inspiration tank is running on empty at the moment. However, I did see this over on Skye‘s blog and decided it’d be a bit of fun while my brain takes some time to sort itself out.

One of my favourite bookshops, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, taken by me on honeymoon.

One of my favourite bookshops, Shakespeare and Company in Paris, taken by me on honeymoon.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Merivel by Rose Tremain, a sequel to one of my favourite books from last year, Restoration. Instead of being set in the court of Charles II, the action has now moved to Versailles. I’m also reading a book about the effect of the Black Death on Europe, which is cheery.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read after you’ve finished this book?

I have a huge ‘to-read’ list, but I think I’ll read some of the books on my Kindle. I was recently sent a very interesting looking book which is so not my usual thing. I’m looking forward to having something utterly new! I also have a cracking Jean Harlow biography that needs reading too.

Five books you’ve always wanted to read but have never got round to?

This is hard, because I do read A LOT, both for pleasure and for work. I suppose A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood is the one I would most like to read (and really have no excuse not to have done.) I’d also like to read some Dostoyevsky and Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, as I love the film.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?

I have Marie Claire, as I buy those for work (we use it as a case study for A-level students) and I have this month’s Red magazine, which I really enjoy, even though I think I’m a bit young for their target audience. Or maybe not, now I’m pushing 30!

What’s the worst book you ever read?

I really, really hated God Was A Rabbit. Sloppy editing (seriously, if the publishers can’t pick up on the wrong homophone being used, it really bugs me. Must be an English teacher thing.) I also thought the plot was ridiculous. If ONE of those unfortunate things happened to someone, you’d be amazed, but the whole litany of problems? UGH. I threw the book across the room when I finished it.

What book is really popular but you really hated?

The Great Gatsby. Ugh. Overrated by a mile. Saying that, love the aesthetic and will probably see the film. But if you want 1920s fabulousness, try reading some Evelyn Waugh instead.

What’s the one book you recommend to everybody?

Hmmm, either The Book Thief or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Both are fantastic in their way.

What are your three favourite poems?

Before I taught English, I hated poetry, but now I definitely have favourites. At our wedding, my sister read Love’s Philosophy by Shelley. No Coward Soul Is Mine by Emily Bronte is amazing and inspirational and otherwise, anything by William Blake would make my list. The only poem I can recite is Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen.

Where do you usually get your books?

I tend to buy secondhand, but I’m using the library much more these days as well!

Where do you usually read your books?

In the bath and in bed. Since having D, I’ve tried to make some time each day to read, even if it’s just ten minutes.

When you were little, did you have any reading habits?

I read everywhere I could. I also used to devour whole series of books, like Mallory Towers etc. From the age of about six, I would always ask for book tokens for birthdays and Christmas.

What’s the last book you stayed up half the night to read?

I just finished a biography of Marilyn Monroe. It wasn’t groundbreaking or anything- I just had to take it back to the library!

Have you ever ‘faked’ reading a book?

As an English teacher, I respectfully decline to answer this question, haha!

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

Yes! A book called Girl, Reading. I read it on honeymoon. It was a collection of short stories based on paintings of women reading. An interesting concept.

Image: For Books’ Sake

What was your favourite book as a child?

Hands down, Matilda! One of the great things about having my own child is that I’m slowly building up his library with all the books I had when I was little. I’m looking forward to introducing him to Roald Dahl when he’s older!

Which book changed your life?

I’d say The Book Thief. It’s a book that’s stayed with me for years and the only book to ever have made me cry twice! I’m not sure I could re-read it, but I have struck up conversations with strangers about it. Such a fabulous book.

What is your favourite passage from a book?

I’m not very good at remembering this kind of thing, but the quote I chose is from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Bronte. It’s a book that, at the time I read it, surprised me. To say it’s written by a young, isolated woman in the mid-19th Century, it’s amazingly modern in some aspects of its outlook. This quote seems especially relevant to me at this time in my life:

“If you would have your son to walk honourably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them — not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone. “

Who are your top five favourite authors?

Sarah Waters

Karen Maitland

Anne Bronte

Haruki Murakami

Rose Tremain

What is your favourite classic book?

Either anything by Anne or Emily Bronte or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Five notable mentions?

I love Gone With The Wind and Breakfast at Tiffany’s is well worth a read. I’d also recommend checking out the catalogue of Persephone Books, especially books by Dorothy Whipple!




8 thoughts on “Book Q+A

  1. ameliaflorencesimmons says:

    Urgh, I’m similarly low on blogging inspiration at the moment, must be something going around! Loved this though, I might have to pinch it. And you’ve given me some good ideas for what to put on my reading list.

  2. nanacathy2 says:

    Hi, I’m here because of Hannah above. So that’s three of us now who don’t like the Great Gatsby! And I love Anne Bronte- under valued I think. And Gone with the Wind. Can’t wait to do my own answers! And now to check Skye!

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