Saturday, April 4, 2009

Book Meme

Saw this at The Boston Bibliophile and thought it was too late to do it now. Then I saw that Rebecca at The Book Lady's Blog had posted it on Friday. So here's mine:

1. Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?

Trade paperback, rheumatism make the others more painful to hold.

2. Barnes & Noble or Borders?

I've shopped in both and somtimes found that Borders had a wider variety of literary fiction. But online Barnes & Noble is my favourite.

3. Bookmark or dog-ear?

Bookmarks, I would never dog-ear any book.

4. Amazon or brick and mortar?

Brick and mortar all the way, I want to touch them, smell them, and be with others who love them too. But I'm disabled now so have only online to choose from, for which I am very grateful.

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?

Alphabetized by author but shelved seperately in groups by original language, culture, or interest: Jewish, African American, South African, Japanese, English lit, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Latin, Greek, psychology, philosophy, poetry, essays and literary criticism, reference, Biblical studies, medical etc. When my son was a little boy he pointed out that I had "segregated" my books and hadn't I said that segregation was bad?

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?

Keep, give to those I think will enjoy them, have giveaways on my blog, swap on Bookmooch or Readers United, trade in at second hand stores, donate to my public library, leave somewhere in the manner of Bookcrossing, donate to charity. I believe in recycling book as much as possible.

7. Keep dust jacket or toss it?


8. Read with dust jacket or remove it?

Remove to read then put back on to shelve it.

9. Short story or novel?

Novels-the longer the better. I read some short stories but only exceptionally good ones like Salinger, Sillitoe, Lawrence, Maugham, etc.

10. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

No non-realistic fiction for me.

11. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

I stop just anywhere and read back a bit when I return to the book.

12. "It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?

Dark and stormy night I suppose, I don't enjoy fantasy of any kind.

13. Buy or borrow?

Buy when I had money of my own, borrowed most from libraries my whole life, also mooch a lot through swaps now.

14. New or used?

Any-happy to get them at less than cover price, and believe in recycling them as much as possible.

15. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?

Browsing, then recommendations, then read full reviews after reading the book.

16. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

I don't need tidy endings, they are often unrealistic to me.

17. Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?

Any and all. But alone, in the wee hours when it's just me and the moon is extra special.

18. Stand-alone or series?

Stand-alone, I do not enjoy series.

19. Favourite series

Do trilogies count? The Gulag Archipelago by Alexandr Solzhenitsen.

20. Favourite children's book?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

21. Favourite YA book? I've never read one.

22. Favourite book of which nobody else has heard?

Broken Silence by Andre Stein, a wonderful book by a psychiatrist who examines in depth the many sides of his own experience as a child of the Holocaust.

23. Favourite books read last year?

Village of Stone***** by Xiaolu Guo
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things***** by Jon McGregor
Memory***** by Philippe Grimbert
Through Black Spruce***** by Joseph Boyden
The Lizard Cage***** by Karen Connelly
Me and Emma***** by Elizabeth Flock
The Boys in the Trees***** by Mary Swan
Ten Thousand Lovers***** by Edeet Ravel
The Swallows of Kabul***** by Yasmina Khadra
The Attack**** by Yasmina Khadra
The Whalestoe Letters***** by Mark Z. Danielewski
The End of the Affair***** by Graham Greene
The Door***** by Magda Szabo
Rabbit-Proof Fence***** by Doris Pilkington
A Pigeon and a Boy***** by Meir Shalev
A Thousand Splendid Suns**** by Khaled Hosseini
Sorry***** by Gail Jones
What Was Lost***** by Catherine O'Flynn
The Secret Scripture***** by Sebastian Barry
Home***** by Marilynne Robinson

24. Favourite books of all time?

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe
You Can't Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe
Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos
Germinal by Emile Zola
Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
The Last of the Just by Andre Schwartz-Bart
Journey to the End of Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
Fires by Marguerite Yourcenar
Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
A Death in the Family by James Agee
Strange Fruit by Lillian Smith
Famine by Liam O'Flaherty
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend Is Laid by Malcolm Lowry
Under the Volcano: A Novel by Malcolm Lowry
Hear Us O Lord From Heaven Thy Dwelling Place by Malcolm Lowry
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn Alexander
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
The Character of Rain by Amelie Nothomb
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons
A Map of Glass by June Urquart
The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
The White Album by Joan Didion
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Ten Thousand Lovers by Edeet Ravel
Darkness Visible by William Styron
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Momo by Emile Ajar (Romain Gary)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos by John Berger
The Return of The Soldier by Rebecca West
A Room of One's Own by Virgina Woolf
Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen
Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard
Anti-Semite and Jew by Jean Paul Sartre
The Book of Job/The Bible
The Sickness Unto Death by Sorenson Kirkegaarde
Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number by Jacobo Timerman
Diary of an Unknown by Jean Cocteau
Child Of The Dark by Carolina Maria De Jesus
Diary of a Young Girl by Ann Frank...I really have to stop

25. What are you reading right now?

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

26. What are you reading next?

The Brightest Moon of the Century by Christpher Meeks

27. Favourite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old?

The Diary of Ann Frank

28. Favourite book to reread?

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart

29. Do you ever smell books?

Often, especially if they're new, or on rainy days.

30. Do you ever read Primary source documents? Like, diaries or letters?

Once in a while. I've read diaries of Virginia Woolf, Jean Paul Sartre, Ann Frank, and others.

I'd love it if you were to play along and do it too. Have fun.


  1. I absolutely agree with your time of day ... there's just something about being alone in the quiet, reading in the middle of the night ... I actually tend to finish books around 3 or 4 am because I decide one night that I just want to get through the last 100 or 200 pages or whatever is remaining. I never regret doing it either.

  2. You've never read a YA novel? May I ask why? There is some really good YA out there especially now. YA has exploded in the last fifteen years or so. Very different from when I was actually a teen.

    I do understand that there are some genres that don't interest readers. If you're ever interested, do let me know. I can think of so many titles that are enjoyed by adult readers.

  3. Sandra, you list The Book Thief. That is a YA novel.

  4. *Susan: I want to read about adult characters in adult situations. I'm going on sixty, I feel no need to read fiction that kids can relate to. And The Book Thief was written, published and read by me as adult literature. I read it when it first came out in Australia and was nominated for literature awards. When Knopf later bought the American rights they decided to market it in the US as YA to make money in both markets. It's not what the writer originally intended. Thank you for your kind offer though. If I ever have reason to read something in the YA genre I'll know who to ask.

  5. great post. i love your taste in books! and that's hilarious about your son & segregating books! :-)

  6. Wonderful post.. I'll keep your favourite books list for reference, and pluck out a book every once in a while for my TBR. :D

  7. Wow, you read a ton!

    I'm only 23 but I don't feel the need to read much YA either. I've heard that we're in a "golden age" for YA fiction right now, but I prefer to read about, like you said, adults in adult situations. A lot of the book bloggers I read occasionally cover YA lit, but none of it interests me.

    I liked your answer to #5. You have a wide reading range!

  8. "But alone, in the wee hours when it's just me and the moon is extra special."

    What a great line!

  9. That is quite a list of favorites! I love the story about your son and segregating books. Hilarious.

    I had no idea that The Book Thief was marketed only in the U.S. as YA. Thanks for that information because I thought it was more adult when I read it. I really did like The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which is YA here in the U.S., though I don't think it really reads as YA.

    I've done this meme as well, here's the link if your interested:

  10. This meme is a lot of fun. Trade paperbacks are my favorite too.



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