Yes, I know it's not Thursday, but I saw this on Becca's blog earlier in the week, and thought I'd wait until I couldn't think of anything else to say... It's been a while since I did a 'Booking Through Thursday', and they're always fun. Do feel extremely free to do this little quiz yourself on your own blog or in the comments here...
I’ve seen this series of questions floating around the ‘net the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!
What was the last book you bought?
I bought two yesterday, which I'll write about more soon... They are The Feminine Middlebrow Novel by Nicola Humble, and Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Oo, lots. To make it more interesting, I'll go for a book I've read four times, as it might be the only one - The Provincial Lady Goes Further.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
The Bible, of course, but aside from that... none spring to mind. Quite a few have changed the way I choose books and the type of books I read, but haven't had fundamental effects beyond that.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
I usually, now, only read books I already own, or have been chosen by book groups I'm in, or if I know about the author already, or it's linked in some way... Actually, thinking about it, most avenues of my reading started with AA Milne - after that, they've all somehow led from one to another and spread and spread. If I ever do a book on impulse, it will be because of the 'feel' of it - its age, cover, layout.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Definitely fiction, but have been reading more non-fiction of late. I had a real hankering for some non-fiction when I finished my degree, and sometimes it's just the right thing. Usually non-fiction associated with literature, though... Deceived with Kindness by Angelica Garnett springs to mind, which I STILL owe you a review of.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Has to be beautiful writing. Plot and character are great (The Time Traveler's Wife got by on these two, for the most part) but for a novel to be truly loved by me, it has to have beautiful writing. I've re-read a little bit of Woolf today, and realised once more just how she's head and shoulders above of everyone else I've read, for this quality.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Miss Hargreaves (from Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker) always comes up here... but I do love her so. Eeyore is another. If I had to choose one to come to dinner it would be Jane Bingley.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Let's have a look... The Penguin Complete Saki (for my recent thoughts on Saki, see this post), What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey, and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (more here).
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Orientalism by Edward Said, which I finished a couple of days ago. For class, I hasten to add... I hope to finish Alva & Irva by Edward Carey tomorrow - as book group is tomorrow evening!
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
A few times at university I had to stop because the essay was due in... aside from that, very rarely. Somehow I never got around to finishing The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, so perhaps I should dig it out again...