spock: keep calm and carry on

Book Meme

To distract me while I work on unpacking...

Give me a letter and I will hold forth on one of the following topics:

A. Author You’ve Read The Most Books From
B. Best Sequel Ever
C. Currently Reading
D. Drink of Choice While Reading
E. E-Reader or Physical Books
F. Fictional Character You Would Have Dated In High School
G. Glad You Gave This Book A Chance
H. Hidden Gem Book
I. Important Moments of Your Reading Life
J. Just Finished
K. Kinds of Books You Won’t Read
L. Longest Book You’ve Read
M. Major Book Hangover Because Of
N. Number of Bookcases You Own
O. One Book That You Have Read Multiple Times
P. Preferred Place to Read
Q. Quote From A Book That Inspires You/Gives You Feels
R. Reading Regret
S. Series You Started and Need to Finish
T. Three Of Your All-Time Favorite Books
U. Unapologetic Fangirl For
W. Worst Bookish Habit
V. Very Excited For This Release More Than Any Other
X. Marks The Spot (Start On Your Bookshelf And Count to the 27th Book)
Y. Your Latest Book Purchase
Z. ZZZ-Snatcher (last book that kept you up WAY late)
Books I will not read include:
- Books about vampires
- Romance novels
- Romances involving vampires

Also, I am super reluctant to read books that are very long (500+ pages). So few books actually need to be that long, and I'd rather spend the time reading two good, shorter novels than one long book where the author is jacking off with words (George R. R. Martin, I'm looking at you...)
I'm glad I gave Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell a chance. It took me over 200 pages to get into it. I would have stopped if it weren't from a gift from a really good friend. I found the five-part story pretentious, and I really struggled with the historical dialects. But the more I read, the more I got intrigued by the worlds the author was building, and the more I saw the purpose of the book's structure. Now it's one of my favorite books.

I hate to be cliched, but the Harry Potter books are probably the only books I've read multiple times. When I read an awesome book, I usually want to leave it alone so that I can remember how perfect it was rather than coming back to it 10 years later and discovering that it only appealed at a certain time of my life.
I've heard mixed things about Cloud Atlas and still can't decide if I want to attempt it. I know just what you mean about the risks of revisiting a beloved book, but I can't help myself from doing it. On the plus side, I discover that I get different things out of such books when I read them at different ages.
The last book that kept me up too late was The Flight of Gemma Hardy. It's a modern (ish) retelling of Jane Eyre set in the sixties. Honestly, I wasn't expecting to like it so much; Jane Eyre is really not on my list of favorite books. Yet, this retelling was so engaging I couldn't put it down and go to bed.
Sorry to be cliched, but I think Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the best sequel ever. A lot of book series get worse as they go on (Hunger Games, I'm looking at you), but the HP books kept getting better. GoF stands out to me because it's exquisitely plotted -- little details in the first chapters that seemed irrelevant totally matter to the end, and the seeds of ideas that JKR planted in the first three books start to come together here.

I own one bookshelf. I switched to ebooks four or five years ago and haven't bought a new paper book since.
My biggest reading regret is any time I try to force myself to read a book that I genuinely don't like. It usually happens with something prize-winning, critically acclaimed, the kind of thing that I think an English major and English teacher is obligated to enjoy to prove her worth in the field. Then, when I can't finish the book, I feel too guilty to buy a new one, so I don't read anything for three or four or six months...and that's really a sad waste because there are lots of wonderful books in the world that I could be reading.

I am an unapologetic fangirl for Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I think it's such a perfect book -- it's about ladies doing awesome, badass things during World War II. It's full of tragic sacrifices and flawed relatable characters and mind bendy twists that make every page of the book worthwhile. I think everyone should read it.
My favorite hidden gem book is Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas (the same one who went on to create Veronica Mars). It's YA lit written before YA was trendy and cool, and I love it because the characters are so totally spot on I felt like I knew them both. I read it first in high school, and then again ten years later. It's rare for a book to stick with me that long, and I loved it equally both times.
The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which I talked about a little upthread. I really admire Mitchell's world building, and how he creates a whole dialect for every historical era of the book. Plus I love how he took this totally unorthodox narrative structure and made it serve his story. It's not easy reading, but it's one of the few 500+ page books that I think merits its whole length.

Far North by Marcel Theroux is the newest addition to my list. The main character is one of the few people left alive in a world ruined by global warming. This isn't a unique premise these days, but the book has an amazing dialect, beautiful world building, and some quotes that have stuck with me ever since I read it.

On Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill and The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant are probably not what anyone was thinking of with this book meme, but as a pair, they shaped the way I think about ethics. The former argues that the rightness of an action is judged by its consequences, while the latter argues that morality should be judged by the underlying principles of an action. I read both as a high school debater, and it's hard to think of anything else that's influenced my world view to such an extreme degree.
Of course it's not too late! It's never too late for me to talk about books!

My worst habit is probably book buying. I'm much better about now that I read ebooks exclusively - now I can download samples of interesting books rather than snatch up everything that looks interesting at the bookstore. Even so, it would be much cheaper to borrow ebooks from the library or a service like Oyster, but I just can't bring myself to. I like owning my books, even if I never will read them again.
That's funny -- I have the opposite problem. I only ever get books from the library and rarely buy them unless they're amazing and I know I'll read them again (or they're on sale at the library at a price like "as many books as you can fit in a plastic bag for $2"). I feel like I'm not really supporting the authors that way, but at the same time, I can't justify the full price of a book if I don't know whether I'll actually like it. :-/

I do love owning books though, so receiving them as gifts is always great!