Treesofreverie June Read-A-Thon: Questionnaire | Part 1

Home sick today, so I’m curled up with R on the couch while he watches the World Cup. Thought I’d take some time and answer these questions, since I can’t concentrate on much else.

  • 01. Where will you be sharing your bookish updates for the Treesofreverie June Read-A-Thon? Here! Some of my other challenges on Instagram have also been tagged with the Trees hashtag, if it’s a book I’m reading for this, but for the most part, all of my posts will be on this blog, which also feeds into Tumblr.
  • 02. How did you start book blogging? What got you interested in starting, were there particular blogs that influenced or encouraged your decision? (If you don’t have a book blog, are you interested in starting one?) I was just exploring Tumblr, when I read The Happiness Project. I was seeing book blogs, and I wanted an outlet for book discussion, so I started this. I can’t believe how much feedback I’ve gotten, it’s been so much fun.
  • 03. What’s your ultimate book-inspired holiday? What would you do and would you take anyone with you? Has a particular book or author inspired this? Most of my vacations are more food related than book related, but I do always imagine Italy in an Under the Tuscan Sun sort of way, and France as Julia Child describes it. My vision of countries are very much influenced by the memoirs I’ve read.
  • 04. Which five authors (dead or alive) would you invite to a dinner party and why? Who do you think would get along and what would you talk about? First and foremost, Ernest Hemingway. I would LOVE to have a drink with him. Julia Child is another, because, obviously, she would do the cooking, and I think she would be hilarious. I’d love to hear about her travels as well…and Hemingway and Child might be interesting together actually. They both had pretty “live life to the fullest” perspectives. Jane Austen, because…obviously. George RR Martin so I can get inside his head. I want to know what the heck makes that man tick. John Green, because he’s just SUCH a nerd, and I’d like to have someone to geek out with.
  • 05. What were the last three books you recommended to someone and why did you choose these particular books to recommend? If your last recommendations were a large list shared all at once, then pick three books. The only book I really remember recommending (other than here on the blog) is the Kingkiller Chronicles. I’ve been telling everyone I meet to read that. Most people in real life ask me for book recommendations, then don’t ever take me seriously, because I have such an extensive list. I’m sure I’ve told people to read TFIOS too.
  • 06. Describe your perfect reading experience. Paperback, Hardback or eBook? Genre? Where are you reading? Alone or in company? Indoors or outside? Season? Weather? What time of day? Snacks? Give me a sunny, just warm day, in the shade. Preferably alone, but maybe somewhere I can watch people. A bottle of wine opened on the table, with some good cheese to munch on. A fantastic old book, well worn with that musty old smell.
  • 07. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. What are your thoughts on negative comments and reviews on books? Does it make a difference for you if they involve any constructive criticism or feedback? The interesting thing about the book blogging community is that we all get a different experience from the books we read. It’s like tasting wine. No one person is going to taste the same glass of wine the same. We all have a different perspective. It is ok to disagree. That said, I think sometimes, the disagreement turns into hate, and that’s not ok with me. There is a difference between conversation and persecution. We need to be careful in how we treat our fellow bloggers. I would much rather see this community as a place of friendship than a place of war.
  • 08. What would your ultimate dream book collection include? What would it look like and how would you arrange your books? I’ve always dreamed of having one of those really old school Victorian smoking jacket studies. You know what I’m talking about. Where the lord of the manor would retire in the evening to his brandy, amongst his wood paneled shelves with books rising to the ceiling. They were a thing of awe. At least in our imagination today. Ever since I saw the Beast’s library (which was white instead of brown), I have wanted a library like that. 
  • 09. What are your biggest book-related pet peeves? Why do these things bother you more than others? I am very contradictory when it comes to my books. I break my spines, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with a well loved book. It needs to feel good in my hands. But, I will absolutely NEVER NEVER NEVER ruin the pages with ink. That is an abominable sin in my eyes. And I will never buy a used book that has been inked. (Which was really sad because I found a copy of The Great Gatsby the other day for $1…only to find someone had underlined over half the book…for SHAME!) I also use bookmarks instead of dogears.
  • 10. What are some of your favourite things about people who read books? These may be generalisations or relate to a specific person. I love how we all just geek out over the smallest details. I always thought it was just me, until I discovered this wonderful community online. Hermoine’s dress was BLUE not PINK. Arya has LINES in this scene, you idiots. We memorize not just quotes, but “insignificant” characters’ names, eye color, birthdays. We know who dies when and how and why. We know what author is going to be in what city and how to get in to see them. And we are obsessive about collecting not just books, but the specific copies of books in a series so everything matches on our shelves. And even though many of us are introverts, get us talking about the books we love, and we will not shut up.

Favorite Author

What is my favorite author?

Is that a trick question?

I don’t have one.

Yes, I’m serious.

Source:  The Relentless Reader

I don’t have one. I have several. Austen, Hemingway, Wolfe. Michael Cunningham. Regina McBride. Ann Patchett. Wilde has now been added to the list. Countless authors who I’ve only read one of their books but I loved with a passion, and they are on my Goodreads list to read more and I just haven’t gotten back to them yet. John Green up there is probably on that list too now.

Why can’t I narrow it down to just one? Geez. They all have different qualities that I love. Every book is different and each means something to me at a different point in my life. And every time I reread them, I love them in different ways.

It would be like picking a favorite topping on my pizza, or a favorite beer.

And yes, I know some people like ONLY pepperoni, and ONLY Bud Lite. That is so totally not my style. Sometimes I want mushrooms and a Belgian. And sometimes I want hot peppers and a red ale. Or maybe a porter, or a triple or….dammit now I want a beer.

It’s almost the long weekend folks!

 

Favorite First Line

It’ll be no surprise to many of my readers what my first line choice is. I did go through all of my books this morning before choosing, but I kept coming back to this one.

I’ve probably written this in my journal a hundred times. It just opens the book so well. I am not sure there is a better first line that sets up the theme and tone of the book so well as the one Jane Austen wrote at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice.

wpid-2014-05-17-11.12.48.jpg.jpeg

 

The Liebster Award

My new bloggy-type friend Allex tagged me in this thingy last week and, because I’m me, I COMPLETELY forgot about it! I probably induced some horrible “chain-mail” curse and I’m going to die a horrible death in 7 years or something. Does that still happen?

Aaaaaaanyway, The Liebster Award is a chance for bloggers to give a shout-out to their favorite internet people, and also get to know one another in the process. We spend so much time writing our blogs, it’s nice to hear that people are actually reading it! And for me–my favorite part of all of this is getting to know a few of you as more than just the gifs that we trade back and forth.

liebster-award-300x300

The Official Liebster Award Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Display the award somewhere on your blog.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself.
  4. Answer 11 questions chosen by the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Come up with 11 new questions to ask your nominees.
  6. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you think deserve the award and who have less than 1,000 followers.  (You many nominate blogs that have already received the award, but you cannot renominate the blog that nominated you.)
  7. Go to their blog and inform them that they’ve been nominated.

So, Thank you Allex for your nomination! I’m glad we are becoming blogger friends, and I hope it continues! And everyone reading this needs to go check out her stuff! She’s pretty awesome.

11 Facts About Myself:

1. I collect pigs. Stuffed Pigs, Ceramic Pigs, Piggy Banks, you name it. I even have a set of wooden three-legged salt & pepper shakers, salt pig, and guacamole bowl. I don’t know why they only have three legs…they fall over a lot.

2. I am an obsessive journaler. I write every thing down, from quotes of the books I’m reading, to random things people say at work. I keep a three ring binder per year, and my journal is more of a scrapbook than a diary.

3. I’m a really great cook, but I’m really lazy about it. It’s just so much effort.

4. My husband introduced me to baseball, and I am becoming a fanatic about it. Like seriously, he’s created a monster, and I can’t stop.

5. I absolutely do not understand politics. I have some things I believe in, but when it comes to public policy or financial stuff, I just can’t grasp it.

6. I have an enormous fear of math. A legitimate phobia. My brain completely freezes up and I cannot move or think. Also, heights.

7. Someday I want to travel to all the greatest food cultures in the world. I have a list of everything I want to eat and where.

8. I have a 16 year old cat named Smokey, Diva Kitty Queen of the Heavens.

9. I’m running out of things to say about myself.

10. I cried once after too much wine, when my sister told me they were making another Harry Potter movie.

11. I get really cranky if I can’t read at all in a day. I need a little bit of introvert time or I run out of juice.

 

Allex’s 11 Questions:

  1. Do you listen to music when reading, or do you prefer silence? Most of the time, I read in silence. Right now it is raining, which is lovely. If I have music on at all, it’s lyricless–classical or soundtracks.
  2. What book did you not like when you first read it, but liked the second time (or vice versa)? The Giver, which I’ve blogged about twice now, actually. I hated it in high school, but loved it when I reread it recently! 
  3. What is your favorite book to movie adaptation? It’s a TV show, but Game of Thrones. When I read the series, I kept thinking, “These characters NEED to be on a screen.” And I was right. Now that I’m watching it now, I feel like I need to go back and reread the books.
  4. What is your least favorite? Probably Divergent. At least recently. They just took too many liberties with it.
  5. Would you rather die unexpectedly and sudden, or from a long-term illness? GOOD QUESTION. Probably suddenly. The anticipation would drive me crazy, and I’m not sure I would be strong enough to handle the pain.
  6. Bang, marry, kill: Jane Austen, John Green, George RR Martin? Jane needed a good bang, John’s interesting enough for long term, and George needs a taste of his own medicine.
  7. Other than books, is there anything else that you geek out about? Oh god…everything? Sherlock, Hannibal, GOT. To name a few. Funny, those are all based on books. I’m completely addicted to Tumblr. My husband and I are also really interested in craft beer, and visit a lot of breweries.
  8. What high school book did you not really read, but say that you did? I don’t really claim to read anything I haven’t. I am working through the classics that I’ve never read though. My school didn’t focus on those.
  9. Which fictional character would you want to be best friends with and why? Probably Elizabeth Bennett or Jo from Little Women, that sort of person. One of those strong classic women who took no shit.
  10. Which childhood-actor-to-disaster-area was most tragic for you to watch? Meh. Not really my thing. 
  11. What are your thoughts about cheese? This is hilarious. Did you see my blog today? I actually posted a poem ABOUT CHEESE. It’s pretty much my favorite thing.

My Nominations:

1. Katherine from letyourvoicebenerd

2. Lauren from Bitten and Written

3. Monika from voirdansmoname

4. Michael from MoeJoe

5. Bethany from Writing Madness

 

My Questions:

1. What is your least favorite genre, and why?

2. What book have you reread the most? How many times?

3. Do you have a favorite reading spot?

4. Who is your favorite hero/heroine?

5. What reading challenges are you doing/have done this year?

6. What do you collect…besides books of course!

7. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

8. Has Tumblr/blogging affected your reading?

9. Best book you read last year

10. What are you reading now?

11. Would you rather be by a fireplace, or swimming pool?

 

 

Treesofreverie’s April Read-A-Thon: Questionnaire

01. What do you plan on reading for the Read-A-Thon? Why did you choose these books? I’m starting with Wuthering Heights, and Wrinkle in Time. I have been wanting to read WH forever, and I need to read WIT for a book club next week. Then I’ll move on to other classics from there.

02. Where will you be sharing your bookish updates for Treesofreverie’s April Read-A-Thon? I will be sharing them here on my blog, ilayreading.wordpress.com.

03. Are you currently taking part in any other reading challenges for 2014? I finished my Goodreads challenge WAY early for the year. Oops. So now I’m just pushing myself to read as much as possible and as thoroughly as possible. We’ll see what other challenges come up.

04. Do you have any reading goals? What are you hoping to achieve? My main goal for the year is just to learn as much as possible. I’m journaling more and reading harder books than I ever have. I’m also reading classics that I never have read.

05. Are you from a family of readers? Most of my family reads, but I definitely read more than anyone else.

06. Do many of your friends read? Some do, but I also have a lot of movie buffs for friends, including my husband.

07. What or who inspired your reading as a child? I think I was born reading. But I remember sitting on my Nana’s lap with a book. And there were always books in the house.

08. Are there any books you wish you got to read when you were younger? I wish we would have read more classics in school. There are so many books I feel I should have read already.

09. What are your favourite genres? Novels and Memoirs. I recently got into dystopian fiction.

10. What are your favourite books? Pride & Prejudice, Secret Garden, and Thorn Birds.

11. Do you like to re-read your favourite books? Those three I have reread a million times, it seems. But other than that I don’t usually reread anything. There are too many new books to read!

12. Who are your favourite authors? Jane Austen and Ann Patchett

13. What would you do if you got to meet your favourite author? Probably clam up and just listen.

14. What defines a great book for you? I want to be able to disappear in the story. If I don’t know what is going on around me…it’s probably a good one.

15. What draws you to pick up a book you’ve never seen or heard of before? Honestly…the cover. Can’t help it. If it draws my eye, I’m going to pick it up.

16. Do you judge a book by its cover? See #15. I love the touch and feel of a good book. And the titles too.

17. Once you’ve finished reading a book do you like to keep it or give it away? Keep it! I want to have a huge library someday.

18. Do you prefer paperbacks or hardcover? Hardcover.

19. How many books do you own? How many of these books have you read? I had to sell a lot of my books a few years ago for money. Sigh…so now my collection is starting over. I only have about a hundred or so. I’ve read most of them.

20. Do you like to borrow or lend out books to others? I’m hesitant to do so, I rarely get them back.

21. Do you like to recommend books? Which books do you recommend most often? I am always pleased when someone actually reads something I have suggested. However, it’s sometimes hard for me to recommend books because I have such eclectic tastes.

22. Where do you buy your books? I like Half-Price, but I really prefer new books. Usually Barnes & Noble. I love their new Classics Collection.

23. What would your ultimate dream bookstore be like? Cozy and warm. Maybe a fireplace with couches. And beer/wine in the back.

24. Which genres would you like to read more of? Um. Everything!

25. Do you read books by indie or self-published authors? Not usually. Mostly just because I have such a long list of published authors to read, I don’t stray from the list often.

26. Do you read books by authors residing in your own country?  I read from everywhere.

27. Do you have a TBR Jar? I am not sure what this is.

28. Do you like to keep a record of your reading – in a reading journal, collecting quotes, writing down thoughts, etc.? I keep a daily journal, and it is filled with quotes and thoughts about the books I read.

29. If you dislike a book, do you finish reading it? It depends on the book. If I just can’t connect with it in the first 25-50 pages, I usually set it aside, but if it is a classic or something I feel is an important work, I try to finish it.

30. Do you own an eReader? I have a Kindle Paperwhite.

31. What are your thoughts on eBooks? I love ebooks for the convenience. I read them on my Paperwhite, my phone, and even my computer sometimes. I can get them for free using Overdrive, and because I read faster than I can afford to buy new books, this is a good way for me to feed my addiction. It is also convenient—books are heavy and I can carry my Kindle easier than I can carry 3 books in a suitcase when I travel. But, my Kindle will never replace my love for paperbound books. It doesn’t smell like a real book, or look like a library full of hardbacks.

32. Do you listen to audio books? Sometimes.
33. What are your thoughts on audio books? I have to be doing something to listen to an audiobook. I play one when I’m walking or doing chores. I usually save the books that I’ve tried to read and failed—like Red Badge of Courage (because of the strong accents in written word) or Anna Karenina (because of the astronomical length).

34. Do you have a book blog? I do! Ilayreading.wordpress.com I’m going to be posting my readathon updates here.

35. Who are your favourite book bloggers? I’m new to the book blogging community, but I like TreesofReverie, aliteraryescape, freakofliterature, and athousandbookstoread.

36. Do you write book reviews? Yep. See 34.

37. Do you use any book-orientated social media sites such as Goodreads? I LOVE Goodreads. https://www.goodreads.com/hmills96

38. Have you discovered any of your favourite books or authors through social media sites? I am always looking at other people’s recommendations and my To Read list is always growing. I’ll never read them all!

39. Have you ever attended a book signing or an author event? No.

40. Have you ever won a book giveaway? Nope.

 

Pride and Prejudice

There are so many books to read, and there is so little time, that I rarely return to books I have read in the past. I’m continuously moving down the list, one after another, devouring the next book in line.

However, there are a select few stories that I crave repeatedly. My guilty pleasure books. My cures. Whenever I get a little stressed, lonely, bored, or when I just can’t figure out what I want to read next, these jump out off the shelves. They are my best friends, my confidants. They are my security blanket.

Their covers are worn, and I rarely lend them out, because I never know when I’ll need to read them again. They are:  Secret Garden by Frances Hodges Burnett, Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and the most important one, Pride and Prejudice by the wonderful Jane Austen.

When I found out Books & Brews was going to kick off their Monday night Book Club with P&P, I may have done a happy dance in my cubicle. And then I immediately downloaded it to my Kindle because *gasp* I actually loaned my copy out to my sister! I must really love her!

1885

I have read P&P 10 times at least, but this time was different. I don’t know if it’s because I journaled all the way through, or if I’m reading it from a different place in my life, but there were so many things that I’ve never noticed in the story before.

The biggest one is that Mr. Bennet is a MUCH more complex character than I ever realized him to be. Sure, I always knew he doted on Elizabeth, and rolled his eyes at Mrs. Bennet. But he’s really not that great of a guy, is he? I always loved him because he was such a closeted introvert, but he also goes into town to cheat on his wife pretty much his whole marriage, and his daughters are well aware of it. The whole “If you don’t marry Mr. Collins, your mother will never speak to you again, and if you do, I won’t.” wasn’t so much teasing his wife as it was a pot shot. It makes Mrs. Bennet’s anxiety and nerves seem a lot less ridiculous.

Also, I had never paid much attention to Mary before, but she has a lot of very intelligent things to say. She fades in the background behind her beautiful, extroverted sisters, but I would be really interested to see who she would be today. A lawyer maybe, or a journalist.

I can’t wait to talk about this on Monday. I have so many notes and I’m excited to hear what other P&P fans have to say. Of course, this book is all about the love stories of Darcy and Elizabeth, and Bingley and Jane, but there’s so many other complexities that after more than one read you will find woven into the plot. Sometimes it’s good to come back to reread your favorites.

What book do you come back to again and again?

Quote

In his library …

In his library he had been always sure of leisure and tranquility; and though prepared, as he told Elizabeth, to meet with folly and conceit in every other room of the house, he was used to be free from them there…”

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

I have always liked and related to Mr. Bennet. He does on Elizabeth because she is the sensible and sarcastic one in the family, as he is. And he is a classic introvert. The only thing he absolutely wants to do every day is be left alone in his library with his books. At the table, he lets his daughters and wife do the talking, he observes most of the time.

I can picture him in the library, smoking jacket on, maybe a glass of port or brandy, worn books all around. It certainly would have been my favorite room in the house.