A Bookish Quiz
Jaq's back!! And giving me quizzes to steal!!
What was the last book you bought?
The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane, a historical police drama. I've been waiting for this book for a few years now, as it's taken Lehane longer-than-his-usual to write it. Alas, when it finally came out, I had just started Infinite Jest. And as I'm still plugging away there, I haven't cracked the Lehane yet. I've got about 300 pages of Jest left. So soon.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
I wrote a whole post on this actually. I reread a lot, but the book I've easily read the most is Stephen King's It. Five times. And I will read it again. It's my touchstone.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
I don't think so. But I will say that reading in general has informed to a great deal some of the way I look at the world. A lot of my leftish views, especially on social questions, have been greatly informed by the views of the authors i read, I know that. But one book? no.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?
Recommendations. I almost never read or buy a book because it caught my fancy in a bookstore or library. Almost always it's a book I'm searching for or am aware of; there are simply so many books I know I want to read that I don't make time for ones I've never heard of.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I prefer fiction, but only slightly. If I read too much fiction in a row I get antsy, and vice versa, so I typically switch back and forth. That being said, I do read a lot of non-fiction in magazine form, so I'll usually read more novels in a given year than non-fiction books.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Plot. Great writing can make a book in absence of plot, but that's hard and rare. A great plot can survive even shitty writing.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Paul Welscombe, in the Stephen King novel The Green Mile. The archetypal King good guy.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
In recent months I've taken to using the nightstand for rereading comics. Right now I've got the Dark Age Astro City hardcover, by Kurt Busiek, and the entire Brubaker run on Captain America, which I've been meaning to reread for a while.
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in
Many times. I gave up on Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver twice, the second time after getting 95% of the way through.