I don’t usually do these kinds of things, because I like to keep my space insular due to my inability to play with others. However, I love The Book Salon and Steph Little, so here I go.
Book Q&A Rules
1. Post these rules
2. Post a photo of your favourite book cover
3. Answer the questions below
4. Tag a few people to answer them too
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!
My favourite book – The Good Mayor
What are you reading right now?
May We Be Forgiven, by A. M. Homes. Slowly. It’s enormous. I love the writing, but it’s fairly intense.
Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
I promised myself I would at least try to read the books that are sitting on my Kindle, unread. But then I went out and bought Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah, so I think I’ll read that. In reality I will probably continue to read bits of five books at once and have strange dreams wherein all the characters are playing 500 in my living room.
What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to?
This is so embarrassing. It is horrible to have a list with these books on it and still go around calling myself a writer.
Catcher in the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Road, Love in the Time of Cholera and probably anything by Dickens. I know. I KNOW.
What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
I keep all of my magazines in my study, where they are safe from children and cats. Next to me right now is my backlog of issues of The New Yorker that I haven’t managed to read yet. 12 of them. Miserable.
What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
I don’t believe in wasting time reading bad books, but one I’ve read recently and wanted to piff at someone was Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller. I hated it with every fibre of my being.
What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like?
None come to mind. I’ve loved just about every popular book I’ve read lately.
What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone?
Olive Kitteridge, which I love and think has something in it for most people. Also Middlesex, which I think some people hate, but I thought was a masterpiece. I know that’s two books, but I am a bad reader.
What are your three favourite poems?
I uh. I love poetry, but I don’t have favourite poems. I like poets like Dylan Thomas, who dug their way through all the blackness and brought out just the bare bones required to describe what they found inside.
Where do you usually get your books?
I do try to shop mostly at independent bookstores, and am lucky enough to have two great ones nearby. But sometimes I just want a book now, and in those moments I buy e-books from Amazon. Sorry.
Where do you usually read your books?
When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?
I loved Christopher Pike for a long while. I thought I was seriously cool for reading him instead of R.L. Stine, who to my mind was a pleb who wrote books for idiots. I really wrote more books than I read, though. And by books, I mean scraps of paper with words on them. So, pretty much the same as the “books” I write now.
What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
Floundering by Romy Ash. I bloody loved it.
Have you ever “faked” reading a book?
Yes. See everything I mentioned under ‘books I have always wanted to read’. I’ve read a couple of pages of each and just claim them as being read.
Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Always. In fact, I would say that’s the main reason I buy books. I am mostly drawn to a matte finish, hand-drawn type and the colour blue.
What was your favourite book when you were a child?
I liked Ruth Park books, Roald Dahl books, Emily Rodda books and Gillian Rubenstein books. Galax-Arena was my favourite for a good while. When I got to be a teenager I loved Isabelle Allende (and still do).
What book changed your life?
The Good Mayor was probably the first book that I read and thought, “People actually write books like this and other people read them!” with its special kind of magical realism. And that gave me a sense of being able to write in a similar style and not completely obliterate my chances of ever being published.
What is your favourite passage from a book?
Wow. I have no idea. There were some passages in all of Floundering, Steeplechase and Past the Shallows that took my breath away, but I wouldn’t even know where to start.
What are your top five favourite authors?
Ernest Hemingway (I know. I’m sorry. I love him.)
What book has no one heard about but should read?
Hipster books! I don’t know. Everyone should just read as many books as humanly possible.
What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for?
I’m an evangelist for BOOKS. But.
The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
What are your favourite books by a first-time author?
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith (Seriously, it blows my mind that this was the first book she’d written. Genius.)
What is your favourite classic book?
The Old Man and the Sea. I KNOW. But honestly, the way he strung words together was just magic.
Five other notable mentions?
Wish by Peter Goldsworthy (the most taboo book I’d ever read, when I was 12)
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (the first “big” novel I ever read)
Esio Trot by Roald Dahl (the first book I ever bought at a garage sale)
The Magic Faraway Tree (the first book I remember reading on my own)
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (the first fictional character I truly loved (Alexander))
I’m just going to tag whoever would like to write things about books. Go forth!