sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 12, 2008

booking through thursday on sunday
posted by soe 10:36 am

btt logoI liked this week’s Booking through Thursday, but since I already had a Thursday feature, I figured it would work well for today:

What was the last book you bought?

Used? Chez Moi
New? Let’s Go: France 2008

Last book I picked up from the library? Proust’s The Captive

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Little Women

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Women in the Global Factory was eye-opening when I was in college. The book, which examines how women around the world are oppressed to manufacture goods for the U.S., is only 75 pages or so, but I kept finding such outrageous things in it that I must have driven the fourth floor of Freeman batty with how often I walked into rooms to read yet another quote.

More recently, Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle had a similar effect on me, although it’s harder just to walk into people’s rooms to read to them. Honestly, it’s an insightful look into this country’s agriculture and how Americans eat. It’s made me consider taking up meat eating again, if said meat could be obtained (as with the rest of my produce) from local family farmers.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Yes! Seriously, I pick books for all sorts of reasons. Some are recommended by friends, others I’ve read about online. Sometimes I go into the library and just pick up books and read the blurbs until I find one that sounds palatable. (And, yes, books with pretty covers always get picked up first.) I usually only buy books I’m pretty sure I’m going to enjoy, though. If they sound iffy, they’re definitely a library acquisition.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I like both, but I read more fiction. Non-fiction requires a different, more focused mindset.

What’s more important in a novel — beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

Both are important, as are interesting characters. In the interest of not sounding like John McCain, however, I’ll pick characters as most important. If I don’t like the characters, I won’t finish the book. Second most important would be beautiful writing. Housekeeping is an example of a book with just gorgeous prose (and not a lot of action. While the writing doesn’t have to be beautiful, it does have to be passable. If I feel the need to pick up a pen and edit your text, I’m going to put it down for my own sanity. Finally, I’d say gripping plot is also important, although less so. Thrillers have a gripping plot, but that’s never going to convince me to read them. It does help, though, if the plot is a little bit smart. Genre fiction, such as mysteries, have a lot of tripe in them and it’s terribly frustrating to be able to guess the entire trajectory of the novel from its first chapter.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

Jo March/Anne Shirley/Harry Potter

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

There are no books on my nightstand because I don’t have one. I assume this question is about what I’m currently reading or about to start reading, though, so I’ll offer you those instead:

  • Let’s Go Paris
  • Chez Moi
  • The Restaurant at the End of the World
  • Life, the Universe, and Everything
  • Let’s Go France
  • The Captive
  • A Moveable Feast

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

I finished Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Tuesday. Chez Moi is back in my work bag for commute reading.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Yep, although usually less than halfway. If I make it halfway in and abandon it, I will return to it later on to give it another shot. Usually that tends to mean I’m just not in the mood for it at the moment, as opposed to it not passing muster in general.

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