For this year's A to Z I'm featuring books I've read based on the Reading Challenge.
Today's book is a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't. That is, a book that you quit reading. Except that I'm going to mention one I did the opposite with - not only did I read Shane by Jack Schaefer, I read it again a few years later! Why, you ask?
The answer's in an ancient blog post of mine featuring a meme on books and reading. Reposting the main questions here, with comments in square brackets:
Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?
Usually anything by a first-time author who's "essentially Canadian" or who's an ethnic Canadian and has just written something scathing or revealing about their homeland. Boo-ooring! [This is very odd. The tone doesn't sound like me at all. I wonder which book I was thinking of?]
If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
Well Jamie and Claire from the Outlander series obviously. They count as one character :-) Possibly Hercule Poirot. I'll make my life easier, I'll stick with adult humans (i.e. no hobbits!). And Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey. And Lord John Grey. Right, that's four. I would be extremely nervous and very shy, so we would have to be at an event that wouldn't make me more nervous - perhaps a trip to the Biodome, followed by a night at the pub. [Why on earth did I want to take them to the Biodome? The Ecomuseumwould have been better if we had to visit animals, but the pub would do just fine on its own!]
(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Shane by Jack Schaefer. We read it in eighth grade and a few years later I thought that it couldn't have been as bad as I remembered, so I read it again. It was worse.
Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?
Dostoyevsky's more famous works. I've read Notes from Underground, The Double and White Nights but I've never read Crime and Punishment or The Brothers Karamazov.
As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven’t? Which book?
Not really. I tend to reread stuff all the time because I forget everything so easily.
You're interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What's the first book you’d recommend and why (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP)?
Well it does depend on the VIP. Let's say it's some vapid actor/actress who keeps pretending he/she doesn't have the time or patience for reading. Even then, it depends what his/her interests are. Stephen Fry might be a good place to start. Emily Carr. Or Thomas King. And Stephen King. [Depending on the VIP, I might also recommend Monica Lewycka or some YA.]
A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?
German. Right now I can only read books that I've already read in English. Turkish would be nice too, so I wouldn't have to keep running to my mom and asking her what the more difficult words mean. And Welsh, so I could read fairy tales without a dictionary and phrasebook.
A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?
I already do this with the Lord of the Rings. And [also did it] with Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia while they [were] still making the movies.
I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art, etc.)?
I haven't really discovered anything new yet. But I will buy my first Graphic Novel ever when Diana [Gabaldon]'s comes out. I've only ever read Maus before. [Now I can add Neil Gaiman's Sandman to the list!]
That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.
Are you kidding? It would be a huge, two-floored old English library, kind of like the Osler Library, with lots of dark wood panels, deep leather armchairs, New York Public Library reading lamps and those green lamps with brass chains, pipe smoking, busts of authors and of a raven, a drinks cabinet, bookshelves lining every wall... drool...
Speaking of quitting, have you ever quit a job? I ask simply in order to segue to another old blog post of mine, where I listed all the jobs I've had.
It's fun looking at old posts, isn't it?
Feel free to answer the meme questions!