I saw this on Read Diverse Books and loved it. He even suggests tagging yourself. I’ve been meaning to do this more and I almost thought I was going to start doing more actual blogging than reviewing, but then I started coming up on the end of the year and all the reading challenges I had yet to finish. Maybe I’ll tone it down next year….
Anywho, I feel like these are all great questions for avid readers. It should be a questionaire before joining a book club or something. It’s a long one, so buckle up.
eBooks or physical books?
eBooks mostly. I have a nicely stocked bookshelf in the house and it’s really hard to have a book with you in as many places as I can squeeze in a few extra pages on my phone. Having a book at my job looks like you aren’t working, but reading a few pages in the elevator or while waiting for a meeting to start on my phone tends to look like texting. It’s still “not working” but people aren’t as judgey so I can get away with it more often.
Paperback or hardback?
Depends on the book. If I’m in love and want to preserve it for posterity, hardback. If we’re still getting to know each other, paperback.
Online or in-store book shopping?
I feel like a bit of a bad person, but in-store for shopping and online for buying. I don’t buy as much as I’d like to, but if I do, it’s online mostly because eBook. In-store is so much better for the shopping experience though. I do buy physical books in-store for my son. He’s six and a new little reader that I hope will love it as much as I do.
Trilogies or series?
Both. I love a good story and great characters. I love it when a trilogy gets the extra little novellas or short story collections that give you a little window back into the world of the characters. Or sometimes when a quartet turns into another series like with Ender’s Game. If there are some really amazing characters, I’ll read about them having coffee together for stories on end.
Heroes or villains?
Both, as long as their complicated. I guess that’s not even perfectly true. I just love a tortured soul, but not in the Edward Cullen kind of way. It’s more of a Wolf from Scarlet kind of thing. People who could go either way and you’re rooting for revenge before you know it but then you hope for redemption too. Yeah, I was sucker for Hunger Games too for that very reason.
A book you want everyone to read?
I know, I’ve gushed ad nauseum about this one already but really. It just hits a chord with me about all those things in the question before. It humanizes people we had long since labelled neatly as victims and perpetrators and makes them complicated. It shows you how even fellow victims can feel like perpetrators and how perpetrators get lost in their crimes. Then it ended with the protagonist telling this heart-wrenching story that had a strangely hopeful ending that was only hopeful because of the spin he put on it. It reminds us that it’s the little things that can make a monster or a friend.
It just takes my breath away every time I think about it and all the little pieces of the story.
Recommend an underrated book.
In lieu of saying the same, I’ll give you the recent underrated book that I reviewed and recommended, though many of my reads are underrated.
My review is here. I loved it. Here’s the blurb:
Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya—and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.
Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard—magical tales of men from the sea—and her warrior’s courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).
But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.
The last book you finished?
Yep, that one. I’ve read some other novellas and a comic, but that was the last novel read.
Used books, yes or no?
I prefer reading library books because I’d go broke otherwise, so used. I do want to find a used book store somewhere and get physical books again one day but not while I live where I do now. All that’s going to wait for my settle down home.
Top three favorite genre?
Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Memoir
I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a little girl but historical fiction and memoirs have only gotten to be recent favorites. They came with realizing that there are a lot more of both in a lot more places telling quite a few more stories than I had thought. I’d prejudged both. I thought historical fiction was mostly Victorian romances without realizing that it was an entirely separate genre and that memoirs were only famous people and politicians.
Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?
One of those long hairpins. I have to put my hair up for work, safety hazard, and so I use a ton of pins and keep a few in my pocket in case my hair starts getting crazy as the day progresses. I used those for a while before I started getting the books on my phone.
Borrow or buy?
Borrow. I’d love to buy more but between space and money, I’d never get to. Having an Overdrive library on my electronics has made it possible to read so much more.
Characters or plot?
Definitely characters. If I have to choose. Of course you always want both, but if I can’t, characters. There are some characters that I’d read stories of them going out to eat because I love them so much and it’s still interesting. Like a reunion with the Finishing School girls would be interesting even if there was no mischief afoot.
Long or short book?
Depends on the day, mood, how good the characters are, whether the plot really moves if they’re only mediocre. Long is a little misleading too. How long? I went through a King phase in high school it was nothing to read 1000 page books back then but these days, I start to get antsy if it’s longer 500. But I didn’t give myself a 150 book reading challenge when I was in high school either, so I still love a long book when I don’t feel pressed for time and I’m enjoying the world and the characters. I could stand a few hundred extra pages of A Torch Against the Night, for example.
Long or short chapters?
Depends on what’s going on. Typically short, but long works in long scenes where I’d rather not have a break. Some authors do that and it drives me nuts.
Name the first three books you think of.
Other than those mentioned above…..
Euphoria by Lily King – it’s what made me think of historical fiction up above.
Another Brooklyn: A Novel – Jacqueline Woodson – what I just started
Books that make you laugh or cry?
The best books make you do both, right? It depends on my mood and the last thing that I was reading. It’s really nice to get into a light and easy book with a few laughs after reading a few of the Nobel Women. But still, if I’m not emotionally attached enough to a character to want to cry when their act 2 tragedy hits, then the it might be fun to read, but it won’t be memorable. Sometimes I just need a book to tear my heart of my chest and sometimes I need it to renew that feeling of life in the world.
Our world or fictional worlds?
Definitely fictional. I really enjoy experiencing the worlds that other people come up with, especially if done well like Game of Thrones or Cinder. Our world can be okay, but I’ve reached the point where an author really has to take me outside the known for it to hit anything solid. I read too much white male political suspense and action when I was a kid and now everything that I see about it feels too much like Clancy or Cussler could have done it better.
Do you ever judge a book by its cover?
Yep. If the cover calls out to me, I’m probably going to read it, even if there are some bad reviews. I won’t dismiss a book based on the cover, but an eye catching cover increases the odds. Titles are the same for me, though. There are some that just make me want to know what’s inside no matter what. My best example of that was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
Audiobooks: yes or no?
ABSOLUTELY! I listen to them doing laundry, dishes, driving, sometimes even at work if all I’m doing is data entry or drawings on Autocad. It’s what makes those mind-numbing activities bearable. I wish I’d had better access to them as a kid, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten as much crap from the family about stealing away moments to read and not being productive enough. Nah, I still would have been relatively anti-social.
Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?
Depends on how it’s done. I think HBO is teaching us that a long book series is better off as a TV show and I’m excited about the prospect of the Vampire Chronicles going over to that medium. I like the idea of a faithful adaptations that have the time to really get it right as opposed to the way King and Clancy’s 1000 pages would get shrunk to two measly hours back when I was a kid and just lose so much.
A movie or TV adaptation you preferred to the book?
Forrest Gump. I don’t know how they got that adorable movie from that awful book. Oh and more recently, How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo. The adaptation wasn’t faithful at all and then the movie just made it so much better. I posted about it for the Read Harder challenge here.
Series or standalone?
Depends on the characters, but mostly series. Love a series with some characters that I’m enjoying and in a world I love but it’s nice to read a standalone sometimes and feel some good closure so quickly.
That was fun! I’m not going to tag a bunch of people, though. If you got this far, you probably want to do the tag anyway and don’t let me stop you! If you decide to do it, comment the link and I’ll read yours too!