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Today in My History

2000: A Loaf of Bread, a Jug of Wine and Thou
Sensitivity Training
Confession is Good for the Soul
Easy Come, Easy Go
The Settling of Eddie
To Work or Not to Work
Gimme a Hug
2008:  Cutting the Budget
2009:  Return to Memes
2010: Voice Mail Hell
2011:  A Very Clean Sunday Stealing
2012: Packing
2013: Guest Post

Bitter Hack
Much Ado About Nothing
The Hound of the Baskervilles

Books Read in 2014
"Happy Accidents"
"The Hit"

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mail to Walt

BOOK MEME - Part 2

July 10, 2014

I realize I have done a lot of book memes, and have probably done part of this one as a Sunday Stealing, but I love answering questions about books so I'll give this one a try again.  There are 55 questions in all, so I'm breaking it into two parts.  This is part 2, some of which sounds familiar, so apologies if I'm repeating myself.

26 Do you feel you read better with or without noise?
I can read with or without and frequently read while the TV is on, but if I had my druthers, it would be without noise.

27 What influences your book choices?
An author I know I like, someone's recommendation, something I've seen about the book on TV or heard on the radio, or, when I'm in the book store, just reading the book jacket and seeing if it sounds interesting. Sometimes nothing more than Amazon suggestions.   In the past year, many of my choices have been influenced by recommendations for learning about dementia.

28 Favorite reading snack?
I don't generally eat while reading.  Just have a large glass of cold water by my side.

29 Do you literally judge a book by its cover, title, or author?
Probably author first, title second and cover third.  Kindle books don't have covers; books at Logos frequently don't have covers.  I actually judge a book I want to read more by its appearance.  A shabby book with discolored and/or wrinkled pages and small type is not something I would usually choose at the used book store. 

30 What is the longest book you have ever read? The shortest?
I checked this recently.  "Gone with the Wind" is over 1,000 pages.   Several others I've read have been in the 900s (like the recent "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" and "Tom Jones," that I read back in high school.)

31 How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Since I'm a professional critic, I don't mind giving a bad review when it's deserved.   I do it for a living (though not of books).

32 Do you make up stories, or ever think about an alternate ending for a book because you want to?

33 Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Hmmm...I can't think of one.

34 Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
I'm never too nervous to begin a book.  I may put it off because of expected time constraints, but if I deide to read it, I'm not nervous about it. (It will be awhile before I start Bill Clinton's autobiography, though!)

35 What book do you try to steer people away from?
The "Left Behind" series, that propagandistic pile of crap. I also would not recommend "Heaven is for Real," another book that starts out as maybe possibly having some merit, but which floats off into such fantasy and religious propaganda, it made me angry.

36 What book do you recommend most to others?
I always recommend Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue" (which I love).   It's the history of the English language and incredibly more fascinating and enjoyable than you'd think. I have also recommended many, many other books, based on the taste of the person I'm giving the recommendation to.

37 Do you ever re-read books?
Not any more, except audio books.  At one time "Marjorie Morningstar" was my favorite book and I read it often.  Also read many Albert Peyson Terhune dog books many times, but these days there are too many I want to read and not enough days left in my life, so I don't give myself the luxury of re-reading books.

38 Favorite fictional character?
I don't know if I have "a" favorite.  I love Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, I sometimes love Kay Scarpetta (when Patricia Cornwell is having a good writing phase).  Of course I love Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Frasier and Claire Randall Fraser. There are lots of other characters that I have loved over the years, none of which come to mind at present.

39 Favorite fictional villain?
If they are "villains," their characters are too black for me to like them.

40 Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
LOL.  All of them!  When you have a Kindle, you can bring lots and lots and lots and lots of books with you.

41 The longest I’ve gone without reading.
A day, maybe?  Since I always have a book with me, it wouldn't be much longer than that.  Definitely not longer than a week.

42 Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The aforementioned "Left Behind" series.  I started Book 1 and ended up throwing it across the room, it so disgusted me.

43 What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Almost nothing.  If the dogs are barking outside and I have to stop and bring them in, that's a distraction.

44 Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Nothing is ever perfect, but "Gone with the Wind" was surprisingly good.

45 Most disappointing film adaptation?
Definitely "Prince of Tides," which I loved, but which Barbra Streisand, in making herself the central character, totally ruined.  Second might be "Marjorie Morningstar" which looked like it was going to be perfectly cast (and was), but the changes they made to the script ruined the story for me.

46 The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I can't remember.  No large sums in recent years, for sure.

47 How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never.  I want to be surprised.  If I'm choosing a book to read at Logos, I might read a few pages in the middle just to see if I like the writing style, but most of the time, no.

48 What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Realizing that I was bored out of my skull and wasn't interested in what happened to any of the characters.

49 Do you like to keep your books organized?
Nothing in my life is organized, my books least of all.

50 Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I give a lot to Logos.

51 Do you read for enjoyment or to gain knowledge?
Definitely for enjoyment, which often includes gaining knowledge as a byproduct.

52 Name a book that made you angry.
I'm reading a book right now, "I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced" which is about child marriage in Yemen and that's making me pretty angry. Her father sold her to her husband, who was in his 30s.  I am also reading a book called "The Elephant in Captivity," written in 1981 by a man who really loved elephants and was trying to get laws changed to make it easier to import elephants into the U.S. for zoos and circuses because their populations were diminishing in the wild.  I suspect that at the time this was felt to be a good thing to do, but given what we now know about elephant societies and the cruelty they suffer in zoos and circuses (the biggest one having no "family" around) almost everything he writes makes me angry...but I do want to stick with it to the end and see how many situations he covers.  And of course, the Nazi atrocities described in "Babi Yar," where thousands were killed during the Nazi occupation of Kiev made me very angry.

53 A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Oddy enough a book called "The Pretty Women of Paris," which is essentially a guide to the prostitutes of Paris in the late 1800s.  It was one of my Logos books and I intended to just kind of skim it, but found it fascinating.

54 A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
"The Stupidest Angel" by Christopher Moore.  I loved his "The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's childhood Pal" and when my book club chose this book, I eagerly started reading it, but quickly decided it should have been named "The Stupidest BOOK."  (Our book club was divided on it; half of us hated it; half of us loved it)

55 Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
All of my reading is guilt-free.


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Day 10:  Happiness is a pain-free dental proedure.
and a chance to spend an hour catching up with my dentist, Cindy,
who is a long-time friend as well as my dentist.


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