Book Nerd Meme

1. What author do you own the most books by?
Mark Twain

2. What book do you own the most copies of?
Probably Huckleberry Finn – I have three copies…or maybe four.

3. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
None – never had a crush on any fictional character, but there were I few cases where I wished I WAS the character.

4. What book have you read more than any other?
The Stand by Stephen King

5. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
Probably The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

6. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
There are five books that tie for worst in the past 12 months (Apr 08 to Apr 09):
Rescuing Sprite by Mark Levin (great subject, terrible writing)
First Love by Joyce Carol Oates (great writing, deplorable subject)
Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells (so bad I could not get myself to read Divine Secrets, even though it was supposed to be better)
Predator by Patricia Cornwell (characters were flat, story was so far-fetched I couldn’t get into it)
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (I know it was a huge hit, but it annoyed me completely)

Since I wrote this meme in April 09, I will update my “worst reads” to the current date – thankfully there are only two:

Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge (very very negative)
Grace [Eventually]: Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott (DEFINITELY not about God’s grace…click here for my book review)

7. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (gritty and violent, but superbly written) – read Feb 2009

Best books from April 09 to present (several tie for this designation)

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (superb in every way)
My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas (click here to read my review)
A Child’s Calendar by John Updike (really interesting, well crafted poetry simple & meaningful)
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (outstanding Southern fiction)
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (outstanding)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (darkly real depiction of circus life)
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern (Freakin’ hilarious!!)
There Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (incredibly rendered story of a black woman’s life in FL during the 1930s) 
The Prodigal God and Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller (good, sound theological analysis, powerfully written)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (wrenchingly sad)

8. If you could tell everyone to read one book, what would it be?
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss or Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (awesome kids books)
The Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte (complex story that is flawlessly executed)

9. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Hard to say… Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (in Middle English), Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (difficult content for a 12th grader)

10. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
Probably the French, due solely to the fact that I loved Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac

11. Shakespeare, Milton or Chaucer?
No preference – they’re all good for different reasons.

12. Austen or Eliot?
No preference

13. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Classics – I’ve read a lot, but not nearly as many as I should have read by now.

14. What is your favorite novel?
Several…
Queen of the South by Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Stand by Stephen King
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Purgatorio by Dante
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

15. Play?
Noises Off by Michael Frayn or Lysistrata by Aristophanes

16. Poem?
Most anything by John Donne, “Stop All the Clocks” (aka “Funeral Blues”) by W.H. Auden

17. Essay?
“A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift

18. Short Story?
“Why I Live at the P.O.” by Eudora Welty, “The Beard” by Fred Chappell

19. Non Fiction
Several…
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott (the whole series)
Into Thin Air by John Krakauer
Night by Elie Wiesel
My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas
The Prodigal God and Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

20. Graphic Novel?
Never read any graphic novels

21. Science Fiction?
The only science fiction I’ve read is Isaac Asimov.

22. Who is your favorite writer?
I suppose I have to say Mark Twain, due to the fact that he is the only writer whose work I have generally loved. Most other writers are hit & miss with me.

23. Who is the most over-rated writer alive today?
I wouldn’t say definitively that a certain writer is over-rated, but of what I have read over the years, there are LOTS of books that are highly over-rated. Writers can have their moments of brilliance even if they are not the greatest, so I’m loathe to make that kind of generalization.

24. What are you reading right now? (this is current as of 6 Nov 2010)
Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff; Faith in the Face of Apostacy: The Gospel According to Elijah and Elisha by Raymond B. Dillard; Calm My Anxious Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Contentment by Linda Dillow; Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway; The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers; You’re Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation by Deborah Tannen

25. Best Memoir?
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas

26. Best History?
Don’t read a lot of history.

27. Best mystery or Noir?
The Lady in the Morgue by Jonathan Latimer (hardboiled detective fiction)

28. What is in your pile of books ‘to be read’?
Close to 1000 books so far.

29. Do you prefer to own books or to borrow them?
Own them, of course.

30. Do you write in your books?
Occasionally – and I take no issue when others do it as well. I have been known to purchase books that have been written in just to get a new perspective on what I’m reading.

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