Reading Habits

Suspense author and fabulous blogger Stacy Green tagged me in a “Get to Know You” game. That makes me think of The King and I, and now my brain is off on a tangent of hearing Deborah Kerr sing “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you . . .”

Never mind.

Anyway, games come with RULES: 1. You must post the rules. 2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged. 3. Tag eleven people and link to them. 4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.

Rather than invent new questions and tag others, I decided I really just want to answer Stacy’s questions because they focus on fiction. Since I like to talk about fiction on Deep-Fried Fridays, here’s a little about me and my reading habits:

If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?

First choice, Narnia. I definitely want to meet Aslan . . . and ride a horse and wield a sword and talk to animals.

Next choice (and quite the opposite), a James Bond novel. I actually didn’t like the book Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, but I am convinced that I missed my calling as a Bond girl. What do you think my name should be?

Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

I prefer quiet, but I can read with background buzz. If the voices or music are too close, however, I find myself easily distracted. I definitely hate that feeling of reading a sentence four times over because other stimuli are throwing my concentration off. That said, my favorite place to read is outdoors, where the background noise is an ocean tide thundering or birds and cicadas chirping.

What was the first book you ever read?

The ones I most recall reading were the Nancy Drew and The Little House on the Prairie series. Before these, though, my favorite story as a child was Gerald McBoing-Boing by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss).

I also read Bluebeard from a fairy tale collection over and over. The story both intrigued and unnerved me.

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If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be? No, not one! Asking a voracious reader that question is like saying, “Which finger do you most want to keep?” “Um, all of them!”

Okay, okay — back against the wall, tortured if I don’t decide, and not counting a standard answer like “the Bible” — I’ll pick Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd  C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (My gut is wrenching and my face is twitching. Only one book?)

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Favorite author?

I cannot pick another JUST ONE! I already did that! Here are a few authors I’ve read several books from: C.S. Lewis, Charles Martin, Rhys Bowen, Agatha Christie, Charlaine Harris (but not her Sookie Stackhouse series), Leo Tolstoy, the Bronte family (can’t I count them all together?), Rosemary Clement-Moore, Elizabeth Peters, Lois Lowry, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Is that enough? I bet I could think of more.

Do reviews influence your choice of reads?

Yes, a little. If something is widely adored or panned, I pay attention. Even then, however, I try to find out why people had such an intense reaction. A recommendation from a friend who shares my taste trumps an official book review, though.

Fiction or Non-fiction?

Like eating vegetables, I read non-fiction because it’s good for me. Like devouring chocolate, I read fiction because it’s yummy to me.

Have you ever met your favorite author?

Nope. Oddly enough, I don’t have a strong desire to meet authors or celebrities. It would be nice, but as long as they keep writing great books . . .

Audio books or Paperbacks?

Paperbacks. I’m also learning to like ebooks. I prefer, however, to do non-fiction through audio. I can listen well to an audio book while cleaning my house or walking around the neighborhood.

Classic or Modern Novels?

Classic — but not because the writing was any better before. It’s mainly because if something’s great, it’s still around fifty years from now. If something stinks, it usually falls by the wayside. That said, I read more modern novels because I have so many friends with books out and it sharpens my understanding of what I should be writing now.

Book Groups or Solitary Reading?

I have been in a Book Club for several years. However, the six of us would be friends regardless; we meet six times a year, every other month; and we read 1-2 books for each meeting. The rest of the time, I’m a solitary reader.

The book we have tapped for our next meeting is a non-fiction bestseller, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

So I said that I’m not making up eleven questions, but I will make up ONE. I’ll pose it, answer it, and then ask you to respond to it in the comments.

If you could invite three dead authors to a dinner for four, whom would you invite? I think I’d have a rip-roaring great time with Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, and Leo Tolstoy. If one of them turned down the invite, Jane Austen would be next on my list.

Thanks to Stacy Green for this great exercise. If you haven’t popped over there, check out her blog. Her Thriller Thursday posts are especially intriguing.

So who would you invite to dinner? Also feel free to answer any of the above questions about your own reading habits!

20 thoughts on “Reading Habits

  1. Fun questions! I would love to have dinner with a bunch of my wana authors- but to pick famous ones. Mark Twain, Stephan King, and Cherie Priest- just because I think the conversation would be crazy fun.

    1. That would be a cool supper, Alica! And yes, I’d love to eat with my WANA friends, but I don’t think I could keep that dinner to 4 people only! We’d be in a banquet room, with dinner, a DJ, and a dance floor for a long night of par-tay. 🙂

  2. ONE BOOK? Yeah, that’s not a question I could possibly answer either. I mean, which of my children is my favorite? Maybe if I was given ten books, I could narrow it down. Maybe.

    Hmm. If I could invite three authors to dinner. Interesting. I’d want to invite Shakespeare (and then I’d ask him, “So. Iambic Pentameter. Really?!” Kidding :)!) , Alexandre Dumas (I’d pick his brain about The Count of Monte Cristo), and Shel Silverstein (who wrote the book that made me a reader–Where The Sidewalk Ends). But, but…if we could squeeze in a few extra: Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Dr. Suess, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, John Green, Stephanie Perkins, Tina Fey… I better buy a bigger table and more dishes.

  3. Oh man, the though of having to choose one book… or even one author, gives me shivers! What a horrible thing to contemplate! But if forced to choose, it would be modern. While there’s certainly plenty to be learned, from both a literary and historical perspective, I’m not a big fan of classic literature. Which would also make it hard to choose which dead authors I’d want to have dinner with – although Twain’s good, because his books are still entertaining. Fun topic!

  4. That book you’re reading for your club sounds so intriguing! You’ll have to let us know what you think of it. I also love how you compared non-fiction and fiction to veggies and chocolate. Perfect!

    I’d pick…George Orwell, John Milton, and Leonardo DaVinci. How’s that for some sporadic choices? 😉

  5. Great questions, and thanks for the mention! I think your table would be awesome. Would love to have a conversation with Mark Twain. That would be amazing.

    I have to pick 3 … hmmm. Mark Twain, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Emily Dickinson.

  6. These questions are awesome. Perhaps I will answer them as well. I’ll have to see. Great to get to know you better. Love getting to know you more. Julie – you are awesome!

    Ok, if I could invite someone to dinner author-wise, it’d have to be Ayn Rand. Her book Atlas Shrugged is brilliant. If it was a musician though, totally Bono from U2. haha

  7. Wow, who would I invite to dinner?? I can’t stick to just three so please forgive me… Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Shel Silverstein, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allen Poe…

    Oh my goodness. There are so many more, but what a dinner party this would be. Thanks for the mind-bending question, and I loved learning more about you in this exercise. 🙂

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