A character who you can relate to the most
I think when a book is well written you can relate to almost any character. Obsessive lovers. Crazed psychopaths. Adulterers. I think that’s the beauty of literature and why our reading tastes change over the years. A good writer can make any character relate-able on some level. That’s why I believed the brother/sister relationship in Billy Dead; the reason Judas Coyne, egomaniac ex-rock star of Joe Hill’s fabulous Heart-Shaped Box was essentially sympathetic; why I laughed out loud with Becky Bloomwood (from Confessional of a Shopaholic.) It’s the reason why Stephen King’s books are so successful – the people in peril are everyman/woman types; they could be us.
Even the characters I don’t relate to can be learned from. I can scoff at them, say I’d never behave that way or laugh at their foibles. Characters are friends…for the time I am with them.
A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Books are such personal things – my thing won’t necessarily be your thing. We’ve all encountered books that we’ve loved, we’ve passed on, only to have them returned to us with a shrug. It’s one of the reasons why my book club’s cardinal rule is that we have to choose a book we haven’t read. – less potential for hurt feelings. Of course, it’s human nature to want to share things you’ve loved with other people and books are certainly no exception. We’ve all been there, though, when a book you’ve adored is met with a less than enthusiastic reaction.
Still, it doesn’t stop us from trying to spread the book love by sharing with others. Whenever I discover a new book I try to encourage others to read it. For a while it was Marcus Zusak’s incredible tale, The Book Thief, which I have been advocating for a class set of for our school since I read it. So, so good. Truly, in any study of the Holocaust, this is a must read. It’s funny, heart-breaking and beautifully written.
Then after I read John Connolly’s novel The Book of Lost Things I started passing that around. Another story so deserving of a huge audience.
I ‘ve loaned out Kristin McCloy’s Velocity many times over the years (the reasons should be obvious if you’ve been reading this meme from the beginning.)
Reading is a solo activity, but books belong to us all.
A book you’ve wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
…and the list goes on. There are books on my tbr shelf that have been there for years. Literally. Hello, my name is Christie and I have a book addiction. I could walk over to my bookshelf now and name a dozen books that I want to read and just haven’t got around to yet. Sarah Walters’ The Little Stranger, one of the two other John Connolly’s I have on the shelf. Kate Morton. Another Thomas H. Cook. My tbr shelf is actually like a mini bookstore. So many books, so little time.
Favourite book you own
Every book I own is my favourite book. I love all my books – the books I owned as a kid which are now (mostly) on my daughter’s bookshelves; the books I read to my kids which are now (mostly) downstairs on a bookshelf; the books I’ve purchased at secondhand stores and Indigo and Costco and the library book sale; books I’ve ordered from Abe and Book Closeouts and Chapters. Some people read a book and pass it on. I sometimes lend them, but then I worry about them constantly like a mother worries about children she’s sent out to play. Will they return unharmed? In one piece? At all? Sometimes I write in books. Sometimes I fold over corners. Sometimes I stick my nose in the valley made between the pages. Sometimes I drop them in the tub or spill something on them or break their spines. But I do it all with love. I love unread books waiting for me to choose them. I love those I’ve read and reread, lined up on my bookshelves (beautifully made by my brother, Tom) – each one special because of the time I’ve spent with it.
All my books are favourite books.
Favorite book from your childhood
I feel as though I’ve talked about favourite books from my childhood several times already: The Bobbsey Twins, Jane Eyre, A Little Princess, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. (I might at Trixie Beldon and books by Enid Blyton here.) I can’t really remember a time in my life when I wasn’t reading. Getting the Scholastic order forms at school was a happy time for me (still is, truth be told). Receiving books as gifts, equally wonderful.
Just to shake things up I am going to mention the book Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden. My book has the exact cover seen to the right, but my book has seen better days. I don’t remember who gave me the book, but I adored it. It’s the story of a little girl called Nona who leaves India to live with her aunt and cousins in chilly England. Nona isn’t happy, and then someone sends her two Japanese dolls that Nona feels are as displaced as she is. Published in 1961, this book survived many, many moves and now sits on my daughter’s bookshelf. She loves it as much as I do.
Favourite Romance Book
Yes, it’s true…I am a romantic at heart. A total, card carrying romantic. Love, Actually makes me cry every.single.time.
I am a sucker for the angsty ending. (Hello, Buffy/Angel shipper.) I love the long looks across the crowded room, the single touch that ignites a firestorm of passion, the stolen kisses. The happily-ever-after…when it’s done just right. (I’ve never read the book but the film The Notebook is my idea of the perfect romance…or maybe it’s just that Ryan Gosling is my idea of the perfect man…even though I am old enough to be his mother.)
I used to be a huge LaVyrle Spencer fan. I remember reading her novel, Morning Glory into the wee hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I haven’t read any of her novels for years and I suspect I’d find them too sugary now.
Therefore, my favourite romance novel would have to be The Time Traveler’s Wife. Handsome hero, smart and beautiful heroine, fated and star-crossed…I just loved this book. My advice if you haven’t yet read it…is to ignore the timestamp – it just gets confusing trying to piece it all together. I looked at the ages of Henry and Clare and then read. And wept.
Favorite book turned into a movie
I think the BBC did an excellent job adapting Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith. It’s well worth the watch.
I also loved what Robert Redford did with Judith Guest’s novel, Ordinary People. If you haven’t seen this movie, Mary Tyler Moore is a revelation.
I think it would be easier to talk about the botched film adaptations: The Time Traveler’s Wife (so bad), One Day (even though I haven’t seen the movie, Anne Hatheway’s accent – and I adore Anne Hatheway and think she’s a terrific actress – is horrible)
A book that disappointed you
Lots of books disappoint me. Sometimes it’s because they don’t live up to the hype (Eat, Pray Love), sometimes it’s because I’ve slogged through them only to arrive at a mediocre ending (The Elegance of a Hedgehog), a book by an writer I can normally count on that I just didn’t like (Rise and Shine) and sometimes I’ve loved the book only to arrive at an ending that just doesn’t do the book justice (Still Missing).
I find myself abandoning books earlier now than I used to. I have too many books on my to-be-read shelf and not enough time.
Favorite quote(s) from your favorite book(s)
I don’t actually keep track of my favourite quotes, although maybe I should. I am partial to this one fro Thomas H. Cook’s novel Breakheart Hill:
This is the darkest story that I ever heard and all my life I have labored not to tell it.
Breakheart Hill was my first Thomas H. Cook. Those opening lines sparked my interest and the novel certainly delivered on their promise. I have gone on to read several more of Cook’s novels and I really like his writing.
I also really love the opening lines of John Burnham Schwartz’s novel Claire Marvel:
There was before her and now there is after her, and that is the difference in my life.
I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would, but I did love those lines.
Favourite book of your favourite writer.
Oops. I skipped this question, which should have come immediately after I wrote about my favourite writer: Carolyn Slaughter.
I’d have a hard time naming my favourite book by Ms. Slaughter. The Banquet was the novel I discovered first and the book that sent my scurrying to find more of her work.
I am waiting for them to come. I’m not frightened at all. Their coming is the only certainty, so I hold to it.
Thus begins Harold’s story of his relationship with Blossom, a young Marks and Spencer shop girl.
But I also love her novel The Story of the Weasel (also called Relations). And her book Magdalene. Whatever she turns her hand to, the result is always sublime for me.