Questions and answers

It’s never a good sign when you think to yourself – when was the last time I blogged? I was out of town last weekend and then caught a nasty cold this week, so I’ve been down for the count. I had a lot of plans (I always do!), but they were pretty much derailed by this cold. Fortunately, Claire was lovely enough to give me something to blog about on this fine Sunday.

1. What propelled your love affair with books—any particular title or a moment?

I have always been known as nose-stuck-in-a-book, book-worm. I think this is because, with separated parents living nearly 300 miles apart, I was always traveling, always in a car. This was before the days of laptops or portable DVD players or anything of the sort. My dad and I had music, the scenery, conversation, and books to keep us entertained. Well, I had books. He was driving. The scenery is not much on US-13 up and down the Eastern Shore of DelMarVa. The land is beautiful away from 13, but right on the road? It’s strip malls and swaths of coastal forests and fields upon fields of farmland. So I read, and I read to my dad, and, later, we listened to audiobooks. My grandmother was an avid reader too, and she would take me to the library whenever I visited.

But my modern incarnation as an all-out obsessive reader? I can pinpoint three reading experiences and I’ve talked about them all to some degree here. They are Ella EnchantedA Wrinkle in Time, and, of course, Harry Potter. There were other books, of course, but these are the ones that I read and reread and continue to reread to this day. Before those books, I remember a book about a cat with two different colored eyes. And children’s horror novels illustrated by Edward Gorey. I remember visiting the school library and being relegated to the “2nd grade and under” section with just the picture books. I would try to explain to the librarians that I was already reading chapter books, but they never listened. I had to wait until 3rd grade just like everyone else. It was the great tragedy of my young life.

2. Which fictional character would you like to be friends with and why?

I was going through my most recently read books, trying to find a character, and there’s barely a redeemable friend-quality character in there. I think I just like to read books about bad people.

I’d love to be friends with anyone from The Night Circus, because that would mean that the circus is real, but especially Bailey. I love that he was just an ordinary boy who loved the circus and eventually he became the glue that would hold it all together again.

3. Do you write your name on your books or use bookplates?

No, because my library isn’t properly established yet. I give away most of the books that I read without expecting them to return to me. Some, of course, I buy for keeps. Perhaps, eventually, I will put bookplates in those, but right now, my library is spread out and divided in boxes.

4. What was your favourite book read this year?

I think it’s going to have to be The Night Circus, so far. The book I look back on most fondly, that’s for sure. The most technically amazing book? Probably not. But the book I enjoyed reading the most? Absolutely.

5. If you could read in another language, which language would you choose?

I can, or I could, read in Spanish, but never very well. It was always a struggle for me in a way that speaking or understanding Spanish was not. I am not sure why. If I could read another language, though, I think I would choose Japanese. Whenever I read a book originally written in Japanese I just want to know what it would be like to read it in its original language.

6. Name a book that made you both laugh and cry.

Any of the later Harry Potter books. JK Rowling can be so funny. Looking for Alaska and  The Fault in Our Stars, of course. Oh, and Looking for Bapu by Anajali Banerjee, which is absolutely heartbreaking, but made me giggle on occasion. Most of the books I could think of that fell under this category were Young Adult or Middle Grade. How very interesting.

7. Share with us your favourite poem?

However could I pick a favorite poem, Claire? How? There are so many that mean something to me. How about the last poem that made me stop and read it all over again: “Big Game” by Brenda Shaughnessy:

—after Richard Brautigan’s “A Candlelion Poem”

What began as wildfire ends up

on a candle wick. In reverse,
it is contained,

a lion head in a hunter’s den.
Big Game.

Bigger than one I played
with matches and twigs and glass
in the shade.

When I was young, there was no sun
and I was afraid.

Now, in grownhood, I call the ghost
to my fragile table, my fleshy supper,
my tiny flame.

To read the rest of “Big Game” by Brenda Shaughnessy, please go here.

These questions came with an award, The Liebster Award. Perhaps I’m not the only one who will wake up one morning with nothing lingering in my draft folder and you could use seven questions to get the post going? Chris, Debi, Clare, Cass, Heather, and O? Anyone else who is reading this afternoon? These are your questions:

1. Is there anyone in your life who made you a reader? Who influenced your reading?
2. Name one experience you had reading that changed your perspective on something.
3. What was the most beautiful reading experience you had?
4. If you could have any all-consuming hobby other than reading and blogging, what would it be?
5. Tell me your favorite song right now. (Totally selfish – I would like new music to listen to.)
6. Which character have you most identified with? The one character who, when you read about them, seemed eerily similar to you?
7. Because I want everyone to answer Claire’s final question: What is your favorite poem right now?

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

3 thoughts on “Questions and answers

  1. Thanks for answering these questions, Lu, I enjoyed reading them. Interesting how everyone’s love affair with books are so different yet so the same. My husband is still amazed how I can read in a moving vehicle. I said it comes with practice.. years of practice, from childhood! 🙂

    I would certainly love to be able to read in Japanese, too. And I really need to read The Night Circus soon. Everyone seems to be loving it. It does really interest me, too. And I don’t know why I haven’t read any other John Green when I loved Paper Towns so much. I’ve been meaning to. Speaking of YA, Spinelli’s Stargirl made me cry.

    The poem you shared is beautiful, thanks.

  2. Hey Lu–I’ve been meaning to ask you if you liked The Night Circus? 😉 I really enjoyed the book as well but I’m not certain I’d want to be friends with many of the characters–some of them seemed so dark and conflicted!! I do think Bailey has promise, though.

    I write my name in my books when I’ve finished with them (I almost always keep them). I’m not sure this is a good habit or not, but figure they’re my books so what’s the harm? 😉

  3. I did a similar post. I answered Ana’s questions because I needed a post and it has kept getting pushed back. Right now it is scheduled for Monday. 🙂

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