Just when I was wondering whether I should pick up a study book (I’ve been ill for a while and now I’m really behind on things) the lovely Anne from Books Baking and Blogging tagged me in this cool booktag. No studying for me! Instead I’ll cough up my deepest, darkest secrets about these Seven Deadly Sins.
What is your most inexpensive book? What is your most expensive book?
My most inexpensive books – apart from books I got as a present, which I’m guessing doesn’t count – are technically Marcus Zusak’s The Book Thief and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. I bought them for exactly one dollar cent at Amazon. However, after I paid for shipping they were still cheap, but not the cheapest book I own. Last year I bought a copy of Jenny Valentine’s Broken Soup at a charity shop for 50p, which was a great deal for this amazing book.
For a long time the most expensive book I owned was a textbook I had to buy for my minor in communication studies at university. I hated this book and thought it really wasn’t worth the money at all. Fortunately, I have since given it to my boyfriend, who is actually interested in the topic, making the most expensive book I own now one I absolutely love. The Graphic Canon is a collection of interpretations of English classics by graphic novel/ comic artists. I only own the second volume, which deals with the time period I’m most interested in. You can read my review of the book here.
What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Confession: I have a love/hate relationship with Virginia Woolf without ever having read any of her works. In class we discussed the novel The Hours by Michael Cunningham, who presents her as a ‘mad genius’. Many of my classmates are huge fans of her work and at some point all of their praises of her brilliance made me a bit sick. At the same time I heard that she was very arrogant and refused to publish James’ stream of consciousness writing out of jealousy, later claiming that he stole her idea. But should I judge her work by her character? I don’t think so. There is only one solution: I should find myself a copy of Mrs Dalloway and judge for myself. To be continued..
What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
The Harry Potter series, definitely. My mum started reading the Dutch translations to my brothers and me when we were little, but I soon found that she read too slowly and finished most of the books myself. And then I read them again. And again. And again. As soon as my English was good enough I started reading the originals, and I probably have read most of those several times as well. However, what carved J.K. Rowling’s sentences into my mind most clearly were the audiobooks. When I was little my mum would get the Dutch audiobooks from the library every time I was ill. Later a friend gave me the English audiobooks and since then I’ve had Stephen Fry read to me whenever I can’t sleep. I can quote entire passages from the books by now so I’ve taken a little break, but secretly I miss Harry and his world a lot.
Then there is another series, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, that I would read every summer holiday for many years. Nowadays I hardly re-read books anymore, there are simply to many great new books that I want to read. In a way, that’s a shame.
What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
Mainly books I had to read for my courses, such as Henry James’ The Portrait of a Lady. It seemed like an interesting book, but I felt like I hadn’t the time and, to be fair, I was too lazy to make the effort. Then there are books that I feel I want to have read, but I have owned for several years without ever picking them up, such as The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.
What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Having just started a research master in literature, I’m surrounded by people who sound like they know a lot about books. This makes it hard not to be a bit pretentious sometimes and I occasionally catch myself saying things like “Recently I read a beautiful modernist work by Proust, who…”. No one in my class needs to know that the one book by Proust I read is, in fact, the first book I ever read that was written by a French author. Oops.
What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?
I don’t think I’ve had many book crushes, but I do enjoy a nice heartwarming romance novel from time to time. The protagonists’ attributes don’t matter as much as the chemistry they have witch each other, though I do like it when characters have minor flaws that make them feel more ‘real’. As much as I admire a witty and kickass heroine, I also like her to have a bad hair day or a grumpy morning from time to time.
What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
It’s almost my birthday, folks ;). At the moment there is not one particular book I would like to own, but I always like pretty editions of English classics. This summer I visited a friend whose parents own a whole cupboard full of old penguin editions, which did make me feel a bit envious.
After my remarks on Virginia Woolf, I have decided to read some of her works, can anyone recommend me a particular novel to start with?
I tag Em from alwaysopinionatedgirl and Dani from onlybooksandhorses, as well as anyone who feels like confessing their book sins to the world :). Please leave a link to your blog in the comment section if you’ve done this tag, I’d love to read your answers!