Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Literary Meme

This came from Shannon Stacey's blog. You should do it, too, even though I won’t tag anybody.

1) What author do you own the most books by?
Bernard Cornwell. I like his books, AND he's written a lot of them.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?
I don't have more than two of any book--but I have two of quite a few of the classics, since I'm adding free and cheap editions to my Kindle in addition to print books.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
Not in the least.

4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Lord Peter Wimsey. Marcus Didius Falco. Joscelin Verreuil.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children; i.e., Goodnight Moon does not count)? Pride and Prejudice

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old? The Chronicles of Narnia

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
If I'm not enjoying a book, I don't keep reading, so none of the books I read all the way through are bad enough to deserve to be called worst.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?
You mean other than The Sergeant's Lady? Probably Persuasion, my current favorite Austen.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature? No idea.

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
I hope Peter Jackson follows through with the film rights for His Majesty's Dragon one of these days, because Novik's books positively beg for a place on the big screen, IMHO.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Jacqueline Carey's Terre d'Ange books, because I just don't trust Hollywood to handle d'Angeline sexuality with any kind of finesse.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
Don't know if it's weird, since we were all wholly in character, but I dreamed I was at a ball with Richard Sharpe and someone was trying to kill one of us or maybe they were trying to kill Wellington and Sharpe and I were protecting him. I don't think I was a time traveler. I was myself, but a version of me that happened to be born 200 years earlier.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
Whoever originally wrote this quiz would probably consider ALL the fiction I enjoy lowbrow. Next question...

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
Angela's Ashes. Harrowing yet impossible to put down.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
I've never seen any of the obscure ones. Only ones I've seen live are Macbeth and Merchant of Venice.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
I've read pathetically little of either's literature, but in general, the French! I love their food, and the way their language sounds, and all my research on the Napoleonic Era has made me despise Napoleon himself, but admire the French for being just as awesomesauce and badass as the British. Which is not to say that the Russians aren't also pretty badass, and I wouldn't turn down an all-expense-paid trip to either country, but still. France for me.

18) Roth or Updike? no opinion

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers? no opinion

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer? Shakespeare.

21) Austen or Eliot? Austen

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
Someone as into all things Napoleonic Era as I am really should've read War and Peace by now. (And who knows, maybe it'll change my answer to the "French or Russians" question!) Maybe I'll get to it now that I have a Kindle and wouldn't have to drag a heavy tome wherever I go.

23) What is your favorite novel?
Pick one favorite? You must be joking. I can't even pick a single favorite romance, or mystery, or fantasy novel.

24) Play?
Much Ado About Nothing

25) Poem?
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. Or maybe Sea Fever.

26) Essay?
Doubt this is what the original quiz creator had in mind, but Jenny Crusie's Rats With Islands RWA column is an ongoing source of encouragement.

27) Short story?
Meh. Don't have one. I like long books and love long series of books.

28) Work of nonfiction?
Again, pick ONE?! Unpossible.

29) Who is your favorite writer?
I can pick TWO. Jane Austen and CS Lewis. OK, three, because I need my Dorothy Sayers, too.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
I think I draw all kinds of writerly bad karma if I answer the "overrated" and "worst book" type of questions in these memes, so ain't going there...

31) What is your desert island book?
Gaudy Night, by Dorothy Sayers. Though I'd try to sneak in Have His Carcase and Busman's Honeymoon to round out my Peter/Harriet fix.

32) And … what are you reading right now?
Globish, by Robert McCrum (nonfiction, on the history and future of English)


  1. I'd never seen that Crusie article before. Thanks for that.

  2. Isn't it wonderful? I love the last big paragraph:

    So you’re building your island based on unrealistic dreams and convictions made of thin air. What’s the worst that can happen? You never get published or the book of your heart tanks, and you never reach your goal, but at the end of your life you look back and say, “I had a dream and I fought for it, I believed in myself and my work, and I never, ever gave up.” That’s a life well lived, folks, a helluva lot better than, “I had a dream but it wasn’t realistic so I quit and watched television.” Do not let reality push you around, do not be sensible and kill your own dreams, and for the love of God do not let people who are only guessing about what’s going to happen next tell you that you’re a fool for believing in yourself and your stories.

  3. I just came over here from your website. Found you through netgalley and am reading "The Sergeant's Lady" right now.
    Anyway, I really like this meme, I might pick it up for my blog, too. I adore Peter Wimsey, but am undecided on Falco. Have you met Marcus Valerius Corvinus? He might be someone for you, too.

    Yes, I also like Persuasion very much. It is often neglected by people in favour of P&P.

    Gaudy Night? Really? I found that one extremely tedious. I actually prefer the books BEFORE Harriet Vane, even though Busman's Honeymoon is wonderful. One of my fav Sayers, however, is "The documents in the case". I'm sure you know it as a Sayers fan. That was just fabulous, with such a clever solution and the way they detected it.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Rikki, and I hope you enjoy The Sergeant's Lady!

    I'll have to try Marcus Corvinus. I hadn't heard of that series, but it sounds like something I'd like. I'm also looking forward to Gary Corby's The Pericles Commission, first in a series set in ancient Athens, which comes out in a few months.

    Gaudy Night definitely isn't a fast read, but I still love it for the rich characterization and the way Sayers uses language and because I enjoy the Peter/Harriet pairing so much. My favorite non-Harriet Wimsey mystery is Murder Must Advertise.

  5. I've never heard of The Pericles commission, must check it out, thanks for the tip. There is another ancient Athens series out with Aristotle as detective, which is quite nice, too.

    Murder Must Advertise is one of my favourites, too (actually I like them all). The icing on the cake with that one is that in German the last sentence even rhymes, which makes it an ever better ending than it is already.

  6. I found out about The Pericles Commission after stumbling across the author's blog ( If the book is as interesting as the blog, it's sure to be a winner.