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Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category

I saw this blog entry from Stuck in a Book and I thought I’d provide my own list.  The responses to Simon’s blog were really interesting.

1.) The book I’m currently reading:

War by Sebastian Junger: An incredible book based on the year Sebastian Junger spent with the American Army’s 2nd battalion in the Korengal Valley in Eastern Afghanistan.  So far I’ve read about 50% and it’s a fascinating insight into modern warfare and the impact it has on soldiers and their relationships with each other.  It’s pretty brutal and blunt at times but it’s also gripping.  The fact that the war in Afghanistan is on the news almost everyday only serves to emphasise the relevance of this book.  Highly recommended.

2.) The last book I finished:

Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut: A really interesting read.  It was quick and easy and actually really enjoyable.  When I read the blurb, “Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore.” I didn’t really know what to expect!  So I was pleasantly surprised and on a more serious note, it’s a novel that highlights the impact of war in its own way.

3.) The next book I want to read:

Blackout by Connie Willis: Three young historians travel from 2060 to early 1940s Britain for firsthand research. I’ve got a copy of the hardback version from the library and I’ev read the first few pages, it seems really easy to read and I’m intrigues as to how much period detail there will be and how she integrates the future.  I’m looking forward to settling in with this one.

4.) The last book I bought:

Tell No One by Harlan Coben: It was on offer on Amazon and even though I’ve already read it I couldn’t resist!  It’s a good book to have to hand in case I need something I can leave behind on holiday.  It’s a typical Coben mystery/thriller; enjoyable and easy.

5.) The last book I was given:  I was actually given a present of 3 books recently:


Reality Hunger by David Shields: Apparently this book “questions every assumption we ever made about art, the novel, journalism, poetry, film, TV, rap, stand-up, graffiti, sampling, plagiarism, writing, and reading.”  I’ve no idea if this is true, but I look forward to finding out!


The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell: This book poses question after question – it looksa bit odd but I reckon it’ll get me thinking!

and finally, Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears: Historical fiction, which I like and it’s a mystery, which I also like.  That’s all I know about this one so far, but I’m looking forward to it.

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A reading meme

I first saw a reading meme on Bookish NYC’s blog and I thought it might be a good way to introduce myself.

Do you snack while you read?
Yes –I can almost guarantee I’ll eat something while I’m reading.  Plus I always read if I’m eating out by myself.  If so, what is your favorite reading snack?  Wee buns, more commonly known as cupcakes.
What is your favorite drink while reading?
Tea.
Do you tend to mark your books while you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Never, it horrifies me!  I even hate it when someone gives me a book as a gift and they’ve written in the front of it.  Books should be read and thought about not written in.
How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book open flat?
I have lots of ‘proper’ bookmarks that I’ve bought at various museums and bookshops and I do use them but I also use tickets from the theatre, concerts, sporting events and museums.  In a pinch I’ll use anything as a bookmark, I would never bend a page to mark it.
Fiction, nonfiction, or both?
Both but I probably read much more fiction than non-fiction.  That’s probably because fiction tends to take less time.
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I can stop anywhere when I have to, if I need to get off a bus for example but I much prefer to read to a natural break.
Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I believe I may have thrown a book once, I think it was something I was forced to read in school.  Certainly it’s not a habit!
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
No, I try to guess what it means but if it sticks in my head I’ll look it up later.
What are you currently reading?
Ulysses by James Joyce.  Though I’ve been reading it for approximately 6 months!
I’m also reading The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee and The Empress File by John Sandford.
What is the last book you bought?
I recently went a bit nuts in Waterstones and bought 10 books, including Wigs on the Green by Nancy Mitford, The Inimitable Jeeves by PG Wodehouse, The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre,  La Dame aux Camelias by Alexandre Dumas and Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon by Jane Austen.
Do you have a favorite time/place to read?
I love to curl up on a comfy chair with a cup of tea and read for hours, it doesn’t actually matter where that chair is!  I’ll happily read anywhere; tube, bus, pub, beach etc!
Do you prefer series books or stand-alones?
I don’t have a preference but once I find an author I like I’ll quite often go and find more books by that author, whether it’s a series or more stand-alones.
Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
It depends who making the recommendation to and why.  If someone is looking to expand their reading habits I’ll try and recommend new genres.  For science fiction I’ll recommend Feist and Pratchett.  For classics I’ll recommend Austen, Dickens, Dumas and Collins.  For crime and thrillers I’ll recommend Lee Child, John Sandford, Agatha Christie, Linda Fairstein and Sara Paretsky.  And I’d recommend To Kill a Mockingbird to anyone.
How do you organize your books (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)?
They’re ordered by basic genre and author but I’ve not divided fiction into sub-genres.
Do you prefer to read with background noise or silence?
I really don’t mind too much.  If I’ve set up the perfect ambience with tea, cake and a comfy chair I’ll probably have some music on in the background, maybe some Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin.

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Hello world!

So this is the first posting of my new blog!  I’ve no illusions that this will be the most interesting post – things can only get better!  Firstly I must confess that I did steal and paraphrase a John Keats quote for the header of my blog, Keats actually said; 

“Give me books, fruit, French wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors, played by someone I do not know.” John Keats

I think that sums up my attitude to reading, it should be relaxed and enjoyable and preferably accompanied by cake!

I plan on using this blog to comment on the books I’ve been reading and plan to read but I doubt I’ll be sticking to just commenting on books.

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