Bookshelf tag – I’m it!

I’ve been tagged by Marcia Meara, whose answers you can find here. It works like this:

“Answer the following questions about books on your bookshelf and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.”

1. Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?

Actually there isn’t. Goodness, my first answer is boring. Now I’m sad.

2. Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

One? Just one? Well, I guess I have go to with good old Lord of the Rings then, which when I was 8 or 9 years old made me a fantasy reader for life.

More recently, although still many years ago, I was generally bored by biographies until I started reading Allison Weir. I believe The Six Wives of Henry VIII was the first of hers I read. I enjoy historical fiction, though, so that was kind of a natural progression.

I can’t think of anything recently that’s inspired me to read a genre I haven’t before, but that’s because I’m pretty much a genre floozie. I’m not sure there are any I haven’t read before.

3. Find a book you want to reread. (Question 3 is suspiciously absent from Marcia’s list, but I found it on Stella’s.)

I reread books regularly, specifically books with very well-drawn settings that give me that sense of being transported elsewhere: Rebecca, Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter series.

Oddly, it’s not necessarily the same list as my favorite books, although of course I wouldn’t reread it if I didn’t love it. But rereading for me is more about the world than the characters or story. Jane Eyre is probably my favorite book of all time, but I don’t reread it as often as some others.

4. Is there a book series you’ve read but wish that you hadn’t?

Heavens, no. Why would anyone wish they hadn’t read something? I suppose that happens in the sense of wishing you hadn’t wasted time on something, but if I felt that way about the first book, I wouldn’t go on to read the whole series.

5. If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

Well, can’t I just save my Kindle, so I’m saving a bunch at once? Or scoop a whole armful off a shelf? It seems unlikely I could only save one. But if my fingers are burning off and I can only balance one book on my elbow, I’d go for Jane Eyre, because poor Jane’s had enough destroyed by fire.

I don’t actually have any expensive or special editions of anything, so from a collector’s standpoint, I wouldn’t weep for the physical objects themselves. Apart from all that wasted paper, that is.

6. Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

Again with the just one! It’s very cruel. I’m just going to ignore the “just one” instruction from now on, okay?

I’d have to go back to all the children’s books that meant so much to me in my youth: Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit, Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series, Narnia. Anne Shirley, I will always love you.

I also have fond memories of waiting on my front porch for the last Harry Potter book to arrive, then spending the entire rest of the day eating fudge and reading it, having delegated all household and child-rearing chores to others. It was like a holiday.

7. Find a book that has inspired you the most.

I’d have to say all the childhood books named above. They made me love books and reading, which is something that has shaped my entire life.

8. Do you have any autographed books?

Nope. But I’m considering stalking Marcia long enough to find out where she lives and break in to steal that autographed copy of Rebecca she has. It’s one of my favorite books of all time.

9. Find the book that you have owned the longest.

Maybe this doesn’t count, but I’ve got the covers of my original childhood copies of The Horse and His Boy, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Anne of Green Gables all framed. As for which entire book is oldest, I’m honestly not sure. They’re all looking pretty beat up. I’m one of those people who eats while she reads and stains the pages with chocolate, and dog-ears her pages, and makes a tragic mess of the binding. (You can see why I love my Kindle.) I don’t mind my books being lived in.

10. Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

Not really. I don’t read the ones I don’t think I’ll enjoy. I’m trying to think if I felt forced to read anything in college and then ended up liking it, but as far as I recall, I pretty much looked forward to all of those too, because I’m a dork. Except Moby Dick and Notes from Underground. I never imagined I’d enjoy either of those, and I was right.

Tag time!

I’m going to tag Servetus. I’m not sure she’ll do it, as her blog is themed and this won’t fit, but she’s all scholarly and stuff, so I’d be curious to read her answers.

I’m also going to tag Paula Light.

And Roy.

And Lisen Minetti.

And Lyda.

Mostly because those five seem like they’d have very different answers, and I imagine variety and discovering new books is part of the point. I’d tag Don too, but I’m pretty sure he’s busy burningburning.

Thanks for thinking of me, Marcia!

8 words on the street

  1. LOVE your answers, Jen, and guess what? I didn’t even know I missed that question. Cut & Paste errors are the bane of my writing existence. I don’t know why I bother. I’ll go back and add it in now that you’ve told me. I had an answer ready, and everything. :)

    As for stealing my autographed copy of Rebecca, all I can tell you is “battered” and “dog-eared” don’t begin to describe it. Somehow it got shunted to a box in the attic during a move, and languished there in silverfish heaven for several years. It is shabby and chewed upon and utterly pathetic, but I still love it. It’s my favorite book of all time, my daughter’s middle name, and I can still read the signature clearly. So it’s not worth a lot of money, but it’s worth the world to me. I read it when I was 12 (that was a busy year for me and my books) and it changed how I thought about writing forevermore. I want to be Daphne du Maurier when I grow up and write love stories with a wicked twist at the end, that people will remember 100 years after I’m gone. *sigh* Thanks for taking part, Jen. I knew I’d love your responses.

  2. I’ve always wished I could do settings like du Maurier. She has such a talent for putting you in a place, and while I wouldn’t trade Rebecca or House on the Strand for anything, it almost makes me wish she’d written some fantasy. :)

    • OMG, yes! To be able to make a place so real in a reader’s mind…the colors, the scents, the sounds…what a gift! I used to imagine it as her dipping her pen into a bowl of words and drizzling pictures down the page.

      Who could ever forget walking down that drive at Manderley, or looking out over the cliffs to the ocean crashing below, or strolling among the white azaleas? Or the house, itself? Fantastic. I can’t imagine what she would have done in creating a fantasy world.

      I’ve read everything she ever wrote, and while Rebecca will always be my favorite, I enjoyed them all. Especially The Scapegoat, My Cousin, Rachel, and The House on the Strand. She had a wicked sense of irony and an appreciation for the cruel twists of fate, too. And she wrote the short story that inspired The Birds, so she could certainly do some scary bits when she wanted to.

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