I got this tag from Arwen – but it all started with the Perpetual Page Turner way back when. Yes, it’s a few of years old now, but it’s a great tag and I think it deserves resurrecting! So: meet this blogger with an A-Z of me.
AUTHOR YOU’VE READ THE MOST BOOKS BY:
Almost certainly Katharine Kerr. I was eight or ten (much too young; but the cover blurb sounded so innocent) when I read my first Deverry book. Now there are 15 of them, and I’ve read her 5? SF novels too – all of them more than once. I’m not sure any other author has got even halfway there, although Piers Anthony might have got close (…these are not still on my shelf; nostalgia couldn’t vanquish the suck fairy on an attempted reread).
BEST SEQUEL EVER:
It’s rare for a sequel to outdo the first book for me; but A Gathering of Shadows did – much as I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, I loved the new characters and relationships introduced in Shadows even more. And I’m a sucker for contests as a framework for a book.
The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso, gearing up for The Unbound Empire coming out later this month. I’m enjoying it even more second time around, which is saying something given how much I loved my first encounter with it.
DRINK OF CHOICE WHILE READING:
I read with coffee first thing; I read with tea later on; I won’t say no to a glass of wine with my reading in an evening or on holiday. Open minded, me!
E-READER OR PHYSICAL BOOK?
Yes! Ease of commute means e-reader edges it for day to day reading, but I adore curling up with a physical book.
FICTIONAL CHARACTER YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE DATED IN SCHOOL:
I was very self-conscious and apparently quite intimidating, so I didn’t date in high school.
GLAD YOU GAVE THIS BOOK A CHANCE:
Leviathan’s Wake by James S A Corey. I was actively not-interested in it because it blurbed like off the shelf male-dominated macho space opera, and I’d had quite enough of that.
So, um, I was wrong? It’s arguably the weakest novel of The Expanse – oh and is awfully male dominated – but the ideas are great and the series is now one of my all-time favourites. Oh hey, I guess this is a nominee for Best Sequel Ever too – Caliban’s War was far better than Leviathan’s Wake, and Nemesis Games (book 5) and Tiamat’s Wrath (book 8) are my favourites of the series so far.
In a shocking move, I’m not going to bang the drum for an SFFnal fave. Why? Because I’m surprised by how few people have read Sarah Moss – one of my very favourite authors.
Start with Cold Earth if you want an SFnal tinge (an overwrought epistolary ghost story that might just be happening during the flupocalypse) or Night Waking if you fancy exploring the overtired challenges of juggling career, history, husband and toddlers on a Scottish island. Her latest novel, Ghost Wall, about abusive relationships and unhealthy obsessions was absolutely tremendous.
Okay, I can’t resist an SFF plug after all: look up Oliver Langmead too!
IMPORTANT MOMENT IN YOUR READING LIFE:
In November 2015, I ventured out of the snug, friendly Green Dragon forum on LibraryThing to explore the wild world of the book blogosphere and BookTwitter. I got very lucky: I met Lisa of Dear Geek Place very early on as I stumbled straight out into SciFiMonth, where she was running a read-along for The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet – and the rest, as they say, is history. My hobby became a lifestyle (There’s Always Room for One More was born at the end of the month); I gained an amazing new friend; and my TBR has never been the same again. November 2015, folks: it was epic.
Someone Like Me by M R Carey. I didn’t love it, I’m afraid. It’s easy reading, but I find his psychological supernatural thrillers more popcorn than considered. In this case it lacked the emotional heft and thoughtfulness I’d hope to see in a study of survivors with PTSD.
KINDS OF BOOKS YOU WON’T READ:
Romance. No judgement: romance novels are as valid as any other choice of book (and I hate that the world is so sniffy about them that I feel the need to express this); they’re just not for me. See also: most police procedurals, military fic, and most testosterone-fuelled action thrillers. Just not my thing.
So I guess if it boils down to sex or guns, I’ve probably tapped out. Huh.
LONGEST BOOK YOU’VE READ:
I think The Lord of the Rings is still – at 1200 pages plus – the longest book I’ve ever tackled, if you consider it a single book rather than a trilogy. If you don’t, then the award goes to Stephen King’s It. I had great fun a couple of years back looking at the doorstops I’ve read – and the ones still propping open my door.
MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER:
I’ve not really had any book hangovers recently. It’s real life that gets in the way: too much stress at work, or a guilty conscience about reading more books until I’ve cleared some reviews!
NUMBER OF BOOKCASES YOU OWN:
I’ve got 9, I think – plus 2 more that mostly hold my beloved’s reference books; oh, and the 3 shelves that are part of how our living room is built! Plus 5 more that are storing things other than books… LOTS. Let’s go with LOTS. Also, NOT ENOUGH <- every bookworm’s problem.
ONE BOOK YOU’VE REREAD LOTS:
I love a reread – I’m rereading right now! One book I reread on a regular basis is The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, which never fails to make me laugh with its opening chapters and cry before it’s done with me.
PREFERRED PLACE TO READ:
Curled up somewhere comfortable – the sofa or our armchair, usually, with my legs tucked up under me.
QUOTE THAT INSPIRES YOU/GIVES YOU ALL THE FEELS FROM A BOOK YOU’VE READ:
Make it personal
Quellcrist Falconer’s angry rant against the establishment still sends tingles through me. I can’t argue with her logic although I do believe that you make it personal through personal consequences – legal, social, economic – not violence.
After all, another quote that makes me quiver in another way is a line from The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet that we chose for SciFiMonth last year:
The universe is what we make of it
…and I’d very much like to help make it a better place.
I regret that it took me so long to read more consciously. I used to pick up books at random – or so I thought. When I stopped to take stock, I discovered (surprise! No, the other thing) I mostly read white blokes. Don’t give me the line about quality; it was purely a factor of ubiquity. Since I started consciously selecting for more diversity, I’ve found I read far more interesting books. I’m a more critical reader now too; the bar has been raised, not lowered, by reading more widely. So hell yes I wish I’d started paying attention sooner.
SERIES YOU STARTED AND NEED TO FINISH (ALL BOOKS ARE OUT):
The Broken Earth. I still haven’t read The Stone Sky – mostly because I feel these books require me to give them my undivided attention (I read The Obelisk Gate in a cabin in a Scottish glen on a rainy day; I guess I should go north again).
THREE ALL-TIME FAVOURITE BOOKS:
I’ve mentioned quite a few in this post already, so here’s three more…
A life-long favourite: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
A recent favourite: The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
A non-genre favourite: The Secret History by Donna Tartt
UNAPOLOGETIC FANGIRL FOR:
Katharine Kerr (always). Melissa Caruso. Aliette de Bodard. Scott Lynch. Becky Chambers. Nick Harkaway. Jeannette Ng. Dave Hutchinson. Sarah Moss. John Wyndham. Rebecca Kuang (yes, already; she has my bow). Gareth L Powell.
VERY EXCITED FOR THIS RELEASE
MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS:
Oh no, I’m not picking a favourite! So:
The Unbound Empire by Melissa Caruso (I CANNOT WAIT I MAY EXPLODE JUST TWO MORE WEEKS)
The Poison Song by Jen Williams (DON’T KILL MY DARLINGS JEN)
The Dragon Republic by R F Kuang (MY HEART IS READY. FIRE AT WILL)
The House of Sundering Flame by Aliette de Bodard (BRING ME MY DARK ANGELS AND THEIR SILK DRESSING GOWNS)
WORST BOOKISH HABIT:
Buying more? 😀
X MARKS THE SPOT: START AT THE TOP LEFT OF YOUR SHELF AND PICK THE 27TH BOOK:
Which shelf? 😉 But seriously, I’m away from home right now so I shall go with the 27th from top on my Kindle right now, which is… the Hugo-nominated The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (oh hai instant guilt: I read this at Christmas and have never got round to reviewing it. Oops).
YOUR LATEST BOOK PURCHASE:
Vicious by V E Schwab and The Freeze-frame Revolution by Peter Watts – just this morning, ready to read as I travel this week. They’re both nominated in the novella category in The Subjective Chaos Kind of Awards.
ZZZ-SNATCHER BOOK (LAST BOOK THAT KEPT YOU UP WAY LATE):
Someone Like Me – I stayed up late last night to finish it as I didn’t want to pack a heavy library hardback to travel!
I’m not going to explicitly tag anyone, but if you fancy having a go drop me a link in the comments so I can come read all about you! And don’t forget to check out the original post at the Perpetual Page Turner.