Bedtime Story

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 | Posted in Eye Candy, reading

Mary-Louise Parker reads Alice in Wonderland. Delightful.

Here’s a preview of her feature in Esquire (August 2009).

Book Meme

Friday, July 3rd, 2009 | Posted in reading

Borrowed from SamuraiFrog

1) What author do you own the most books by?

I think it must be Valerie Martin. I’ve read 8 out of her 9 novels and 1 of her short story collections.

I’ve read 9 of Alexander McCall Smith’s books from the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but I’ve given most of them away to charity shops. If I kept all the books I’ve ever purchased, I wouldn’t have anywhere to sleep.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I don’t buy multiple copies (well I did once in error). I’m not into collecting first editions or anything like that; I just like to read for pleasure. I used to have a couple of bibles, but I’m not sure if I gave one away.

3) Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?


4) What fictional character are you secretly in love with?

Edward Cullen… Only kidding, who in their right mind would want a soppy stalker vampire boyfriend with cold sparkly skin?

I’ve always had a thing for George Cooper, the King of Thieves from the Alanna books by Tamora Pierce. He’s attractive, charismatic and always handy in a fight.

5) What book have you read the most times in your life?

Probably the first Alanna book.

6) What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?

I’m not sure, it was probably a Judy Blume book. Maybe Forever.

7) What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?

Playing the Game by Belle de Jour was quite boring.

8) What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?

I recently finished Mystery Man by Bateman, and a book has never made me laugh so much. It’s got it all; mystery, murder, romance and an unbelievably neurotic narrator.

9) If you could force everyone you tagged to read one book, what would it be?

Probably Mystery Man, but I’m not sure that everyone would enjoy the dark humour as much as I did.

10) Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for literature?

Haruki Murakami

11) What book would you most like to see made into a movie?

Firmin by Sam Savage. An uplifting tale of a special mouse who loves books and movies. It would make a lovely silent short movie.

12) What book would you least like to see made into a movie?

Nothing comes to mind, maybe another Dan Brown book.

13) Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.

I can’t think of any.

14) What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?

Groove, Bang, And Jive Around by Steve Cannon is the filthiest novel I’ve ever read.

15) What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?

I had a really hard time finishing Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

16) What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?

I’ve seen Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, and I studied and acted in Julius Caesar in school.

17) Do you prefer the French or the Russians?

I don’t have any preference.

18) Roth or Updike?

I haven’t read either of them.

19) David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?

I haven’t read either of them.

20) Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?

I’ve only read Shakespeare.

21) Austen or Eliot?

I’ve only read Austen, but I’d like to try some Eliot.

22) What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?

I feel like I should read more classic and literary fiction.

23) What is your favorite novel?

Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

24) Play?


25) Poem?

I don’t have one.

26) Essay?

I don’t have one.

27) Short story?

Parvati by Umi Sinha, from the Getting Even collection of revenge stories.

28) Work of non-fiction?

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. He makes marathon-running sound pretty appealing.

29) Who is your favorite writer?

Haruki Murakami and Valerie Martin would have to arm wrestle for it.

30) Who is the most overrated writer alive today?

Probably Stephanie Meyer. She’s a competent writer, but her Twilight novels would be 100% better if she developed her characters more and tightened up her prose.

31) What is your desert island book?

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami.

32) And … what are you reading right now?

I’m between books right now. A couple of hours ago I finished Black Widow by Jessie Keane, an intense crime novel about a mother searching for her kidnapped daughter.

Between the Sheets

Saturday, November 29th, 2008 | Posted in fun, reading


The Great Unread

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 | Posted in reading

Book Girl

When I was 14 I was put into the second level English class, while several of my close friends were placed in the top set. I remember when my friends in the other class were reading Wuthering Heights and would discuss Heathcliff during our lunchbreaks, and though it all sounded interesting I didn’t bother to read the book just to be able to contribute to their discussions.

We have a copy of Wuthering Heights here that my mum received while she was in a mail-order book club years ago, and I flicked through the book but didn’t wish to spoil its hard-backed perfection by reading it, so I borrowed a copy from the library. Then I decided not to read the library copy for some reason which I can’t remember. So I still haven’t read Wuthering Heights.

When I attended a writer’s course several years ago and was asked about my favourite books, I felt like a fraud for not having read many literary classics. Since then I’ve dutifully read Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc.

Early last year, after reading Pride and Prejudice I decided that I should read Jane Austen’s entire oeuvre. I found that WH Smith had a special offer on her books, so I ended up buying Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility and Northanger Abbey. However, after reading the last-mentioned novel I’ve gone off that idea.

Sometimes when I hear about how novel x was so influential on x genre I feel like adding it to my wishlist, but no one has time to read everything, and life is too short to read something that you wouldn’t enjoy. There are so many gaps in my knowledge, but I’m beginning to realise that the most important thing in the world is to know myself.

That said, it amused me to watch this video of authors talking about the books that they’re most ashamed of not reading. Reading the comments was even more interesting; one person had received an A grade on an essay about an unread book, and another person even admitted teaching a class on a novel that he had never read…

Self-Care Package

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 | Posted in my life, reading, writing

Every so often, while I was working at the evil uni I would send myself a package of books from Amazon. After I stopped working there and my finances went to hell I stopped treating myself to books from my wishlist on a regular basis.

I’d forgotten how nice it is to receive a massive pile of books, so this morning I revelled in that happy bibliotastic feeling when I received these inspirational texts. Yes, there’s a theme to my selections.

And there’s more to come.