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Old 05-22-2021, 04:38 AM   #10431 (permalink)
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1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*
Have a bleedin guess

Actually if we can name more than one:
George Eliot, Jane Austen, Tolstoi, Salinger, Astrid Lindgren, Carson McCullers
2. And your least favourite?
If we're talking authors whom I've read, then probably that guy who wrote to worst book I've ever read, see question 5.
3. What is your preferred genre to read?
I don't read specific genres
4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*
That is such a hard question because I find it hard to separate best from favourite. But anyway:
-Middlemarch for George Eliot's insight in people, her wisdom and tolerance, and her stunning intelligence
-War and Peace, and Anna Karenina by Tolstoi, because Anna Karenina is the most true to life book I've ever read and War and Peace is more flawed but also more rich in scope. Tolstoi is amazing at vividly describing very complex mental states that shouldn't be describable
- I read it long ago, but remember Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls being basically flawless
-East of Eden maybe. I read it two years ago I think and it's still sinking in
-in terms of style, Under Milk Wood is my favourite thing

Also I'm reading In Search of Lost Time now and it may end up in that list, it's unlike anything I've ever read
5. And the worst?*
A book called Vita by some Dutch guy. It's about a girl who just wants to die (and she's called Vita, SO DEEP), no reason for her death wish is given, nothing interesting is done with it, it's just for random drama. And it's abysmally written. I don't know how it ends because I didn't finish it
6. Who do you believe gets more credit than they should as an author?
Dickens, and Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book?
If it's really, really bad. Which is to say, it has neither beauty or insight in any form

8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?

Nah, I love physical books and bookcases. I used to climb up the living room bookcase as a kid, I think the love started there
9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say)
See the bookshelf thread
10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?
There are so many great lines it's impossible to say, but (even though in terms of style it's not the best line I've ever read) this metaphor from Wives and Daughters is a line I think about a lot:
Quote:
But after all, those were peaceful days compared to the present, when she, seeing the wrong side of the tapestry, after the wont of those who dwell in the same house with a plotter, became aware that Mrs. Gibson had totally changed her behaviour to Roger, from some cause unknown to Molly.
Comparing the hidden ugly side of a scheming person to the back of tapestry is brilliant

If we're talking beautifully written lines then the opening lines of lolita, even though it's more than one:
Quote:
Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.
11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *
Probably Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology
12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?*
Let's read Das ****ing Kapital bitches
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Last edited by Marie Monday; 05-22-2021 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 05-22-2021, 06:14 AM   #10432 (permalink)
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1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*
Maybe Vonnegut, because I like him as a person, although it can't be said he wrote very well (prose-wise). Also, Ivo Andric. And from contemporary authors, I've read all of Ben Lerner's fiction and thought every one of those books was a masterpiece. Dostoyevsky was great although longwinded. I loved some of Nabokov's books (one of the best stylists in English for sure) although I think he peaked with Lolita. And some of Hemingway's books are excellent (although some of his earlier works feature truly terrible dialogues). For whom the bell tolls is one of my favorite books I think.

2. And your least favourite?
Least favorite authors I don't read.

3. What is your preferred genre to read?
No preferred genres, I read everything, but mostly splitting my attention between literary fiction, sci-fi and fantasy, in that order of frequency.

4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*
I guess my No. 1 book is The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric. It is so beautifully written I had to pause quite often just to soak up the sentences. And aside from beautiful prose, it has loads of wisdom and the plot is lovely too.

5. And the worst?*
One of the books I gave up on the soonest was Vernon God Little. I wrote a scathing review on goodreads after having read maybe 10 pages.

6. Who do you believe gets more credit than they should as an author?
Hilary Mantel. Her prose is terrible. No idea why she's so popular and lauded.

Same again please, when you're ready there mate!


7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book?
Mostly if I'm annoyed or just bored. I give a maximum of 30% of the book length to intrigue me, if it hasn't done it by that point I normally bail.


8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?

No, no point. Prefer actual books and if I want to download stuff I read it on my ipad.

9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say)
Maybe a hundred physical books (about a 1000 digital ones), strewn across at least 4 different locations.

10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?
Skip.

11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *
I liked Just kids by Patti Smith but probably the most impressive non-fiction book was Far from the tree by Andrew Solomon. Very well written, in depth and insightful.

12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?*
Maybe Das Kapital and also In search of lost time. Some day, maybe.
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Old 05-22-2021, 08:06 AM   #10433 (permalink)
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Thanks, TH. No surprise that I like this week's topic. Several of my answers are what comes to mind this morning and could easily be swapped out for something different tomorrow.

1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*

Paul Theroux, Aldous Huxley, Tom Wolfe, William Trevor, Jon Krakauer, E M Forster

2. And your least favourite?

Like adidasss, some authors I decline to explore. Authors I spent time on because a friend insisted, but it turned out, imo, to be time wasted: Gunter Grass, Stephen King, and Tolkien.

3. What is your preferred genre to read?

Biographies, novels, travel literature, various non-fiction

4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*

Books I've read multiple times include:-
Eyeless in Gaza (A Huxley, novel), The Solid Mandala (P White, novel), The Passover Plot (H Schonfield, history), The Painted Word (T Wolfe, journalism)... list could continue.


7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book? One thing I have little patience for: you're reading a novel, and the author starts describing a dream that one of the characters has. It's a fiction of a fiction and my instinctive reaction is, "Why am I reading this?"

8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?
Currently considering this as it might give me better access to books of my choice.

9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say) This was an intriguing question for me: by measuring the shelf-space needed for ten books, it turns out that I have something like 350 in my house, probably the same number again in storage boxes in England.

10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?
I don't usually remember individual lines, which can lose their impact taken out of context. It's a little different with opening sentences, a couple of which have stuck in my mind, mainly for their spot-on exquisiteness of style - so first up is the Lolita one that Marie mentions. Then:-

"I am a camera." Christopher Isherwood

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man, in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." Jane Austen

"Gormenghast, that is the main massing of the original stone, taken by itself would have displayed a certain ponderous architectural quality, were it possible to have ignored the circumfusion of mean dwellings that swarmed like an epidemic around its outer walls." Meryvn Peake

12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?

I didn't have an answer ready, but now I have 2, thanks to adidasss:-
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Originally Posted by adidasss View Post
4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*
I guess my No. 1 book is The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andric. It is so beautifully written I had to pause quite often just to soak up the sentences. And aside from beautiful prose, it has loads of wisdom and the plot is lovely too.

11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *
I liked Just kids by Patti Smith .
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Last edited by Lisnaholic; 05-22-2021 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 05-22-2021, 08:38 AM   #10434 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You should give Terry Goodkind's first book, Wizard's First Rule, a whirl just as an experience. It's not full of tedious Randian monologues but you do get the joy of a full grown man kicking a small girl in the mouth and shattering her jaw with full textual support, gang rape as a plot device, and like a third of the book is an uninterrupted rapey BDSM fantasy. It's buck ****ing wild.
She’s giving me the lowdown on that book as I’m typing this.
She’s telling me that this guy went Galt cRaZy about third book,
so she started giving up about that time. This morning, I’m hearing
a lot about Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - the good and bad on both.
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Old 05-22-2021, 09:01 AM   #10435 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisnaholic View Post

1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*

Paul Theroux, Aldous Huxley, Tom Wolfe, William Trevor, Jon Krakauer, E M Forster
Goh! I forgot to put The right stuff for favorite non-fiction, that's a masterpiece!

Hope you enjoy The Bridge on the Drina.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:02 AM   #10436 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rostasi View Post
She’s giving me the lowdown on that book as I’m typing this.
She’s telling me that this guy went Galt cRaZy about third book,
so she started giving up about that time. This morning, I’m hearing
a lot about Steven Erikson and Ian Esslemont - the good and bad on both.
I believe the third book is the one where the main character has a previously unknown brother show up who turns out to be a serial killer. Did she mention the evil chicken from the second book?

Quote:
Hissing, hackles lifting, the chicken’s head rose. Kahlan pulled back. Its claws digging into stiff dead flesh, the chicken slowly turned to face her. It cocked its head, making its comb flop, its wattles sway. “Shoo,” Kahlan heard herself whisper. There wasn’t enough light, and besides, the side of its beak was covered with gore, so she couldn’t tell if it had the dark spot, But she didn’t need to see it. “Dear spirits, help me,” she prayed under her breath. The bird let out a slow chicken cackle. It sounded like a chicken, but in her heart she knew it wasn’t. In that instant, she completely understood the concept of a chicken that was not a chicken. This looked like a chicken, like most of the Mud People’s chickens. But this was no chicken. This was evil manifest.
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There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:15 AM   #10437 (permalink)
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I believe the third book is the one where the main character has a previously unknown brother show up who turns out to be a serial killer. Did she mention the evil chicken from the second book?
She’s laughing hysterically. (Yes, I’ve heard about the chicken!)
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:19 AM   #10438 (permalink)
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I think my favorite thing about Terry Goodkind is the picture he puts in all his books.


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Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:23 AM   #10439 (permalink)
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1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*

Jorge Luis Borges, David Foster Wallace, Italo Calvino, George Orwell, James Joyce, W.G. Sebald, Virginia Woolf

2. And your least favourite?

Bradbury's brand of luddism doesn't sit well with me and I think he's pretty average as an author.

3. What is your preferred genre to read?

Magical realism is my favourite but I'll read anything.

4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*

Ficciones, Invisible Man, Invisible Cities, House of Leaves, Leaves of Grass, Picture This.

5. And the worst?*

I had to read the Power of One twice in high school. **** that book.

6. Who do you believe gets more credit than they should as an author?

I'd say Dickens but I think he's also underrated in some ways. Probably Bradbury.

Same again please, when you're ready there mate!


7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book?

When I can't stop thinking it's a slog, usually as a product of uninteresting writing style. Public Opinion by Lippmann and Wuthering Heights are the only two that have pushed me to that point.

8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?

I generally prefer books, but I'd like to get one for travelling.

9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say)

About 300 books.

10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Didion
The future always looks good in the golden land, because nobody remembers the past.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantos II, Pound
The back-swell now smooth in the rudder-chains,
Black snout of a porpoise
where Lycabs had been,
Fish-scales on the oarsmen.
And I worship.
I really love the meter of that line for reasons I can't describe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Crying of Lot 49, Pynchon
She left, wondering if she should've called him something, or tried to hit him with any of a dozen surplus, heavy, blunt objects in easy reach. There had been no witnesses. Why hadn't she?

You're chicken, she told herself, snapping her seat belt. This is America, you live in it, you let it happen. Let it unfurl.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooting an Elephant, Orwell
Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.
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Originally Posted by Rhinoceros, Ionesco
People who try to hang on to their individuality always come to a bad end. Oh well, too bad! I'll take on the whole of them! I'll put up a fight against the lot of them, the whole lot of them! I'm the last man left, and I'm staying that way until the end. I'm not capitulating!
I'll stop there. Hard/good question.

11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *

33 1/3 Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, Liberalism: A Counter History, any Baldwin essay collection, Orientalism.

12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?*

Tons. Jerusalem by Alan Moore and Middlemarch are a couple that come to mind that I've held off on because of the length. I've read a lot of people talking about Gramsci's ideas on hegemony, so I want to read his full Prison Notebooks for myself once I finish Capital. Plus the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:25 AM   #10440 (permalink)
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I think my favorite thing about Terry Goodkind is the picture he puts in all his books.
Well, of course, he’s a SERIOUS writer!

Last edited by rostasi; 05-22-2021 at 11:00 AM.
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