I first saw on the lovely Shelley Wilson’s blog, although the idea originally came from the Perpetual Page Turner. As my Wednesday posts have been rather ‘ranty’ of late, I thought it was time for something a bit more positive!
Author you’ve read the most books from.
Either Hilary Mantel or Stephen King – which is a bit of a contrast now I come to think of it! Although they are both exceptional story tellers. I’ve also read a lot of books by Terry Tyler – her novels are pure ‘get away from it all’ reads, perfect for a holiday and a rare quiet Sunday afternoon.
Best sequel ever.
‘Bring Up the Bodies’ the sequel to ‘Wolf Hall’. Hilary Mantel again.
She’s an amazing writer, and I was lucky enough to see her being interviewed once. She’s incredibly intelligent and charming.
Me and Hilary!
‘Last Exit to Brooklyn’ by Hubert Selby Jr. I’m trying to complete the David Bowie reading challenge and there are so many books on the list that I’ve always wanted to read. So far this is … interesting!
Drink of choice while reading.
A mug of very strong coffee if I’m lucky enough to be having a lie in and am reading in bed on a Sunday morning. Or a very large glass of red wine if it’s past 6pm. Oh alright, past 5pm.
E-Reader of physical book?
Both. I was very resistant to eBooks but then once I realised I could takes hundreds of books on holiday with me without exceeding the baggage allowance I was sold.
Fictional character you probably would have actually dated in high school.
There was definitely no one like Heathcliff in my Basingstoke comprehensive.
No one looked anything like this at Brighton Hill Community school!
Glad you gave this book a chance.
‘Beltane’ by Alys West, for Rosie’s Book Review Team. I’m not keen on fantasy, but thought I’d give this a go, mainly because it’s set in Glastonbury, a place I’ve enjoyed visiting in the past. It’s a really good book, very well-written and lovely for a bit of escapism.
Hidden gem book.
‘The Meadow’ – James Galvin.
While Galvin certainly isn’t an unknown, I had never read any of his work until this appeared on my required reading list for my Masters in Creative Writing. I duly bought it and read it and it was then removed from the course! But I didn’t mind because it is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.
Important moment in your reading life.
Reading ‘Wuthering Heights’ for the first time. I know it sounds clichéd but it really made me realise just how powerful fiction can be. And that you don’t have to write what you know.
Also reading with my children when they were small – just wonderful times.
Just finished reading.
‘Flesh’ by Dylan J. Morgan for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. It’s in the vein of Stephen King and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do like a good bit of horror!
Kind of books you won’t read.
Religious. Sweet romance. Westerns (unless it’s Larry McMurtry’s ‘Lonesome Dove’). Not too keen on fantasy or sci-fi either unless it’s extremely well-written. And please keep ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ well away from me. I much prefer this version:
Longest book you’ve read.
‘War and Peace’. I still show off about it. It is absolutely a masterpiece though.
Major book hangover.
‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini. I read it in one sitting when I was in bed with flu and sobbed and sobbed when I finished it. Just completely and utterly heart-breaking. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Number of bookcases you own.
Two. With many more books piled up everywhere and stashed in the loft.
One book you’ve read multiple times.
Preferred place to read.
In bed if it’s cold, in the garden on the rare occasion when it isn’t. Or preferably by a pool in France!
Quote that inspires you/give you all the feels from a book you’ve read.
It’s not exactly inspirational in the usual sense, but it is just such a masterful opening to a novel:
“So now get up.”
Felled, dazed, silent, he has fallen; knocked full length on the cobbles of the yard. His head turns sideways; his eyes are turned toward the gate, as if someone might arrive to help him out. One blow, properly placed, could kill him now.
Blood from the gash on his head – which was his father’s first effort – is trickling across his face. Add to this, his left eye is blinded; but if he squints sideways, with his right eye he can see that the stitching of his father’s boot is unravelling. The twine has sprung clear of the leather, and a hard knot in it as caught his eyebrow and opened up another cut.
“So now get up!” Walter is roaring down at him, working out where to kick him next.
(Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel)
And from ‘Wuthering Heights’:
“Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”
Being scared to read the classics when I was younger. I suppose I felt that they weren’t really for me, that they were something to read for an exam. Now I have less time to get through them all!
Series you started and need to finish.
I don’t really like reading a series. Too much commitment – too little time.
Three of your all-time favourite books.
A Place of Greater Safety (imho the best Hilary Mantel novel)
To Kill a Mockingbird
(I’m going to cheat here though because I can’t possibly leave out Alice Walker’s completely wonderful ‘The Color Purple‘.)
Unapologetic fangirl book.
‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson. I read this on holiday, lying in the sun buy the pool in France. It was completely and utterly absorbing. I can’t believe some of the reviews – it’s as if these people have read a different book.
Very excited for this release more than all others.
‘The Mirror and the Light’ – the sequel to ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ by Hilary Mantel.
Worst bookish habit.
Not really listening to anyone when I’m reading, just nodding and saying ‘mmm’ in a vague way, even when someone’s trying to tell me something important.
Dropping bookmarks in the bath.
X marks the spot: Start on the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book.
Another Bronte. Charlotte this time and ‘Jane Eyre’. I’m not pretentious (honestly) it just so happens that I have all the classics that I own lined up on the bookshelf together.
Your latest purchase.
‘Furiously Happy’ by Jenny Lawson. She’s just absolutely brilliant, hilarious and really inspiring.
I read ‘Let’s Pretend This Never Happened’ recently and adored it. Can’t wait to start this one.
The lovely Jenny Lawson
You can read her blog here.
Zzzz-snatcher book (Las book that kept you up way too late).
‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johann Hari about the so-called war on drugs. Stunning and scary and should be compulsory reading. I hate the cliché but I really couldn’t put it down.
So there you have it, my A-Z of books.