Thursday, 28 May 2009

Memes and Upcoming posts

Today I've had the pleasure of coming across a wonderful book blog written by a great 23-year-old college grad who goes through hundreds of books a year. I usually find a big amount of good book blogs every day but the reason I mention A Striped Armchair is because she has a vast amount of memes under her 'about me' which I'm going to steal over the next couple of days to do myself while I finish off Necroscope.

I'll also be writing an extended review of the Cardiff Anarchist Book Fair in response to a recent Anarchist's message to me concerning what I mentioned in a previous post. That should be up in the next two or three days.

Oh, and *excitement overload* at Audrey Niffenegger's second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, showing up on Amazon's book list for pre-orders. I can not wait for this to be released. I loved The Time Traveler's Wife and this one sounds just as interesting too:

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers - normal, at least, for identical 'mirror' twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin ...but have no idea that they've been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins' mother - and who can't even seem to quite leave her flat. With Highgate Cemetery itself a character and echoes of Henry James and Charles Dickens, "Her Fearful Symmetry" is a delicious and deadly twenty-first-century ghost story about Niffenegger's familiar themes of love, loss and identity. It is certain to cement her standing as one of the most singular and remarkable novelists of our time.
I repeat: I CAN NOT WAIT! :-D (Though I do feel sorry for her given the pressure she's under. The Time Traveler's Wife was so successful, how do you follow that up?)

Anyway, now to finish off the post with A Striped Armchair's own meme as the start of what will probably be many for the coming week:

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews? It's a horrible thing to say but any 'chick lit' usually gets a sneer from me. I do own a few 'chick lit' books and do read them when I feel as though I need to switch my mind off and relax into my reading, but I suppose it's quite taboo in some circles to be reading something easy like that. I think the attitude's very much rubbed off on me.

f you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be? Having just read Northanger Abbey, I'd have to copy Eve for my first choice and say Henry Tilney for any social event I feel uncomfortable going to (in the sense that I know close to no-one there). He seems to make anyone in his company feel at ease from playful teasing and seeming genuinely interested in what one has to say so he'd be a wonderful friend to have by your side.

The second choice is Henry De Tamble (The Time Traveler's Wife)because I am in love with that man. I suppose he wouldn't be great to take anywhere important because he could disappear through time at any given moment. As he's a librarian, I'd like to discover the ancient ruins of Rome or Egypt. He'd be a good scholar to have by my side and wouldn't complain about learning new things on holiday.

Last but not least, Robbie Turner from Atonement. I'd take him to the opening of a new library. ;-) Rawrrr!

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? The Grapes of Wrath. Thirty pages describing how a turtle/tortoise crosses a road was too much for me. Steinbeck suffers from diarrhea of the typewriter. Word vomit! Ugh.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it? I've been nowhere near the Little Women books but, having seen the Winona Ryder film, have commented on them in quite a silly "I know all about the story" manner. :-P

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book? I forget I haven't read Lord of the Flies because I saw it on stage for my Drama/Theatre A Level and did a bit of work about it. I'd like to read it properly one day though.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP) The Time Traveler's Wife. I always tell everyone I meet they should read that book. It's such a wonderful modern story, one of my favourites, with characters you can't help but love. And the way it's written? Wow. So brilliantly.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with? French. I'd like to read more Victor Hugo, Simone De Beauvoir and the Marquis de Sade in their original forms.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick? The Time Traveler's Wife. I'll probably be reading it once a year for a long time to come anyway.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)? That I should definitely read more modern fiction. I seem to read too many classics or works by writers that have been dead for quite a while. I'd love to be able to find a modern author I can follow while they're still alive and writing. There are so many book blogs talking about the new release of this and that by their favourite author.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free. Remember that scene from Beauty and the Beast when he shows her his library? That's my dream. All my favourite classics would have first edition copies there and there'd be an endless supply of every book in the world :-D.